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Vending machines selling COVID-19 home testing kits are coming to several major US cities

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Vending machines selling COVID-19 home testing kits are coming to several major US cities including NYC, LA, and Dallas within weeks – but will cost up to a hefty $149

  • Wellness 4 Humanity announced plans to roll out the machines on Sunday
  • They will soon be available is several major US cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas
  • The machines will dispense both Emergency Use Authorized rapid antigen tests and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) saliva tests 
  • Test prices vary between $130 and $149, according to the company

COVID-19 home testing kits will soon be available to purchase from vending machines in a number of major cities across the US – but tests will come with a hefty price tag of up $149.

Health company Wellness 4 Humanity announced plans to roll out the machines on Sunday, and said they will first be available for use in the likes of New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas in the coming weeks.

The vending machines will dispense both Emergency Use Authorized rapid antigen tests and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) saliva tests. Test prices vary between $130 and $149.

The saliva tests, which Wellness 4 Humanity (W4H) says are 99 percent accurate, will be available first and come equipped with a prepaid FedEx shipping label, so they can be sent to the company’s partner lab, with results returned within 48 hours.

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The company said it will also stock the machines with TRUSTPASS Rapid Antigen At-Home Testing Kits at a later date. Those tests provide results in just 15 minutes, with no shipping or lab work required, and have a 97.4 percent accuracy rate.

Health company Wellness 4 Humanity announced plans to roll out the machines on Sunday, and said they will first be available for use in the likes of New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas (pictured above is a machine in operation at Oakland International Airport, CA)

Health company Wellness 4 Humanity announced plans to roll out the machines on Sunday, and said they will first be available for use in the likes of New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas (pictured above is a machine in operation at Oakland International Airport, CA)

The vending machines will dispense both Emergency Use Authorized rapid antigen tests and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) saliva tests

Saliva test shown above

The vending machines will dispense both Emergency Use Authorized rapid antigen tests and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) saliva tests (shown above). Test prices vary between $130 and $149

The machines all feature contactless purchase capabilities in addition to payment options on the buyer’s mobile device.

According to the NY Post, one of W4H’s machines will be placed at 225 W. 34th St., in Midtown Manhattan, by the end of the month.

Other W4H machines are already in operation at Oakland International Airport, in California, and at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Georgia. 

‘These vending machines are a significant milestone in helping to provide Americans with easier access to fast, highly accurate COVID-19 testing,’ Wellness 4 Humanity co-founder and CEO Lian Nguyen Pham said in a press release.

‘We’ve seen similar vending machines placed in highly populated, highly trafficked areas of Hong Kong and the United Kingdom to help contain the spread of the virus and, given the surge in cases the U.S. is currently experiencing, we hope to roll out our vending machines as soon as possible.’

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W4H said it partnered with the San Francisco-based tech firm Swyft to bring the venture to fruition.

In 2020, Swyft placed placed personal protective equipment-dispensing vending machines in 10 subway stations throughout NYC, in partnership with the MTA.

The machines all feature contactless purchase capabilities in addition to payment on the buyer’s mobile device (pictured: a customer of a vending machine at an Airport in Atlanta poses with his rapid test results)

The machines all feature contactless purchase capabilities in addition to payment on the buyer’s mobile device (pictured: a customer of a vending machine at an Airport in Atlanta poses with his rapid test results)

The University of California in San Diego unveiled their own plans at the beginning of the month to install 11 test dispenser machines around its campus

Outside of the US, residents of Hong Kong were able to gets tests from vending machines starting December 7, 2020. Those machines were placed in transit stations across the region

Similar machines are already in operation at the University of California (left) and in Honk Kong (right)

However, W4H is not the only company offering COVID-19 test vending machines.

The University of California in San Diego unveiled their own plans at the beginning of the month to install 11 test dispenser machines around its campus.

With their machines, users can conduct their own nasal swabs and return their samples to the machine within 72 hours. They can then use the UC San Diego app to scan the test kit and receive their results. The service is free for all students and faculty.

Outside of the US, residents of Hong Kong were able to gets tests from vending machines starting December 7, 2020. Those machines were placed in transit stations across the region.

Latvia also installed vending machines for testing on December 11, 2020, in the Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital in the city of Riga, Reuters reported.

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