antigenic tests now available to vulnerable people and those over 65

People over 65 and those with co-morbidities who are at risk of developing a severe form of Covid-19 now have access to antigen tests performed by doctors, pharmacists or nurses. This provision, awaited for several weeks by health professionals, was confirmed on Tuesday November 17 by publication at Official newspaper of an order specifying the official doctrine concerning the deployment strategy of these rapid tests.

The government is indeed basing many hopes on these tests, which provide a result between fifteen to thirty minutes after the nasopharyngeal swab and has made them one of the pillars of its screening strategy, in particular for deconfinement. Since the announcement by the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, of the order for 5 million tests in mid-September, some 270,000 tests have been carried out in experimentation, according to data communicated by the Ministry of Health, including 208 000 from nursing home staff, 12,800 from air passengers and 41,900 from patients admitted urgently to a health establishment.

Read also: Complicated beginnings for antigen testing in France

Since October 26, it is therefore possible to go to a pharmacy, to his doctor or to a nurses’ office to carry out an antigen test without a prescription and with full coverage by Medicare. According to the new doctrine, priority is given to symptomatic people no later than four days after the onset of symptoms. However, it is recommended for people over 65 or vulnerable whose
result is negative to consult their doctor and confirm their result by test
RT-PCR.

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Contraindication for contact cases

According to the ministry, “It is also possible to perform a test on an asymptomatic person, as part of a diagnostic process, if the
professional considers it necessary “
. Collective screening actions can also be organized within targeted populations, such as those in high schools, factories, collective accommodation or nursing homes. Despite everything, these tests remain contraindicated for contact cases. An apparent contradiction which leaves a blur for health professionals. “The message has been scrambled by too much discordant information”, underlines Corrine Le Sauder, president of the Federation of Doctors of France.

Several orders have been placed, according to the ministry, to ensure the security of supplies: 5 million tests ordered by the purchasing centers of health establishments, 5 million by Public Health France and a pre-order of 20 million via the ordering mechanism. European group. But “In the field, antigenic tests are sorely lacking”, denounced again on November 10 the National Union of Liberal Nurses.

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