As the province grapples with surging cases of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant, many Metro Vancouver residents must wait in long lines to access rapid testing at clinics.
While locals have been able to order rapid antigen tests online, they often have to wait several days to receive a shipment. Since Omicron has a notably short incubation rate (in comparison to other strains), people are eager to get tested as soon as possible.
Earlier this week, Vancouver Is Awesome reported that a local pharmacy was selling COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. The Pharmasave Mount Pleasant located at 2140 Main Street was selling Rapid Response COVID-19 Antigen tests manufactured by BTNX Inc. A kit came with five tests and cost $124.99. However, they are currently out of stock of the tests and waiting for another shipment.
Christine Antler, region director of Pharmasave Drugs (West) Ltd., told V.I.A. in an emailed statement that Pharmasave pharmacies are independently owned and operated.
"To serve the needs of their community, Pharmasave owners may independently source products, including Health Canada approved Rapid Antigen Tests, through trusted vendors," she explained. "At this time, the supply of Rapid Antigen Tests is very limited across B.C."
Antler could not provide a list of locations that currently have testing kits available for sale. A couple of the locations that V.I.A. phoned noted that they expect shipments of them to come in next week. The Pharmasave at Broadway and Oak stated that it intends to have a single test available for purchase, too.
Where to get the cheapest COVID-19 rapid antigen tests right now in Vancouver
For locals looking to score the lowest price on testing kits, Rexall pharmacies across the city are selling COVID-19 rapid antigen kits.
Rexall locations, including ones at 499 Granville St., 1055 W Georgia St., 200 Burrard St., and more, currently have rapid antigen tests available in packs of two tests for $29.99.
The QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test promises results in 10 minutes and the store is limiting four kits per person. Quantities are limited.
A grocery delivery service app called Tiggy is also delivering Rapid Response COVID-19 Antigen Tests in a 5-pack, while supplies last; there is a limit of one pack per household.
The company told V.I.A. that the kits are currently selling for $89.99 for a pack but that a new supplier could cause the price to change slightly. Find out more information about the delivery service online.
London Drugs told V.I.A. in an emailed statement that it is still waiting for a shipment of rapid tests.
"We can provide further comment once we have confirmation of inventory being received," said the company.
V.I.A. has reached out to Loblaw Inc. (parent company of Shoppers Drug Mart) for comment as well.