Local Pharmacies Plan To Import Antigen Tests

September 18, 2021 | 17 Comments

Following the Government’s announcement that antigen tests “can now be imported for personal use,” the Phoenix Stores has confirmed they “are in the process of sourcing the antigen tests from reputable vendors.”

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Government: “Antigen Tests Can Now Be Imported For Personal Use”

Last night the Government stated that “Antigen tests can now be imported for personal use” as “the policy was reviewed and adjusted by the Ministry of Health this week.”

“It is hoped that the public can use antigen kits for personal use to empower themselves [whether vaccinated or not] to protect vulnerable persons in their midst, for example, before visiting an elderly relative or before attending a social gathering with loved ones,” the Government said.

“Antigen tests are a rapid screening tool, and a positive antigen result should be followed up immediately with a confirmatory test by PCR. Antigen tests cannot be used to second-guess public health instructions to quarantine or isolate. Public Health tests are based on PCR test results or a risk assessments by the Ministry of Health Officers.”

The Government also added, “It is important to note that there are many fake antigen tests on the market, so the Department of Health will maintain, in collaboration with HM Customs, an oversight role to check and protect importers from fake goods.”

Phoenix “In The Process Of Sourcing The Antigen Tests”

As attempting to self-import the correct antigen tests that will be allowed could be a bit onerous, Bernews reached out to the Phoenix Stores, which runs over half a dozen pharmacies, to see if they planned to make the tests available for sale.

A spokesperson told Bernews, “We are in the process of sourcing the antigen tests from reputable vendors to ensure quality products are made available as there are numerous subpar tests of this kind in the market. We will work closely with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council so antigen tests are sold through a pharmacist and only trusted products are accessible.”

More Details To Be Made Available In The Coming Days

As this is still early stage — the announcement from Government was made less than 24 hours ago — further details such as expected date of arrival and pricing are not yet available, however when they have additional information the Phoenix will advise us; we are just posting this now so people are aware that tests will become available in local stores in the future via the Phoenix and most likely other local pharmacies as well.

For people who may be looking to obtain their own tests from overseas. we asked the Ministry of Health if it is possible to provide a list of approved tests, and if we receive a response we will provide that information.

CDC Information

The CDC website states, “Antigen tests are commonly used in the diagnosis of respiratory pathogens, including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has granted emergency use authorization [EUA] for antigen tests that can identify SARS-CoV-2. See FDA’s list of In Vitro Diagnostics EUAs.

“Antigen tests are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection. Antigen tests are currently authorized to be performed on nasopharyngeal or nasal swab specimens placed directly into the assay’s extraction buffer or reagent. The currently authorized antigen tests include point-of-care, laboratory-based, and self-tests, and they are applicable to people of any age.

“Antigen tests are relatively inexpensive, and most can be used at the point-of-care. Most of the currently authorized tests return results in approximately 15–30 minutes. Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 are generally less sensitive than real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR] and other nucleic acid amplification tests [NAATs] for detecting the presence of viral nucleic acid.”

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You can find more information on the links below from our dedicated website BermudaCovid.com, which is the most comprehensive resource and historic record available of Bermuda’s handling of the pandemic.

  • All Charts: Vaccine, testing & more here
  • Timelines: Dates of major developments here
  • Test results: Chart of testing stats here
  • Vaccine: Data covering vaccinations here
  • Dedicated website: BermudaCovid.com

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Comments (17)

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  1. Rig says:

    They are free in the UK, they should be here too.

    • Tom says:

      They are ‘trinkets’ lol !

    • Question says:

      They are not free in the UK.

      • Rig says:

        Er, yes they are. You simply walk into a UK pharmacy and they give you a box. I did it twice over the summer.

        So tell me when you were in the UK and paid for an antigen test – that’s a lateral flow in the UK. The PCR tests you pay for.

        Facts straight please!

        • Question says:

          So I guess we should pay for our PCR tests like in the UK.

          • trufth says:

            Many of us here in Bermuda DO pay for our testing!

            Those of us that have better things to do than go stand in a 2 hour line with a bunch of potential spreaders make appointments at the various locations and are in and out in a matter of minutes.

          • Taaj says:

            We pay for every other kind of test why not this one?

          • Cat says:

            The NHS test is provided in the UK free of charge. You can get them from Boots

        • Parklife says:

          Nothing is free!
          The UK government are paying for them via taxes collected form the UK citizens.
          Only way will be free here is if BDA government pay for a supplies

    • wahoo says:

      There is a lot of money in covid supplies and testing here.

      • David Rose says:

        BinaxNow cost $24 (2 tests) at CVS in Florida. Will be interesting to see what they cost in Bda.

  2. Philip says:

    Can an individual bring in their own test (say like the ones sold at CVS)

  3. Otrwele says:

    Not to mention that they are unreliable.PCR testing is the gold standard for travel and safe key. Antigen test are not excepted. This alone tells the story that they are not to be trusted. I certainly won’t be staying home because of a false positive antigen test. Use your brain. Oh sorry forgot you don’t have one.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Says the guy who’s so smart he doesn’t know the difference between ‘except/ed’ and ‘accept/ed’ lol

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