Antigen rapid test packs as sold in pharmacies / SUR

Pharmacies see sales of Covid-19 antigen tests triple as infections increase

Sales of the kits have soared throughout Spain due to the greater contagiousness of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, which are now the predominant ones in the country

Ángel Escalera
ÁNGEL ESCALERA

Sales of antigen tests to detect coronavirus have increased considerably in pharmacies in Malaga, in many cases tripling.

The president of the Malaga College of Pharmacists, Francisco Florido, told SUR that the population is buying many more antigen tests than at the beginning of the summer, which indicates that infections have risen.

The price set by the government for each test is 2.94 euros. Most people prefer the nasal test (inserting a swab into the nose which collects a sample) to the saliva test, although the efficacy of both methods to confirm or rule out infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 is similar, said Francisco Florido.

The College of Pharmacists and Bidafarma, a cooperative for the distribution of medicines, said that the supply of this product to detect the coronavirus is currently guaranteed.

More contagious

Sales of antigen tests have soared throughout Spain due to the greater contagiousness of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, which are now the predominant ones. These variants are proving to be able to easily infect people who have had three doses of the vaccine or who had increased antibodies from contracting Covid.

Pharmacists give advice to customers buying the self-test on how to use and interpret it. Those consulted said the antigen test should be carried out when there are symptoms such as cough, mucus, fever, headache, etcetera. If it is carried out in the absence of symptoms, it usually gives a negative result, but this does not guarantee that the tester is not infected, as they can be asymptomatic.