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What are the benefits of an antigen test vs. PCR for Canadians?

by Julio Santos December 06, 2021

Many words and phrases have popped up in the past few years that we never thought would become a part of our daily lives. Terms like COVID-19, social distancing, and vaccination now have a more personal meaning than they did pre-pandemic. Clarifying some of this terminology is essential for Canadians to make informed decisions, especially when it comes to staying safe and healthy. So, what is COVID testing, and what do you need to know about antigen test vs. PCR test accuracy? Here’s what you need to know and the benefits of an antigen vs. PCR test.

Why get tested for COVID-19 in Canada?

social distancing public poster


Before covering the benefits of testing, it’s vital to clarify the importance of knowing the state of your health, and there are many reasons to get tested. If you’re symptomatic with signs like a cough or headache, it could be something other than COVID, but it’s essential to be sure. Getting tested can help you clarify whether it’s simply a common cold or something more.

To live or work around immunocompromised people, such as the elderly or hospitalized, there’s a need to know whether or not you are contagious. And of course, getting tested can also give you peace of mind to know exactly what is going on with your body, especially if you are asymptomatic. 

What is an antigen COVID test?

technician at lab

Also referred to as a lateral flow test, a COVID-19 rapid antigen test is a way of evaluation that provides results almost immediately. All you have to do is perform the test and wait 15-20 minutes for your results. These quick exams are perfect for systematic analysis and those travelling or participating in an event where they need results quickly. However, it’s also essential to know the difference between an antigen test vs. PCR testing.

What is a PCR COVID test?

person holding poster that says "coronavirus"

Although PCR test results come pretty quickly, they aren’t nearly as speedy as antigen tests. PCR COVID testing is simple, but the results aren’t available until a few days post-sampling. In some cases, results can come in as little as 24-hours, but most take at least three days for an answer. PCR test accuracy is precise, yet the waiting period can be difficult in some circumstances.

What are the benefits of rapid testing?

woman in public

Although both methods provide accurate results, being able to take the antigen test in the privacy of your own home is a big plus. The other main positive about an antigen vs. PCR test is the amount of time it takes to get your results in Canada. With an antigen test, you can know within a few minutes instead of multiple days. Plus, you can take a rapid antigen test at home vs. having to collect a sample and send your results for analysis as with a PCR test. 

MyZone’s rapid antigen tests are available in kits of 20 tests for you to take at home, and head here to place your order. Get the peace of mind you need while having the convenience of being able to privately, safely, and accurately test whenever you need.
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