CVS limits sales of at-home COVID-19 tests due to high demand

CVS Health is limiting purchases of its rapid, over-the-counter COVID-19 tests, stipulating that customers may buy a maximum of six packages online and four in its pharmacies, Bloomberg reported Aug. 26.

The company imposed the limitation "in order to serve our customers’ OTC testing needs, and due to high demand," a CVS spokesperson told Bloomberg.

The limitations apply to two tests, one manufactured by Abbott and the other by Australia-based startup Ellume. 

Abbott said its supply of at-home tests will be limited for the next few weeks as it hires more employees and restarts manufacturing lines it had slowed earlier in the summer when testing demand fell. Ellume said it's working to begin 24-hour production of its test and is opening a manufacturing facility in the U.S. 

At-home COVID-19 tests first became available in stores this spring, and public health experts say they have been an underutilized tool in the fight against the pandemic. Some infectious disease epidemiologists argue that the at-home antigen tests could be particularly useful for tracking COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant, which appears to cause people to become infectious sooner and shed more virus particles than other variants. 


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