Test

Test Sites Quickly Attract Thousands for COVID-19 Vaccine Study

Dr. Eric Coe jumped at the chance to help test a COVID-19 vaccine.

At his urging, so did his girlfriend, his son and his daughter-in-law. All received shots last week at a clinical research site in central Florida.

“My main purpose in doing this was so I could spend more time with my family and grandchildren,” Coe said, noting that he’s seen them only outside and from a distance since March.

“There’s a lot less risk to getting the vaccine than contracting the virus,” said Coe, 74, a retired cardiologist. “The worst thing that can happen is if I get the placebo.”

The Coes’ eagerness to offer up their bodies to science reflects the widespread public interest in participating in the pivotal, late-stage clinical trials of the first two COVID vaccine candidates in the United States.

Those trials began rolling out July 27. During the next two months, vaccine makers

Read More

Analysis: When Is a Coronavirus Test Not a Coronavirus Test?

Desperate to continue the tradition of a family beach week, I hatched a plan that would allow some mask- and sanitizer-enhanced semblance of normality.

We hadn’t seen my two 20-something children in months. They’d spent the lockdown in Brooklyn; one of them most likely had the disease in late March, before testing was widely available. My mother had died of COVID-19 in May.

So a few weeks ago, I rented a cute house on the Delaware shore. It had a screened-in front porch and a little cottage out back, in case someone needed to quarantine.

I asked my son, who had participated in several protests and had been at a small outdoor July Fourth gathering, to get tested before he came. Testing had been recommended by the governor and the mayor, and many centers were offering an anticipated 48-hour turnaround.

He got one and downloaded the app for results. And

Read More

COVID Catch-22: They Got A Big ER Bill Because Hospitals Couldn’t Test For Virus

Fresh off a Caribbean cruise in early March, John Campbell developed a cough and fever of 104 degrees. He went to his primary care physician and got a flu test, which came up negative.

Then things got strange. Campbell said the doctor then turned to him and said, “I’ve called the ER next door, and you need to go there. This is a matter of public health. They’re expecting you.”

It was March 3, and no one had an inkling yet of just how bad the COVID-19 pandemic would become in the U.S.

At the JFK Medical Center near his home in Boynton Beach, Florida, staffers met him in protective gear, then ran a battery of tests — including bloodwork, a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram — before sending him home. But because he had not traveled to China — a leading criterion at the time for coronavirus testing —

Read More

As Problems Grow With Abbott’s Fast COVID Test, FDA Standards Are Under Fire

In mid-May, the Food and Drug Administration issued a rare public warning about an Abbott Laboratories COVID-19 test that for weeks had received high praise from the White House because of its speed: Test results could be wrong.

The agency at that point had received 15 “adverse event reports” about Abbott’s ID NOW rapid COVID test suggesting that infected patients were wrongly told they did not have the coronavirus, which had led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. The warning followed multiple academic studies showing higher “false negative” rates from the Abbott device, including one from New York University researchers who found it missed close to half of the positive samples detected by a rival company’s test.

But then, in a move that confounded lab officials and other public health experts, a senior FDA official later that month said coronavirus tests provided outside lab settings would be

Read More