Sep 11, 2023 - News

How to check if at-home COVID tests are valid after Philly recall

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Philadelphia is recalling thousands of counterfeit at-home COVID tests as the city prepares for a potential spike in cases this fall and winter.

Why it matters: People may be rummaging through closets and cupboards for old tests amid a late summer COVID-19 wave — and as insurance coverage and federal assistance for them has lapsed or changed, Axios' Shauneen Miranda writes.

Driving the news: City health officials say residents who received Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Tests with lot number COV2110012 should toss them out.

  • Those tests aren't listed on the FDA's shelf-life extension website. City officials confirmed they weren't legitimate after sending a sample to manufacturer ACON Laboratories.

By the numbers: The Public Health Department distributed about 4,000 of the more than 100,000 invalid tests and provided about 43,000 to community partners.

Between the lines: The department discovered the invalid tests when checking expiration dates, which the Food and Drug Administration has extended for more than half of the 36 approved at-home, over-the-counter COVID tests.

Be smart: The FDA has issued guidance on tests' expiry dates, saying an extension "means the manufacturer provided data showing that the shelf-life is longer than was known when the test was first authorized."

  • The FDA says it will continue to update the list as more "shelf-life extensions are authorized."

How to check your test's viability: First, follow the FDA's table on extended expiration dates and search for the specific manufacturer and name matching the test's box label.

  • Next, under the "Expiration Date" column, check if it has an "Extended Expiration Date" link listed.
  • After clicking on the "Extended Expiration Date" link, compare the original expiration date using your test's lot number to the newly issued expiration date.

What we're watching: Philly health officials are conducting a full inventory check to make sure all tests are valid.

Go deeper: How to check if old or expired COVID-19 tests still work


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