Where can I buy an At-Home COVID Test Kit?

Currently, many people are considering buying an at-home COVID test kit to avoid going to overcrowded testing centers and hospitals.

But are home tests allowed? The answer is yes. According to several local newspapers across the country, since July 20th, Thu Duc City has been piloting the use of COVID home testing with residence in Thao Dien. 

The initial results of the pilot show many positive signals.  It will help reduce the burden on medical staff and help speed up COVID-19 screening, promptly detecting cases in the community as the epidemic remains complicated. 

So what is an at-home COVID test kit and where can you buy it?

What is a COVID Rapid Test kit?

The COVID rapid test kit is used by health care workers in the event of screening someone suspected to have COVID. For example, a person who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID (an F0) is required to do a rapid test.

At-home, Covid test kits allow a person to self-test in the safety and privacy of their homes.

At-Home COVID rapid test kits include:

  • Test tray
  • Filter cap
  • Test tube containing extract
  • Sampling cotton swabs 
  • 1 user manual (depending on the type of test)

There are two common types of at-home COVID test kits based on current sampling methods: nasal and nasopharyngeal swabs.

SGTi- flex Covid- 19 test kit

What types of COVID-19 tests are allowed?

For those wondering which COVID-19 rapid tests to buy, there are 8 test kits licensed by the Ministry of Health and are available for public purchase. 

They are: 

  • Panbio COVID-19 Ag from Korea, nCoV antigen test using nasopharyngeal swabs.
  • Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag from Korea, nCoV antigen test using nasopharyngeal swabs.
  • Espline SARS-COV-2 from Japan, testing for nCoV antigen using nasopharyngeal swabs.
  • Standard Q COVID-19 of Korea, antigen test using nasopharyngeal swabs.
  • Humasis COVID-19 from Korea, antigen test using nasopharyngeal swabs, a box of 25 tests.
  • SGTi-Flex COVID-19 From Korea, using nasopharyngeal swabs. 
  • Trueline COVID-19 of Medicon CO., Ltd., qualitative test to detect nCoV antigen in nasopharyngeal swabs.

Buy At Home COVID test kits on Docosan

Currently, only reputable health agencies and companies are allowed to import and distribute COVID rapid test kits. Therefore, before buying a test kit, you need to thoroughly research the supplier of the COVID test kit.

Docosan is a start-up company in Vietnam in the field of healthcare for patients.

Currently, Docosan officially distributes at home COVID test kits. People can order the test kits and have them delivered to their homes for self-sampling and testing. 24 hour free delivery within Ho Chi Minh City.

In addition, customers are able to get an online verified Test Results Report by a Doctor licensed by the Ministry of Health, and a hard copy of the report delivered to their home.

Docosan distributes four types of the Ministry of Health licensed test kits: Panbio Abbott, Humasis, SGTI Flex, and Espline. 

At-home Covid-19 test kits distributed by Docosan

Compare COVID test kits distributed by Docosan

The cost of a COVID-19 test kit depends on the quality and accuracy of each kit. Therefore, ordering a COVID test kit, readers need to find out the information of each kit as well as the disadvantages and advantages of each type.

TrademarkOriginSampleSensitivity Specificity
HUMANISISKoreanasopharyngeal swabs92,2%99,6%
SGTi-FlexKoreanasopharyngeal swabs95,07%99,38%
ESPLINE SARS-CoV-2Japannasopharyngeal swabs96,3%100%
Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Ag (Nasal) KoreaNasal swab93.3%99,4%
Source: Ministry of Health Vietnam

The benefits of using an at home COVID test kit.

Although the at-home COVID test kits have not been able to fully replace the COVID rapid test administered at hospitals and clinics, it does have many benefits in the current rapidly spreading epidemic. 

  • Travel restrictions: with strict travel restrictions being applied in many cities, ordering an at home COVID test kit to self-test helps people feel safer and secure.
  • Safe testing: with the increase of the infection rate due to the DELTA variant, it is essential to limit contact or avoid crowded areas such as centralized COVID testing sites.
  • Saving costs of testing and screening: the cost of at home COVID testing services provided by clinics and hospitals costs up to 1 million VND/sample as noted by Docosan. The use of a quick at home COVID test kit can save a lot of testing costs for families and individuals during the screening process. 

The types of rapid tests used by the city’s medical facilities are appraised by the Ministry of Health. The sampling process, as well as the technique used to perform the COVID rapid tests, includes taking a nasopharyngeal sample. Reading the test results is not too difficult, but each brand of rapid test has different predictive values, sensitivity, and specificity.

Currently, there are many at-home COVID test products being sold online. However, according to experts, many of the rapid tests on the market only have about 25% sensitivity. This could result in false negatives, making the risk of spreading the virus to the community high, as people continue to go out and have close contact with many people.

In early June, the Ministry of Health announced 8 types of test kits that are licensed to use for rapid testing of nCoV antigens. It is important to note that rapid test kits sold online that are not licensed by the Ministry of Health are illegal. 

Things to keep in mind when buying a test kit

As mentioned above, before buying a COVID-19 test kit, you need to be sure of the information about the origin and the effectiveness of the test kit.

Currently, many fake tests have begun to appear on the market with prices ranging from only a few hundred thousand a kit. In terms of quality and accuracy, these fake tests will not compare with genuine imported kits.

In addition, after the test shows a positive result, you need to go to the nearest medical facility to get a PCR test to confirm the results.

Buying a COVID-19 test kit is extremely important to protect the health of you and your family members.