The Friday Five – 5 Reasons Why the World Still Needs Rapid COVID-19 Tests
Today’s Friday Five is brought to you by Alveo Technologies (@AlveoTech), an infectious disease testing company that is leading the transformation of the consumer health tech market with a low-cost, easy-to-use diagnostic platform that will change the way infectious diseases are detected and managed.
While attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccinations are improving, a recent poll showed that 13% of American respondents said they will “definitely not” be vaccinated. This “vaccine hesitancy,” which may delay or prevent us from reaching herd immunity, is one major reason why testing will continue to be important.
Pandemic Not Ending Anytime Soon
At the current pace of global vaccinations, the COVID-19 pandemic is projected to last 7 more years (Source: Bloomberg). What can we do to prevent the spread of the virus in the meantime? Wear a mask, wash your hands, and test regularly.
Multifaceted Approach Needed
While vaccinations have dominated headlines, vaccines alone will not end the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts say a multifaceted approach that includes testing, along with prevention and containment strategies, is needed to end the pandemic.
Disproportionately Available Vaccines
Immunization is a global public good, yet COVID-19 vaccines are disproportionately available to wealthy countries. Only 0.1% of doses have been administered in low-income countries.
More Testing Needed
A recent analysis by Brown and Harvard Universities found that the U.S. needs to conduct nearly 6 million daily COVID-19 tests to stop outbreaks from growing and protect the most vulnerable. However, as of early March that number stood around 1.5 million per day. Clearly, the nation needs accurate, rapid, and user-friendly at-home testing options.
The next crucial step in managing the pandemic
Ron Chiarello, PhD, CEO and founder of Alveo Technologies explains that the four key market needs for any COVID-19 test are: 1) low cost per test 2) accessible, easy to use and readily available 3) enables rapid time to treatment, and 4) high performance.
“The lightning-quick development and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine have been among humanity’s greatest scientific achievements in recent decades, but we can’t allow this accomplishment to distract us from one next critical step in managing the pandemic: the development of rapid, accessible, and accurate COVID-19 at-home tests,” Chiarello said.