Maker of Popular Covid Test Told Factory to Destroy Inventory

Addressing the challenges forward within the U.S., Abbott’s public affairs director, Aly Morici, stated in an e-mail that it was “difficult to scale up on a dime, but we’re doing so again.” She acknowledged that “there will be some supply constraints over the coming weeks.”

Abbott invited employees again to the plant in Maine this month to meet what it described in a letter as “unexpected manufacturing needs.” But it’s unclear what number of workers will return. They would forgo weeks of being paid for doing no work, as offered for of their severance packages, with solely a two-week “thank you” pay extension and no assure that their jobs will final.

The firm was not on this place in early 2020. Anticipating the necessity for fast, dependable exams that required no specialised gear, Abbott assembled a crew of about 100 scientists, supply-chain consultants and engineers to design BinaxNOW in a extremely compressed time-frame. “Everybody was working nonstop,” Mr. Ford stated. “This is ultimately what Abbott was built for.”

The take a look at strip, resembling the one on a being pregnant stick, is much less delicate than PCR however delivers outcomes on the spot, permitting an organization or college to take rapid motion.

The F.D.A. granted BinaxNOW emergency authorization final August. A day later, the U.S. authorities introduced plans to purchase 150 million of the exams for $760 million — $5 a take a look at, plus transport — to be utilized in settings together with nursing houses and colleges.

Friendship Public Charter School in Washington obtained 20,000 government-purchased BinaxNOW exams free of cost as half of a pilot program supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Patricia A. Brantley, the college’s chief government, stated that 70 p.c of college students’ dad and mom opted in for them to bear weekly testing. Children as younger as three submitted to a swipe within the nostril in alternate for a sticker. “Testing is still an important part of the strategy not only to reopen schools but to keep them open,” Ms. Brantley stated.

Northwestern University additionally adopted BinaxNOW early, testing college students twice every week. The college carried out up to 5,000 speedy exams a day, in accordance to Luke Figora, the college’s vp for operations.

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