From Thursday, November 19th, pharmacies in Austria have been allowed to carry out coronavirus antigen testing.
The Austrian Chamber of Pharmacists has now produced an extensive list of which pharmacies can carry out the tests in each federal state.
There are currently dozens of pharmacies which can carry out the tests, although the list is expected to expand in the coming weeks.
How does it work?
The tests will cost between €25 and €40. While the tests will be available to everyone, an appointment will need to be made and the person taking the test must be symptom free.
According to Austria’s Kurier newspaper, the tests are “available immediately”, provided the pharmacy has met a set of requirements laid out by health officials.
In order to be allowed to dispense the tests, pharmacists will be required to register with the Chamber and have completed training on how to administer a throat swab.
In addition, the area in which the tests are taken must be in a spatially different area to where the usual customer traffic arrives in the pharmacy.
Demand for the tests is large, reports Kurier, with “requests coming in constantly”.
Several pharmacies have been registered in each federal state, however there is as yet no state or nationwide register set up for which pharmacies are offering tests.
Unlike PCR tests, antigen tests can provide a result in less than an hour. However, they are less accurate as they measure surface proteins of Covid-19 particles.
This means that they are most effective for people who are highly infectious – i.e. with a high viral load. This means that unlike PCR tests there is the possibility that positive people may falsely receive a negative test result.