How COVID Testing Helps Prep You for Respiratory Season

Here's the latest on BinaxNOW, including expiration dates, variants and where to find testing.

Diagnostics Testing|Oct.23, 2023

The busier your days get, the more it pays to get busy planning.

And as respiratory illnesses start to pick up along with the fall social calendar, there’s good news: You still have a trusted testing option that can help you stick to those plans — or make an informed decision to draw up new ones.

We’ve been seeing more people reach for COVID testing, and we want to answer some of your common questions: 

Do tests work against new variants?

Our BinaxNOW COVID-19 Self Tests detect the new COVID-19 variant labeled BA.2.86.

As part of our ongoing efforts to monitor the mutations of COVID, we conducted a thorough analysis of the new variants and confirmed that our test remains effective.

We’ll continue to do this as the virus evolves — so you can have peace of mind in our testing.

What’s the latest with BinaxNOW expiration dates?

Since the launch of the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Self Tests, we have continued testing for product stability to extend the expiration dates when applicable. The FDA granted approval for a 22-month shelf-life extension for our Self Tests. You can double-check the expiration date of the tests you have on hand, so you know you’re getting the most reliable results.

Here’s how to check the expiration date of your test:

1.    Find the expiration date on the box. First, find the sticker on the bottom right-hand corner on the back of the box. Next to the hourglass symbol, you’ll see the listed expiration date. If the date has already passed, continue to Steps 2 and 3 to see if the expiration date has been extended by the FDA.

2.    Find the lot number on the box. The lot number is beneath the expiration date, next to the letters “LOT.”

3.   Search the lot number to find the expiration date extension. Input your lot number via our Expiration Date Look Up Tool at to confirm the expiration date extension of your test.


  • Finding the lot number is most important. If your test’s lot number appears, trust the extended expiration date, even if the printed expiration date doesn’t match.
  • If your test’s lot number doesn’t appear, the test’s expiration date may not have been extended. You can recycle the box, but should dispose of the test card, nasal swab and test solution in common household waste, in line with the test’s instructions for use.

Where can I find tests?

Rapid tests are a handy tool as we keep dealing with COVID-19 — especially as we see a rise in cases as we plan gatherings with friends and loved ones.

Because of this, we continue to ensure BinaxNOW COVID-19 Self Tests are available when and where you need them. You can find them online and at your local retailers, including Amazon, CVS, RiteAid, Sam’s Club, Walgreens and Walmart.

How is Abbott tracking new COVID variants?

Through the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition, we have a network of research, academic and public health collaborators strategically placed around the world that are actively sequencing viruses to look for the next viral threat, including new COVID-19 variants.

Having this established network gives us a way to quickly share new information and verify our tests. This type of global collaboration is critical to fighting variants and preventing the next pandemic.

COVID testing is crucial to tackling respiratory season. It helps keep you and your family prepared for everything this fall has in store.




The BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Antigen Self Test is a lateral flow immunoassay intended for the qualitative detection of nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2.

This test is authorized for non-prescription home use with self-collected anterior nasal (nares) swab samples from individuals aged 15 years or older or adult collected anterior nasal (nares) swab samples from individuals 2 years or older. This test is authorized for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 within the first seven days of symptom onset when tested at least twice over three days with at least 48 hours between tests, and for individuals without symptoms or other epidemiological reasons to suspect COVID-19, when tested at least three times over five days with at least 48 hours between tests.

The BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 tests have not been FDA cleared or approved. They have been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization. They have been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization is revoked sooner.