How to verify your COVID take a look at is not pretend

How to make sure your COVID test isn't fake


Stephen Shankland/CNET
For probably the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

The start of 2022 has felt loads like March 2020 in some methods — however as a substitute of scrambling to discover a face masks, now we’re all scrambling to search out COVID-19 checks. With case charges hovering from the omicron variant, getting examined is of the utmost significance to sluggish the unfold, and but discovering a take a look at has maybe by no means been harder and inconvenient. That is true even for PCR checks, that are usually what you will get at a pharmacy or physician’s workplace. Nevertheless it’s much more true for at-home antigen checks, also called speedy checks.

Amid low inventory and complicated steerage round free take a look at availability, some consumers have turned to on-line or secondhand sellers to be able to discover an at-home COVID take a look at rapidly. That results in a second difficulty: counterfeit or fraudulent checks. 

This week, the US Meals and Drug Administration warned folks towards utilizing checks from LuSys Laboratories, additionally bought beneath the names Luscient Diagnostics, Vivera Prescription drugs or EagleDx. These checks doubtless have a “excessive danger of false outcomes,” the FDA believes. However that is not the one model it’s worthwhile to keep away from.

When you assume you could be caught with a pretend take a look at or simply wish to forestall future trickery, this is what you need to learn about avoiding pretend COVID-19 checks.

Store from trusted retailers

Your first line of safety towards pretend checks is selecting a trusted retailer. Chain retailers like CVS and Walgreens don’t inventory fraudulent merchandise of any form, whether or not face masks or residence take a look at kits.

You may as well discover residence COVID-19 checks at native pharmacies, {hardware} shops, big-box shops like Goal or Walmart, or medical provide shops. All of those are reliable locations to buy, whether or not in-person or on-line.

Amazon, alternatively, is usually a bit Wild West-like at occasions, since there are millions of sellers who checklist merchandise there. And in case you’re purchasing on eBay, Craigslist, social media or different on-line sellers, you are much more weak to fraud except you understand precisely what you are in search of (and the way to store safely).

Quickly, it is possible for you to to request COVID checks on an official authorities web site, as a part of the Biden-Harris administration’s pledge to ship 500 million residence checks to People without cost. That portal will not be up and operating till later in January.

Learn extra: discover an at-home COVID-19 take a look at immediately

Solely purchase FDA-authorized manufacturers

The US Meals and Drug Administration is accountable for authorizing COVID-19 checks for residence use, with greater than 40 residence checks making the lower to date. To keep away from fakes, you need to solely purchase checks which are on the FDA’s checklist

Some widespread manufacturers which are FDA-authorized embrace:

  • BinaxNow
  • QuickVue
  • FlowFlex
  • iHealth
  • BD Veritor
  • InteliSwab

To make life even simpler for you, the FDA additionally has an inventory of fraudulent COVID-19 merchandise which have obtained warning letters for making false claims and deceptive shoppers. Do a fast search of your COVID take a look at on this database to make sure that it is not on the checklist of fraudulent merchandise.

Observe that COVID-19 take a look at kits do expire after a number of months or in some circumstances as much as a 12 months. Make it possible for your take a look at has not handed its expiration date.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Store on-line safely

If you end up turning to much less well-vetted on-line suppliers, store safely to keep away from getting scammed.

First, search for the vendor on Google to see if you could find any credible data or evaluations. Be sure so as to add the key phrase “rip-off” or “evaluation” to your seek for extra focused outcomes. On websites like Amazon or eBay, it is also good follow to verify evaluations and click on on the vendor’s identify for more information. 

When you do make a purchase order, use a bank card to be able to dispute the cost if needed. Don’t enter any fee data on third-party websites. 

We do not suggest shopping for secondhand checks from people on marketplaces like Fb or Craigslist. Whereas reselling checks is authorized, promoting take a look at kits is prohibited on Fb, the corporate advised CNN Enterprise (and the identical goes for Instagram, which is owned by Fb). And normally, shopping for from unauthorized people leaves you extra weak to fraud — there isn’t any actual option to vet the vendor, and you may’t precisely ask for a refund if issues do not work out. To not point out, unauthorized sellers’ checks will not be free or eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement, as different take a look at kits can be beginning Jan. 15, per the Biden-Harris administration’s plan.

The knowledge contained on this article is for instructional and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. All the time seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you might have a couple of medical situation or well being aims.

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