Coles and Woolies Now Stock Rapid Antigen Tests — But How Much Do They Cost?

buy rapid antigen test australia

The days of having someone tickle your brain with a stick are somewhat over. Now, you can pay for the luxury using an at-home kit with the release of new rapid antigen tests in Aussie supermarkets.

The at-home COVID testing kits, which have similar vibes to at-home pregnancy tests, are currently being stocked at both Coles and Woolworths. As of July 18, Coles is selling five-packs for $40. Woolworths, on the other hand, is selling one test for $10, two tests for $15, five tests for $40, and 25 tests for around $150.

Rapid antigen tests are designed to provide a positive or negative diagnosis of a COVID-19 infection in just 15 minutes, however they are thought to be less reliable than the PCR tests conducted at COVID testing clinics.

They were approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration on October 15, 2021, for the general public. 33 other COVID tests have already been declared safe to use by the TGA for medical professionals, but this will be the first time that people will be able to test themselves.

PRC tests are, however,  can be a real inconvenience, as many of us will have discovered, and involve travel to and from the clinic and isolating post-test for potentially days. This is why the broad availability of easy, at-home testing was part of the government’s four-phase lockdown roadmap.

Using these tests give us all a quick and easy way of knowing if we’ve got COVID or we’ve just drunk a little bit more than we ought to have done last night.

It’s worth noting that rapid antigen tests were being used by medical services across NSW and VIC, even before they got sold in supermarkets. Employers such as Westpac and Commonwealth Bank also used them in their COVID hotspot offices by staff members who wish to confirm that they didn’t have the virus.

However, David Anderson of the Burnet Institute has said that they are not a silver bullet for controlling the spread of COVID.

Even if you do the test properly it will miss people and it can give a false sense of security,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

“You feel sick, but you do a rapid antigen test but you don’t swab your nose properly and you think everything is fine until you go about your daily business and expose lots of other people.”

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