An employee works in a protective suit in a laboratory of the biotech company Qiagen in Germany, September 8, 2020.
Fabian Strauch | picture alliance | Getty Images
German genetic testing company Qiagen announced Tuesday that it plans to launch a new antigen test for the coronavirus that it says could eventually be deployed in airports and stadiums if it receives the appropriate authorizations.
The company said it plans to launch two versions of the antigen test in the U.S. later this year: one version that’s meant to be processed in a clinical laboratory and another that’s portable and can be processed at point of care. The company has not yet applied for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration but said it plans to.
If the test, called the Access Antigen Test, is granted FDA authorization for point-of-care use and if it’s waived from the requirements under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, Qiagen said, the test could be used in high-volume settings such as airports and stadiums to test people with symptoms. Rapidly testing symptomatic people could become increasingly important in the fall and winter as seasonal influenza, which causes many of the same early symptoms as
Dr. Chris Kjolhede is focused on the children of central New York.
As co-director of school-based health centers at Bassett Healthcare Network, the pediatrician oversees about 21 school-based health clinics across the region — a poor, rural area known for manufacturing and crippled by the opioid epidemic.
From ankles sprained during recess to birth control questions, the clinics serve as the primary care provider for many children both in and out of the classroom. High on the to-do list is making sure kids are up to date on required vaccinations, said Kjolhede.
But, in March, COVID upended the arrangement when it forced schools to close.
“It was like, holy smokes,” he said, “what’s going to happen now?”
Schools play a pivotal role in U.S. vaccination efforts. Laws require children to have certain immunizations to enroll and attend classes.
But this academic year, to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, many school districts have opted to start classes online. The decision takes away much of the back-to-school leverage pushing parents to stay current on their children’s shots,