People should be aware that antigen rapid test kits are different from antibody screening tests. Before you buy it please carefully check. Meanwhile, New Taipei City busted one man selling fake yellow vaccination cards online.
Rapid antigen test kit supplies are currently running low in Taiwan with everyone buying and stocking up as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge. One Tainan resident recently complained online about having bought a pack of test kits from a local pharmacy but found out later after opening it that it was an antibody test kit instead.
Fei Wei-ling, Food and Drug Admin. Chief, Public Health Bureau, Tainan: “Test kits that are available in the market right now are rapid antigen test kits that have been approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Antibody tests, on the other hand, need to be administered by professionals at proper laboratories instead.”
What the person had bought was an antibody test kit, which is a blood test to check if an individual has had coronavirus before or been vaccinated. That is different from the rapid antigen tests that people are more familiar with, which detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, indicating current viral infection.
Fei Wei-ling, Food and Drug Admin. Chief, Public Health Bureau, Tainan: “People need to do blood tests to test for antibodies whereas antigen tests are performed by nasal swabs for specimens.”
pharmacy owner: “Test kits arrived late Friday night. We opened the box in the morning when we opened for business and customers came and bought them immediately. We looked at it carefully afterwards and realized that there was something wrong. Local health officials came later to check on us and I have to say that we weren't planning on selling them. We are planning on donating them to the hospital.”
The pharmacy owner stressed that they didn't mean to misguide customers on purpose and will send them back to the manufacturer. Tainan Public Health Bureau decided to let the pharmacy go this time but gave a warning saying that no pharmacies are allowed to sell antibody test kits as rapid antigen test kits.
Meanwhile, New Taipei City police traced one man surnamed Cheng selling yellow vaccination cards online with hospital stamps and signatures of having all three shots. Buyers just need to fill in their own names and ID numbers on top. Cheng was arrested on the night of the 24th. Police warned that individuals can be fined up to NT$ 15,000 for violating the Disease Control Act by selling fake vaccination cards.