Doctors, nursing homes and federal officials are trying to get quick response Covid-19 antigen testing supplies from the two companies that secured emergency approval to produce them as cases continue to rise in the US
Rapid-response antigen tests constitute a small but growing area of Covid-19 testing in the US and are seen as useful in reducing explosions because they provide faster results than many molecular tests that need to be sent to processing laboratories. Tests require virus proteins while other tests require the genetic material of the virus.
Quidel Corp. and Becton Dickinson & Co., the only companies that so far have federal federal emergency authorization to supply such diagnostic tests, also make machines that process them. Box-test analyzers, which before pandemic tests processed for diseases such as the flu, are located in doctors̵7; offices and nursing homes, allowing facilities to avoid sending samples to commercial laboratories for processing. They can give results in about 15 minutes and process dozens of samples per hour.
Quidel is trying to produce enough analysts to meet demand, while Becton Dickinson’s challenge is doing enough testing, the companies say.
In July, people waited two weeks or longer for diagnostic test results in the U.S. Delays underscored the importance of immediate results in which individuals can act quickly.