With COVID Vaccines, Why Have Testing? Here's Why. 

As daily life opens up, coronavirus is the guest that will continue to overstay its welcome. That's why we test.

With COVID Vaccines, Why Have Testing? Here's Why.
Diagnostics Testing | May 21, 2021

With widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, you might not see testing as the necessity it was just last year.

However, healthcare professionals and infectious disease experts – including those at Abbott – are reminding people how not testing could reverse the progress we've made.

Let us paint the picture about the reasons COVID-19 testing is going to be vitally important for a long time to come.

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How We're Tracking COVID-19 Variants

SARS-CoV-2 Variants

  • Viruses constantly change. Some emerge, only to disappear. Some emerge … and persist. Multiple COVID-19 variants have been documented around the world, including in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified five variants of concern currently in the U.S.
  • Our scientists have analyzed viruses for decades. Now, their work is in the spotlight as COVID-19 variants emerge. Here's how they're keeping our tests current.
  • Many infectious disease experts anticipate the virus (and its variant offspring) will continue to circulate the globe, with outbreaks in certain areas or seasonal waves, as we see with the flu or RSV. And we have a test for that.
  • Having accessible, rapid testing is critical to catching new outbreaks, particularly for communities hardest hit already and where vaccine accessibility may be limited.
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Vaccination Rates

  • According to the CDC's vaccine tracker, in May 2021 only 40.5% of women and 35.9% of men in the U.S. are fully vaccinated. And demand is slowing even as government agencies look to make the vaccine available for more children, pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals.
  • Even as the U.S. sends doses to countries desperate for supply, vaccinations may not be available to all countries in 2021. Which leaves more open ground for COVID variants to migrate as travel resumes.
  • In short, vaccination coverages will not be 100% around the world by the end of 2021.
  • For those who are unvaccinated, the World Health Organization reports that temperature screening alone is not effective at stopping the spread because people may not be feverish early in infection. That makes rapid testing all the more important.
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Herd Immunity

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BinaxNOW: What You Need to Know

Bottom Line: We're on a Journey

  • Infectious disease experts' mantra has long been: No one measure will stop the virus. The fight against COVID-19 will be won through many smaller battles: hand washing, social distancing, mask wearing, testing and vaccines.
  • Continued COVID viral surveillance programs — just as we have for HIV, hepatitis and more — are necessary to understand variant circulation as well as the longevity of vaccine protections.
  • After more than a year, the world's collective patience for COVID and its restrictions is running thin. That's where frequent screening with rapid, minimally invasive and affordable tests will help restore a sense of confidence in your health in workplaces, schools, as you travel and restart recreational activities. Really, for any place where people gather in large numbers.
  • With rapid testing being readily available across the U.S. and easy to use – people can get the answers they need, right away.

Yes, vaccines are here. More are coming.

But COVID-19 and its variants aren't leaving, not anytime soon.

For these reasons — and billions more around the world — testing isn't going anywhere, either. So long as COVID-19 is in the world, testing will be too.

Important Safety Information 

EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATIONS

The BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Test Card EUA has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.

The ID NOW COVID-19 EUA has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories and patient care settings. The test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.  

The SARS-CoV-2 IgG, AdviseDx SARS-CoV-2 IgG II and AdviseDx SARS-CoV-2 IgM tests have not been FDA cleared or approved. They have been authorized by the FDA under EUA for use by authorized laboratories. These tests have been authorized only for the detection the presence of IgG antibodies or IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens. These tests 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 Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.  

The Abbott RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay and the Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 assay have not been FDA cleared or approved. These tests have been authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization for use by authorized laboratories. These tests have been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid 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 diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.