COVID19 tests now available to buy in pharmacies in Spain without prescription
Covid19 tests 20th July 20201 - Before today, if you wanted to buy a self-diagnostic test, it was mandatory to present a prescription at the time of purchase. Now, with the modification of Royal Decree 1662/2000, the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, will replace this provision allowing self-tests to be purchased without a prescription.
Although these tests will be available to everyone in all pharmacies in Spain, these self-diagnostic tests DO NOT have official validity, therefore, they can not be used as proof that you have had the virus, nor will their results be valid for going on holiday, they are for personal monitoring of the virus and nothing else.
Types of tests available
Antigen test, this type of self-test allows the user “to carry out the tests without the intervention of a healthcare professional", which will reduce to a certain extent the pressure in healthcare centres andl allow the rapid identification of positive cases ”, according to the decree. They are intended to be used within seven days of the suspected infection, with the first symptoms.
The test is similar to the well-known PCR, and is responsible for detecting at the time the sample is taken, if the person is infected. The protocol of each one will be independent depending on the brand, but they all share the same guideline: a swab of about 3 centimetres that must be inserted to the bottom of a nostril. place this in a small measuring device. In less than 15 minutes, the diagnosis will be ready: if the result is positive, the test (T) and control (C) lines will be marked; if negative, only the control (C). If none appears, the test is faulty.
Antibody tests, these are carried out to detect if a person has been infected and has developed antibodies or immunity against it.
These are useful for monitoring infected people and can also help make a first diagnosis of whether the virus is active or not, but the answer will not be as definitive as in the case of antigens.
This antibody self-test, also known as a serological test, works by drawing a small amount of blood from the finger. The results are quite fast and take no more than five minutes to tell if the person has passed the Covid and developed their immunity, so it is NOT useful to detect if they have the virus at the time of taking the sample.
From the General Council of Pharmaceutical Associations they explain that, as it is an over-the-counter health product, the tests do not have an intervened price and it is the manufacturer that establishes at what value each product will be marketed, so it is impossible to have a fixed price, There will be around eight tests manufactured by different laboratories: three antibodies and five antigen tests, most indicate that the final costs of sale to the public of the antigens will be between 3 - 12 euros depending upon the test used
Information provided by elespanol.com
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