Rapid antigen tests: When will RAT stock be available?
Case numbers are surging, testing centres are clogged and rapid antigen tests (RATs) are in high demand. So where do you turn?
Rapid antigen tests (RAT) have quickly become the toilet paper of 2022. These at-home tests to detect COVID-19 are in high demand and short supply across the country.
Pharmacies, online stockists and retailers are all finding it difficult to locate supply (see table below). Much of it stems from difficulties getting stock into the country and then distributed, an issue the government says will soon be solved.
But what do we do in the meantime?
With prices surging in some sectors and Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning against "price gouging", this is where the situation stands with some of Australia's biggest retailers.
Which retailers have rapid antigen tests available?
Firstly, at the time of writing, a number of suppliers are simply out of stock. The situation changes rapidly, but this particular scenario has been unfolding throughout this week. Catch, Healthy Life, Coles, Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse are among the outlets unable to get stock.
For the majority of other options, you are looking at a wait time after pre-ordering RAT kits, but even that is changing rapidly. For example you could pre-order a 2-pack of InnoScreen tests from Amazon, with delivery time expected between 27 January and 4 February. But that has now been updated to no stock available.
The trend the past few days has been for order times to be regularly pushed back. Hi Craft has a wide selection of tests available to order, with delivery starting from 31 January as of last night. That is now 3 February.
Kogan's stocks have been diminished, but at the time of writing it has a couple of 5-packs and a 20-pack, with delivery starting from 15 February. Rapid Antigen Australia has 20-packs of saliva or nasal tests and delivery from 24 January.
COVIDtestonline had been selling up to 4 types of packs, but that has slowly whittled down and the site is now among those out of stock. You can see the full, updated breakdown of options below.
We're sure many of you have seen people, or sadly been those people yourself, walking past the "Sold Out" signs outside chemists and still entering stores to enquire optimistically about availability.
You can try your luck that way or jump online or on the phone first to do some research for your best shot at getting your hands on a test. You can also learn more about covid testing in Australia here.
Does your company belong in this list?
Eds note: we updated this story at 4.40pm AEDT on Friday 14 January.