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What are the rapid COVID tests approved by Health Canada?

by Julio Santos December 26, 2021

While it is still very hard to find rapid tests in stock, Health Canada has been approving more and more brands for the Canadian market.  At the time this article was written, 25 different rapid tests have been approved with many more pending.  On Wednesday, Jan 5th, the federal government has promised Canada that over the month of January they will be distributing 140 million test kits to the provinces, but massive line-ups and supply chain distributions are making many people resort to buying their own online here.

somebody holding an antigen test

Which are the best options to choose from?  Which ones are the most affordable?  Read on to find out!

Boson - Rapid Antigen Test

myzone test kit


Rapid COVID-19 tests from Boson are approved by Health Canada and have a 94% sensitivity towards giving a correct positive result. These tests are also very economical and come in packs of 20. Each test is $10.00 when you purchase a box of 20, yet you can save 20% if you are buying two or more boxes, making each test just $8.00. That’s the lowest price you can find in Canada for a rapid antigen test.  It is also one of the most widely available.

Cons: One drawback to the cost savings is that these rapid test kits can't be easily broken apart into individual tests for distribution with friends.  Each box contains 20 tests, 20 swabs, 20 of everything you need, but only 2 bottles of the buffer solution.  This format of test is called "Point of Care" and is technically supposed to be administered by a healthcare professional, although the only difference we've found from the other home tests that we've tested is the 2 bigger bottles of buffer.

That being said, if you are looking for one of the most accurate and affordable rapid tests in Canada, then Boson is for you.  If you are looking to break up the test with your 5 closest COVID bubble friends, keep reading.

          >> Buy Boson Rapid Tests from MyZone Health Here <<

Abbott – Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

panbio covid test


Although Abbott is known for its medical technology, the
Panbio test isn’t the most accurate in confirming positive cases. For those showing symptoms within the first week of contracting COVID, these tests give a positive sensitivity rate ranging from 54.2% up to 69.1%. It is also one of the most expensive tests, ranging from $15 apiece when purchasing a box of 25 and $14 per test when purchasing a quantity over 500 boxes. Although Health Canada approves Panbio, it is not approved for sale yet in the United States.

While Abbott Panbio is very popular, it is also extremely hard to find, with most sites showing backorders delivering as far as 30 days out.

BTNX – Rapid Response COVID-19 Antigen Test

response test


The
BTNX Covid test kit offers results in just 15 minutes and is self-administered via a short nasal swab. Tests come in a box of 25, and one package is $11 per test, and quantities of 500 packs or more bring the cost down to $10 per test. However, the sensitivity of these tests is very broad, with a range of 78.6% - 96.2% in determining a positive COVID-19 case correctly. These tests are approved by FDA, Health Canada, and other organizations worldwide.

These are the main tests that the government of Canada has been distributing for free at various drop points across the country.  Given the government's mass-buying of this test, it is very challenging to find availability online, unless you don't have any ethical concerns buying them from somewhat crafty folks on places like Kijiji.ca.

Ecotest – COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

ecotest covid test


Although
kits from Ecotest are available in a finger-prick method, for comparison’s sake, our information concerns their kits that involve a nasal swab. These tests can detect both viable and nonviable virus particles in the nasal passageways. The cost is as little as $8.50 per test if you need 500 or more boxes (they come in packages of 20) or $10.50 per test for a single box of 20 trials. The Health Canada approved Ecotest has a high sensitivity towards correctly determining positive cases with a 93.5% accuracy.

Ecotest is currently sold out in most Canadian retailers but have promised that more product is arriving later in January.

Roche – SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test

roche rapid test

This shallow nasal test kit has 25 testing sets per box, with an expiration date of up to 18 months after purchase. One good thing about these test kits is that they get less expensive when you buy them in quantity. However, you need to buy a lot to get a deep discount. Prices range from $14 per test (in a box of 25, for 1-3 packs) to as low as $12 per test (in a box of 25, for 1000 or more boxes). The Roche tests are approved by Health Canada and have an accuracy of positive case diagnosis ranging from 82.5% to 91.2%.

One thing we really like about this test is that the buffer solution is in pre-filled individualize tubes, so its easy to share a box with friends & family.

Roche - Sars-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test is currently on backorder until later in January.

References:
Health Canada approved rapid tests (25)
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