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As vaccines roll out, Americans see COVID-19 testing as important partner

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ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — The development and authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine is a critical scientific milestone in our efforts

to combat this pandemic. Abbott  released findings on Tuesday from a survey conducted by The Harris Poll, showing that Americans see testing as an essential partner to these new vaccines. Among the key findings:

  • Importance of Testing as Partner to Vaccine: 82% of Americans say the 
    COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be more effective if it works in partnership with testing.
  • Precautionary Measures Support Vaccines: When asked whether a vaccine by itself or a layered strategy would help combat the pandemic and allow us to get back to normal as quickly as possible, 73% of Americans believe a COVID-19 vaccine cannot succeed without other precautionary measuresHowever, when asked about concerns following approval of a vaccine, many are concerned (very or somewhat) that testing (71%), mask wearing (75%), and social distancing (76%) will decline following vaccine authorization.

“Like the rest of the globe, Americans are anxious to return to normalcy. The authorization of vaccines is an important and tremendous development in our fight against COVID-19,” said Andrea Wainer, executive vice president, Rapid and Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott. “Americans agree that we should stay vigilant in other important safety measures, including testing, mask wearing and social distancing. Abbott will remain focused on providing as many tests as possible so people can access them throughout the duration of the pandemic and beyond.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, Abbott has launched eight COVID-19 tests for emergency use in the U.S. including lab-based and rapid molecular tests, antibody tests, and a rapid antigen test, which was recently authorized for at-home use with a prescription and certified virtual guide. Abbott has delivered more than 300 million COVID-19 tests worldwide.

As we await widespread access to the vaccine, Americans agree that testing remains essential to curbing the pandemic right now.

  • Role of Testing in Interim: 86% of Americans say testing will play a significant (very or somewhat) role in combatting the pandemic while we wait for vaccines to be made widely available.
  • Importance of Detecting Infectiousness: 66% of Americans say rapid antigen COVID-19 testing is a critical tool to combat the pandemic because of its ability to detect the most infectious people.

As initial doses of the vaccines are prioritized for populations like frontline healthcare workers and seniors in long-term care facilities, rapid antigen tests are as important as ever to identify infectious individuals and slow the spread of the virus among those who have not been vaccinated.

“With cases rising and critical winter months ahead, we must continue to use every preventative measure available to us to slow the spread of the virus,” said Mary Rodgers, principal scientist, Diagnostics, Abbott. “It’s important that diagnostic companies, public health leaders, policymakers and citizens continue to advocate for the role of vaccines and testing in partnership with other important safety measures like mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing.”

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Abbott from December 10 – December 14, 2020, among 2,064 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

For a summary of the data, please click here.


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