Abbott’s $5 Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test Gets Emergency-Use Status From FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency-use authorization to Abbott Laboratories for a $5 rapid-response Covid-19 antigen test that is roughly the size of a credit card.

The low-cost, rapid-response test could be administered in a doctor’s or school nurse’s office and uses technology similar to home pregnancy tests. It returns results in about 15 minutes.

The emergency approval comes as demand grows for greater access to Covid-19 diagnostic tools that deliver results in minutes, rather than days to help quickly contain infections.

Abbott said Wednesday it plans to ship tens of millions of the newly authorized tests in September, with plans to increase production to 50 million tests in October. If the company is able to do so, the October total would amount to roughly double the number of tests performed in the U.S. in July.

Some public-health officials and lab executives say lower-cost rapid tests that can be produced at scale are an important factor in the country’s ability to return to work and school.

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