Today’s Infectious Disease News (1/11/23)

Many Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests from Government Will Expire Soon

Every US household can now order four at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government. Many of these rapid antigen tests, however, are nearing their expiration dates. Last summer the FDA extended the tests’ shelf life by up to six months after the manufacturers proved they lasted longer than originally known. Yet some of the tests arriving at Americans’ homes are quickly approaching the extended expiration dates. The free tests are produced by one of two companies: Abbott, which manufactures BinaxNOW, and iHealth. The latest extended expiration date is in April for BinaxNow tests and in February for iHealth kits. The government is directing people who want to see the true expiration dates to the FDA website. This page provides a list of extended expiration dates organized according to the test’s lot number, which can be found on the back of each box. People interested in ordering test kits can visit this USPS page.

Full Story: NBC News (Bendix, 2023), NBC News (Bendix & Varinsky, 2022)