Reuters reported that the feds will send an “overwhelming majority” of Abbott’s tests to governors and state territories to support school reopenings and other critical tasks, according to a Trump administration official. The administration struck a $750 million deal with Abbott for 150 million of its tests last week.
A day before the deal was announced, Abbott received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) for its BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card — a speedy antigen test for the virus that can be directly read off the testing card. The test is designed to display a result 15 minutes following a nasal swab: one line for a negative result and two for a positive result.
The test will be accompanied by a mobile app called Navica that allows people who test negative to display a temporary digital health pass that includes the date of the test result. The health pass is renewed every time they test again and the outcome is negative.
As of last week’s EUA announcement, Abbott said it plans to ship tens of millions of tests in September, ramping to 50 million tests a month at the start of October. They’ll sell for $5 apiece.
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services assistant secretary Dr. Brett Giroir said other priorities for the Abbott tests include daycare centers, first responders and “critical infrastructure,” according to the Reuters report.