A 15-minute Covid test from Abbott Laboratories that will be priced at just $5 has been granted emergency authorization for use in the U.S., a breakthrough that could ease the bottleneck that has crimped much of the nation’s testing capacity.
The product, dubbed BinaxNOW, works without relying on laboratory equipment at a time when labs can take as long as two weeks to produce results. It uses a nasal swab and a small reactive card, and it can be administered by a range of health-care workers, including pharmacists, at almost any location.
Abbott will start shipping the test within two weeks and intends to manufacture 50 million tests a month by the end of October. The aim: Meet a surge in demand from Americans seeking to return to in-person schoolrooms and work.
The new test “can be used at a massive scale to help overcome the current waiting game for test results,” said John Hackett, divisional vice president of applied research and technology at Abbott Diagnostics, in a telephone interview.
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