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Walgreens limits at-home Covid tests to four per customer due to demand surge amid omicron fears


This photo illustrates the at-home COVID-19 test by Abbott and Quidel. It was taken in Chicago, Illinois, on September 14, 2021.

Scott Olson, Getty Images| Getty Images

WalgreensAs the demand surges for Covid tests ahead of holidays, and as the availability of the Omicron variant expands across the U.S., Tuesday’s limit on Covid testing at home was four to one.

CNBC’s Emily Mekstan stated that Walgreens placed a 4-item limit on the purchase of at-home COVID-19 rapid testing products due to overwhelming demand. Online orders have the same purchase restrictions, she stated.

Mekstan said that the “unprecedented demand” for at-home Covid test results was evident starting after Thanksgiving, and continuing through Christmas. CVS HealthAccording to the company, it also experiences increased demand. They are trying to get as much stock as possible.

CVS spokeswoman Michael DeAngelis said that “In the unlikely event of a local shop experiencing a temporary supply shortage, our team have a process to replenish supply.” He didn’t give any further detail.

Abbott LaboratoriesBionaxNOW is the maker of popular Covid home test BionaxNOW. John Koval, spokesperson for the company, told CNBC that they are shipping the test as soon as possible.

The New York Times reported in AugustAn Abbott factory worker in Maine was told by his supervisor to toss millions of parts as the result of a drop in sales due to low demand. This happened because Covid cases fell throughout June and July.

Koval stated that Abbott did not destroy finished BinaxNOW supplies. He said the test components were in short supply due to the pandemic. Koval stated that Abbott now performs 50 million tests per month and production is expected to rise to 70 million by January.

Americans still need to have the test done as soon as possible in order to travel comfortably through crowded airports or on board full-sized planes for the holiday season. At-home testing is convenient and fast for many people who want to ensure they are Covid negative before traveling or attending social events.

Bill de Blasio, the outgoing New York City Mayor on Monday stated that his administration will work with the White House in order to reduce the Big Apple’s shortages. New York City, which is experiencing a rapidly expanding omicron epidemic across America, is the center of this outbreak. New infections are increasing in all five boroughs.

De Blasio stated Monday that the supply problems are becoming more difficult as testing across the country is increasing rapidly.

Omicron has a higher transmission rate than other strains.  In a real world study, BioNTech and Pfizer’s booster vaccine provided high protection against symptoms. Data from South Africa shows that the original two-dose series is still effective in protecting against severe illnesses. The data shows that the original series of vaccinations is only 33% effective for preventing infections.