At-home COVID testing kit submitted to Health Ministry for approval

At-home COVID testing kit submitted to Health Ministry for approval, Users can receive results from the test in just 10 minutes with a nose swab that even teens can do on their own.

An at-home coronavirus testing kit which can be self-administered and is accurate and inexpensive has been submitted to the Health Ministry for approval, the companies involved announced on Tuesday.

The QuickVue At-Home test, recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was developed by the Quidel Corporation in the US and is imported to Israel by the Rimipharm Group, which is also behind the Sofia rapid coronavirus test.

Users can receive results from the test in just 10 minutes with a nose swab that even teens can do on their own.

“From an epidemiological perspective, I think that the best, most powerful use of these tests is to have just the population using them twice a week on an ongoing basis just to keep our [R reproduction level] below one and stop outbreaks from happening,” said Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology and a faculty member in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard University, in a press conference earlier this month.

“Don’t change anything if you’re negative, but if you are positive, you stay home and isolate. That’s a very, very powerful epidemiological approach,” he said. “Don’t worry too much about the individual metrics – but if you are positive, don’t go out. That alone – if we could get enough tests out to the community – would stop these outbreaks.”

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“In recent weeks we have received thousands of inquiries from parents and educational institutions looking for immediate and accessible solutions,” said the Rimipharm Group in a press release.

“Until it is possible to vaccinate teenagers and children, it is essential that we in Israel also move forward with self-testing, which saves critical time for parents and unnecessary quarantine for children,” it said. “We submitted all the documents for a quick import of the kit to Israel. Quidel has already prepared to ship to Israel first – now it is in the hands of the Health Ministry.”

The test has been approved by the FDA for teens 14 and older to use on their own and children eight and older to use with an adult’s assistance. The company is polling the public to find a Hebrew name for the test on their Facebook page.

The Sofia test, also developed by Quidel, is already in use in Israel and can deliver results in just 15 minutes, but requires a professional who has been trained to operate the device.

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