Fact Finders: Are your free COVID-19 Test Kits really expiring?
The program allows 3 orders of free at-home tests per residential address.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Millions of people have ordered the free at-home COVID-19 test kits from the Federal Government. And, one of our viewers with an iHealth kit noticed the expiration date. The one we have expires on August 11th.
On this Fact Finders, the viewer wants to know; Should you throw them out?
One billion at-home tests are available to the American people for free. The program allows 3 orders of free at-home tests per residential address (16 tests total). Most Americans are getting the iHealth kits. And they’re noticing expiration dates in July and August.
Now, it flew a bit under the radar when the FDA issued this letter on July 8th. It extended the shelf life of those iHealth test kits from 6-to 12 months.
“When they were initially approved, they kind of did an estimation of how long that they weren’t good for and accurate. But with additional time, they’re able to do kind of more specific studies on how stable they are. And if they have more extensive, like 12 to 18 month information, they can reapply to the FDA and ask for an extension. And as long as all of their test results look good and are still accurate. And the FDA allows them to extend that time,” explained Medical Director Dr. Nancy Yoon of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
The best way to check the new expiration date on your iHealth kits is to go here to the company website. iHealth lets you enter the lot number and it will spit out the new expiration date. The lot number is on the lower right portion of the back of the box.
Now, there are more than 20 different manufacturers of COVID-19 at-home kits. The FDA has put out a list of those brands on its website. See the list here. In many cases, there will be a link allowing you to type the lot number to get the latest info on that brand’s expiration date.
For other questions The Food and Drug Administration has an FAQ section on COVID-19 test kits here.
Circling back to the viewer’s question, should you throw them out? NO, not yet. Check the new expiration date and keep the COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kits until they do expire.
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