Companies Begin Selling At-Home COVID-19 Tests In Vending Machines

Thursday, January 28th 2021, 12:16 pm

By: CBS News

There are now several at-home COVID-19 tests on the market. Usually, you have to send away for one or buy it at a store, but one company is selling them in a unique way: in a vending machine.

The company Wellness 4 Humanity unveiled their first machine in New York. Customers purchase the $119 test online and are sent a barcode, which is scanned.

"Simply place it in front of the vending machine," said co-founder of Wellness 4 Humanity Pavel Stuchlik.

Seconds later, the box pops out. Inside is a saliva test that can be done at home and shipped off to a lab.

Once received, results take one or two days. They're advertised to be 99% accurate.

The company plans to roll out a thousand of the machines in locations across the country over the next six months, including "grocery stores, shopping malls, airports, and subway stations," Stuchlik said.

Wellness 4 Humanity is also developing a test with results in 15 minutes. It will eventually be available in the vending machines.

Other companies have similar vending machines that are used in Europe and Asia.

The University of California in San Diego created one with free test kits exclusively for students who are required to get tested at least once a week.

"Swab your nose, put it back there, and then 24 hours later you have your answer," UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said.

People without a convenient vending machine can find at-home tests in stores and online, but results can take days.

Companies like Ellume are planning to offer kits that provide an answer in minutes. Customers take a nasal swab which is read by a Bluetooth connected analyzer and an app. It's expected to cost $30 and be in stores in the coming months.

Some at home tests may be covered by insurance. Experts said it's important to buy one that has received emergency authorization use from the FDA.


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