FDA allows Florida to use 1M expired COVID-19 tests

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The FDA has extended the shelf life of nearly 1 million rapid COVID-19 test kits that first expired in a Florida warehouse in September, the Miami Herald reported Jan. 11. 

It's the second time the expiration date has been extended. When the test kits first expired in September, the federal government granted Florida an extension to use the kits by late December. In a Jan. 7 letter obtained by the Herald, the FDA said Abbott Diagnostics, the tests' manufacturer, had demonstrated proof that the kits would remain stable for at least 15 months if stored at room temperature — a timeline that enabled the additional three month extension. 

The FDA updated the emergency use authorizations for the test kits, which enabled the extensions. 

Nikki Fried, the state's agriculture commissioner, has sharply criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis for the stockpile of expired kits during a period of high demand. 

"Floridians were waiting hours in lines to receive potentially lifesaving information while the state was sitting on expiring tests," Ms. Fried told the Herald. "Now that we know their usage is going to be extended, my question to the governor is this: What is the plan to immediately get them out to the public?"

A spokesperson for Mr. DeSantis told the news outlet that Florida did not want to distribute test kits after the initial December deadline because they didn't want people using potentially faulty tests.

 

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