HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — COVID-19 tests are in high demand, and stores are completely sold out, but local pharmacies are working to get more tests for the community.
Dr. Bobby Muñiz, the pharmacist at Muñiz Rio Grande Pharmacy, said they offer a rapid antigen test with 15-minute results at the pharmacy, but ran out of tests last week and hope to get more in the next two weeks.
“We’re actually using pharmaceutical-grade hardware to actually test. We’re using a system for rapid testing and the results are a lot more accurate,” said Dr. Muñiz.
Muñiz said he has not offered at-home COVID-19 tests at the pharmacy and does not plan on starting.
“Patients are coming in doing the home tests and they’re not comfortable with it. They have the symptoms, they’re not feeling good, they get a negative on their home tests, they come in just to make sure and it’s positive. So, we’re seeing lots of false negatives,” he explained.
He said that false negatives could happen for several reasons, including people incorrectly administering the test to themselves.
“One is they haven’t built up the antibodies, that’s two or three days it takes for them to build the antibodies, maybe they’re testing too soon that’s number one and number two, maybe the tests are unreliable, that could a possibility,” he said.
“In order to meet the needs of our patients and our community we immediately started looking for other options, they are sold out right now, but we did secure one shipment of 500 or so that will be coming in in the next day or so,” said Dr. Stout.
He said when they initially sold the home tests they quickly sold out.
“They did sell out almost immediately because of the high demand for those at-home test kits right now with the surge of covid cases and everything else that we’re experiencing,” he said.
He explained the tests offered at Garcia’s Pharmacy are reliable.
“The reliability of this test is something that is asked often, and it is 99% reliable,” said Dr. Stout.
Dr. Stout explained that the community has been understanding of the test shortage.