Abbott Labs’ rapid COVID-19 tests begin to ship worldwide

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) began shipping out its new COVID-19 rapid tests this week, as both the U.S. government and World Health Organization have ordered the low-cost test.

The White House Monday announced that 150 million of the $5 tests would be shipped in the coming weeks, many to nursing homes and assisted living communities and other populations vulnerable to spread of the coronavirus. The World Health Organization, through a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has also ordered 120 million tests from Abbott and South Korea-based SD Biosensor to be shipped to low-income countries over the next six months.

The Food and Drug Administration in late August approved emergency use authorization for the tests, which are the size of a credit card and take 15 minutes to produce results. Chicago-based Abbott has said the Westbrook production plant, which opened in July, will produce 50 million tests a month by October. The company’s Maine headquarters are in Scarborough. Read more

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