More than a million free rapid COVID tests have been distributed to pharmacies across Quebec, starting today (December 20). Shawville Pharmacist Marc Aufranc said that to access these tests you must be a Quebec resident, and simply present your health card to receive a kit. Each resident over the age of 14 is entitled to one kit every 30 days.
He said that they had already distributed 108 kits of 5 tests before noon Monday, but he was hopeful he would receive another shipment before the end of the week.
Pharmaceutical distributors in Quebec have been mandated by public health authorities to ensure the distribution of more than 800,000 kits, each containing five tests, to pharmacies in all regions by the start of the holiday season. According to Aufranc, it is generally a reliable tool, but those that test positive should follow up at a local testing site to confirm.
Advantages and limitations of rapid tests:
make results available after a few minutes (the time varies depending on the test);
are useful for quickly identifying infected people;
can be easily used by everyone;
there is a possibility of a false positive, therefore, people who test positive on a rapid antigenic test should have their result confirmed with a laboratory test (NAAT).
The full interview with Aufranc is available here.