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FAQ about the abbott binaxnow covid-19 Antigen Test


Will this COVID-19 Test Hurt?

No, when the foam end of the swab is inserted, the nasal swab is not sharp and it should not hurt. Sometimes the swab can feel slightly uncomfortable or tickly. If you feel pain, please stop the test and seek advice from a healthcare provider.


What is the Difference Between an Antigen and Molecular Test?

There are different kinds of tests for COVID-19. Molecular tests (also known as PCR tests) detect genetic material from the virus. Antigen tests detect proteins from the virus. Antigen tests are very specific for the virus but are not as sensitive as molecular tests.


What is the performance of the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Test?

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Self Test is identical to the professional-use test, used since August 2020, bringing the most studied and widely used rapid antigen test to retail shelves across the country.


What do sensitivity and specificity of a COVID test mean?

Sensitivity refers to a test's ability to designate an individual with the disease as positive. The specificity of a test is its ability to designate an individual who does not have a disease as negative.


What ages is this At Home COVID 19 test approved for use?

The test is indicated for all people aged 15 years or older and for children as young as two years old when samples are collected by an adult.


Will this test tell me if I have been infected with COVID-19 in the past?


No, this is an antigen test that only detects an active infection. Antibody tests can detect past infections.

Can I use this COVID test to meet travel requirements for testing?

No, this is for personal use only and doesn’t provide a documented test result that you can display when traveling. For a documented test result the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test may be better  Combined with the NAVICA App and with a negative result, you will have a digital result that may meet travel requirements. This test is offered by eMed, please visit for further information.


What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

FDA emergency access mechanism.

Health & Human Services declare when circumstances exist to justify the use of diagnostics under

EUA during public health emergencies. It is not full FDA clearance or approval and is temporary until the declaration is terminated or revoked.

Does this test detect the new COVID variants?

Abbott is intently monitoring the mutations of COVID so we can ensure our tests can detect them, as we do with many viruses. We have conducted a thorough analysis of known variants that we’ve been able to study, and we are confident that our tests remain effective at identifying these strains.  It is highly likely that future COVID-19 strains will remain detectable because our tests – and most other COVID-19 tests – look for parts of the virus that are crucial for the virus’ survival and therefore less subject to mutation.

What is the difference between this test and other COVID-19 tests that can be performed at home?

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 test is the most studied and widely available test in the U.S. today. Results are available in just 15 minutes without having to send the sample away for collection.


How is this COVID test administered?

Using the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test is simple. The technician will only need to perform a minimally invasive nasal swab (not the deeper nasopharyngeal swab).

Who should use this COVID test?

The test can be used for people with and without symptoms.

Should people who HAVE BEEN vaccinated use this test?

BinaxNOW will be a key tool alongside vaccination as we get back to life. We don’t yet know how long the vaccine confers immunity for and how variants will evolve. 

How will people report their COVID 19 test results if they’re positive?

People are encouraged to follow the latest CDC guidelines, which is to communicate your results to your healthcare provider, who is responsible for reporting your test results to your state health department.



Do people need to consult a doctor or another healthcare professional before conducting this test?

No, this test does not require a prescription from a medical professional. However, if you have questions about your health or the results of your test, you should contact your doctor. If you receive a positive result, you should contact your healthcare professional immediately for the next steps.


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