TGA approves first COVID-19 self-testing kits for use in Australia

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The first COVID-19 self- testing kits have been approved for use in Australia by the medical regulator.

Three rapid antigen test kits will be able to be supplied around the country from November 1 after they were approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration on Thursday.

People will be able to use the tests at home to see if they have COVID.

Two of the tests are oral fluid tests, requiring people to spit into a tube, and the third test is a self administered nasal swab.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said late last month the federal government wanted rapid antigen tests for home use as soon as they had been given the green light and the TGA said they would start making tests available from November 1.

There have been more than 70 applications to the TGA for approval of rapid antigen tests that can be used in the home.

TGA boss Professor John Skerritt said the tests would be made available to purchase through pharmacies, convenience stores and online.

“We’re working very actively with a range of companies, because the current tests are designed for professional use,” Professor Skerritt told a parliamentary committee last month.

Unlike the gold standard PCR testing which is provided free at state-run testing centres, the home kits would be something people purchase themselves.

Rapid antigen tests are already used around the country in a range of settings including aged care facilities and in film and TV production.

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