SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Kroger Health announced Wednesday the launch of rapid antibody testing across its pharmacy locations. By the end of November, the tests will be available in the Coastal Empire and the Lowcountry.
Kroger previously offered in-clinic and at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests. The rapid antibody tests will tell patients if they have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2.
The rapid antibody tests are FDA-authorized, supplied by Whitmire Medical, and are conducted using a finger-prick blood sample. They are currently available at Kroger pharmacies in California and Michigan and will be available at all Kroger pharmacies by the end of November.
Tests cost $25 and typically provide results within 15 minutes, Kroger says.
Anyone who believes they may have previously been infected with COVID-19 and is not currently having symptoms are eligible for the test.
Kroger says the rapid antibody tests may provide information about past infections of patients who were unable to get access to testing while they were sick.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroger Heath has remained committed to helping people live healthier lives by offering in-clinic and at-home COVID-19 testing solutions supported by our multi-disciplinary team of licensed, trained and experienced healthcare providers,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. “Making rapid antibody testing available across our family of pharmacies will not only provide an affordable and convenient testing solution for individuals who want to understand if they have previously been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but also help clinicians understand the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and potential public health strategies for fighting the disease.”
Kroger says rapid antibody tests are conducted by a licensed health professional using a fingerstick blood sample and the Assure COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device, a rapid lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay (configured like a blood sugar test) to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
Research is still underway to determine how long antibodies are present following infection and if the presence of antibodies provides protective immunity.