Despite the fact that this is a merry period, the new Omicron variant has ruined the festive season so much that numerous airlines had to cancel thousands of flights globally as the pandemic heads on to its third year.
But that isn’t the point. Roche on Friday announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA has approved the usage of its Emergency Use Authorization or EUA for an at-home rapid test which can now be used by people as young as 14.
The test, which uses an anterior nasal swab sample, is “able to produce accurate, reliable and quick results in as few as 20 minutes” for SARS-CoV-2 and all variants of concern, including Omicron, the drugmaker said in a statement.
The Omicron variant which was detected just a month ago in South Africa has become the dominant cause of COVID-19 in the United States and other parts of the world, especially Europe.
The speedy spread of the variant has dashed prospective festivities and family reunions.
“Roche has the capacity to produce tens of millions of tests per month to help support the pandemic response,” the Swiss firm said, adding that the test will be available across the U.S. from January.
The approval of Roche’s testing kits despite limited sales of at-home COVID-19 test kits from popular companies such as Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS Health Corp despite an increase in demand for these kits will be of help to people.
However, the U.S. President, Joe Biden has recently announced plans to purchase some 500 million rapid COVID-19 tests all of which would be distributed for free to Americans who request them starting in January.
The test can also be used for children between the age of 2 and 13 but under adult supervision, according to the company.
“The launch will be in partnership with SD Biosensor Inc, with whom Roche has a global distribution agreement.”