At a glance
- Suitable for all ages
- Results available in 15 minutes
- Approved by Health Canada for antigen self-testing
- Not approved for travel to/from Canada (may be approved by other destination countries)
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Chicago-based medical device manufacturer, Abbott, has gained approval from Health Canada for 2 COVID self-testing kits: The Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test and the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test. Both are single-use, at-home COVID tests that can determine if you have an active COVID-19 infection.
The Panbio antigen test is more readily available in Canada than the BinaxNOW antigen test. The Panbio antigen test is easy to use, and results are ready in 15 minutes.
You can buy Abbott Panbio antigen test kits in Canada from several retailers. Note that stock availability can fluctuate.
Rapid Test & Trace sells the Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test kit. You will be able to view your results at home in as little as 15 minutes. Beware that a minimum order of 1 box of 25 tests is required.
Other retailers that sell the Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-test in Canada:
Note: Currently, rapid antigen tests are not approved for travel to/from Canada. You need a molecular test (like a PCR test) to get proof that you’re COVID free for travelling.
This Boson rapid antigen test is fast and very easy to use, you will get results in just 20 minutes or less. This rapid antigen test is approved by Health Canada. (Note: Rapid antigen tests may not be accepted for travel.) Regular:
$249.00 ($12.49 per test)
Sale: $199.99 for 20 tests ($10 per test) GET FREE SHIPPING WHEN YOU BUY 2+ BOXES
Go Test Rapide's Antigen At-Home Service Tele-test is approved by Health Canada. Once you received your test, a trained professional will give you a call to will walk you through the process. (Note: Rapid antigen tests may not be accepted for travel.)Regular: $65 for 1 test
Approved by Health Canada, these tests provide results in as little as 15-20 minutes. Tests can be done at home. No medical supervision or lab work required! (Note: Rapid antigen tests may not be accepted for travel.)Regular: $159.99 for 20 tests ($8 per test)
The Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test is easy to use. (If you’re taking the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test, you have the option of downloading Abbott’s NAVICA mobile app by scanning the QR code on the instruction sheet included with your kit. This app makes it easy to store, access and display your test results.)
Included in each Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test package are the following items:
Health Canada approved the Abbott Panbio antigen test on December 21, 2021. The BinaxNOW antigen test was approved a month later on January 12, 2022. The Panbio antigen test is also approved for use in other countries including Germany, France and India.
As of the time of writing, the Abbott Panbio test is not approved for sale in the US. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test for emergency use on March 31, 2021. This means that companies can start selling products faster in unusual circumstances, such as during a pandemic.
According to the Abbott Panbio product sheet, the test correctly identifies people who are infected with COVID 91.4–94.1% of the time (test “sensitivity”). It correctly identifies people who are COVID free 99.8% of the time (test “specificity”).
If you test positive for COVID, contact your primary healthcare professional and follow Health Canada’s guidelines on exposure and quarantine. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on your test result along with your medical history and symptoms.
If your rapid antigen test results are negative but symptoms continue, visit a medical clinic and consider taking a RT-PCR test (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test).
This is a type of molecular test, which is generally considered more accurate than an antigen test because it identifies the presence of COVID at the genetic level. PCR tests are approved for travel to and from Canada. Learn more in our guide.
At-home rapid COVID tests—also called rapid antigen tests—detect protein fragments specific to SAR-CoV-2. It’s a convenient way to test for COVID-19 without needing to leave your home or find a testing center. It reports results in as little as 15 minutes but isn’t as accurate as a PCR test (a type of molecular test).
Rapid tests are most accurate for those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. While the false-positive rate is very low, the false negative rate is up to 50%.
You may be able to get free rapid antigen COVID tests for your business or organization from the Government of Canada and some provincial/territorial governments.
Large businesses that qualify for free tests and have 200+ employees will be supplied by the federal government. Businesses that qualify and have 0-199 employees will be supplied by provincial/territorial governments. Registered charities, non-profit and Indigenous organizations will be supplied by the Red Cross.
To apply for free tests, visit the federal government’s website and be prepared to provide the following details:
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