I’m sure we’re all sick and tired of playing that super fun game “is it COVID or is it the flu”. Well, Australia is one step closer to knowing when that game will end after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) set out the relevant guidelines.
If all goes to plan, the earliest we could be seeing at-home, rapid antigen tests for the flu would be early next year.
“Legislation which allowed their use is a relatively recent thing in the context of a regulated medical product,” said biotech company Lumos’s Sam Lanyonas per the Sydney Morning Herald.
“For Influenza self-testing specifically, the guidelines for these were only first published by the TGA this year so it will take some time before we see tests enter the Australian market.”
But hang on, don’t we already have PCR flu tests? Why is it so hard to copy/paste that technology into a fun-sized at-home test that we can shove up our own noses?
The answer lies with the aforementioned TGA.
The TGA is Australia’s medical regulator and calls the shots on whether things pass the test of being medically safe to sell en masse.
Currently, the TGA has approved 8 tests that can detect the flu. This is why we know there have been 90,000 cases of the flu on our shores so far this year as per Guardian Australia.
The issue is, we’re only allowed to access these tests in a certified medical setting such as a PCR clinic.
Check out our full explainer here on what yucky nose goobies you can now get tested for with a PCR.
The TGA has only recently released the guidelines biotech companies need to get their flu RATs certified in Australia.
This means the date for flu RATs in Australia will be pushed back until they can get all the required safety tests completed and ready to present to the TGA for approval.
As I’m sure you’re all aware by this point, there’s been a heightened volume of snot floating around Australia these past few months. So same rules as always, punks. If ya feeling sick, stay home/get tested.
In the meantime, most states offer a free flu shot! More on that here.