I am hesitantly hopeful about this.

Courtesy of CNN

Abbott Labs got emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for its rapid antigen test, which can detect a Covid-19 infection in 15 minutes.

The test is a “game changer,” according to Brett Giroir, the US assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Investors sure think so: Abbott’s (ABBOTT) stock was up about 8% Thursday morning.

The FDA’s emergency use authorization is for Abbott’s BinaxNOW Covid-19 Ag Card. The size of a credit card, BinaxNOW will cost $5 and will come with a free mobile app that will let people who test negative display a temporary, date-stamped health pass that is renewed each time a new test is taken.

The antigen test, in which involves a nasal swab, uses the same type of technology as a flu test. Abbott says it anticipates producing 50 million BinaxNOW tests a month by October.

“The massive scale of this test and app will allow tens of millions of people to have access to rapid and reliable testing,” said Joseph Petrosino, a professor of virology at Baylor College of Medicine, in a statement released by Abbott.

I have almost lost all confidence in the FDA, but having said that I really hope this test does what they say it does. 

We need faster, more accurate testing, and so any progress in that area is welcome.

Especially if it means increased testing in the US.