Kroger Health, the health services arm of the Cincinnati-based retailer, said yesterday that Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen self-test would be available for purchase at all Kroger outlets and, soon, on Kroger.com. Since BinaxNOW does not require a prescription from a healthcare professional, customers can take the test at home and receive the results within 15 minutes, as there is no lab treatment, Kroger noted. Health.
Each BinaxNOW box contains two nasal swab tests, to be used twice over three days and with at least 36 hours between tests. Kroger Health said, adding that the test was designed for people with or without symptoms, or for other epidemiological reasons, to suspect COVID-19 infection. Abbott’s OTC SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test has received Emergency Use Clearance (EUA) for self-testing from the Food and Drug Administration.
“The United States has made tremendous strides in the battle against COVID-19, vaccination efforts have proven successful, but testing continues to be a critical pillar in the fight against this public health crisis,” Kroger Health president Colleen Lindholz said in a statement. “We know that Americans will greatly benefit from having access to affordable home testing to meet diagnostic needs, and Kroger Health is grateful that they can continue to be part of the solution by providing access to diagnostic tests and administering COVID-19. vaccines. “
Rapid antigenic tests detect protein fragments specific to COVID-19, while the more common molecular (viral) PCR test actually detects virus-specific genetic material (RNA). Although both tests use nasal or nasalpharyngeal swabs, the molecular PCR test is considered the “gold standard” in detecting COVID-19. The rapid antigen test provides results quickly but can give false positives, and negative results may need to be confirmed by molecular testing, according to the FDA. The results can take up to a week for the molecular PCR test, but it is usually very accurate and usually does not need to be repeated, the agency said.
Serial testing can increase the chances of detecting asymptomatic infection and offers schools, workplaces, communities and other places new options to screen for COVID-19, the FDA reported.
“This virus remains unpredictable, which is why we cannot let our guard down on testing, especially as people start to see each other more in various spaces like workplaces, schools and family events,” according to Andrea Wainer, executive vice president of Abbott’s rapid and molecular diagnostics business. “Abbott will continue to make its BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test available at more national retail establishments like Kroger so people can quickly and easily find the test and resume their pre-pandemic lifestyle with more insurance.”
Kroger Health continued to expand its coronavirus testing options. In February, the company announced plans to offer what it called the first rapid home antigen test, smartphone compatible, for COVID-19. The Gauss COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit – still pending EUA from the FDA – can be performed using a smartphone and a lateral flow test (similar to a pregnancy test at home) without involving a laboratory, a telemedicine visit or specialized electronic devices. Once cleared by the FDA, Gauss’s test is expected to be available for purchase on Kroger.com and over-the-counter at its 2,200 pharmacies across the country.
Plans call for Kroger Health to add COVID-19 home antigen testing to its employer-focused health and wellness solutions. The company said employers or organizations can use the tests to help reopen workplaces by offering regular, low-cost testing.
The Kroger Health range Solutions de test COVID-19 includes viral and antibody tests. Designed for employers and launched in August, COVIDCare + includes the FDA cleared Kroger Health COVID-19 home collection kit, became available in Julyand access to clinical services for primary care. Viral, rapid antigen and antibody tests are also available at Kroger Co. drugstores and at The Little Clinic in-store clinics. Kroger deployed rapid antibody tests at all pharmacies and clinics from last fall. Rapid antibody tests let patients know if they have ever been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Overall, Kroger Health has 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers with a team of 22,000 healthcare professionals, ranging from pharmacists and nurse practitioners to dietitians and technicians. Kroger said that as a national partner Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, its health workers have administered more than 3.5 million vaccines.