£120 Covid-19 SALIVA test goes on sale at Superdrug

£120 Covid-19 SALIVA test goes on sale: Superdrug becomes first UK high street retailer to offer the ‘less intrusive, painless and simpler’ option – with results in 24 hours

  • Superdrug’s saliva tests are available today both in store or online for £120 
  • Spit is sent via post to an accredited lab where it undergoes PCR testing  
  • Results come back within three days of the sample being sent, Superdrug says
  • Results are included in HE test figures and details of positive cases are automatically handed over to NHS Test and Trace 

Superdrug is now selling coronavirus spit tests which are as accurate as the swabs used by the Government.  

The £120 kits are available today either in store or online and give results within two to three days of sending off a test. 

Results are included in Public Health England’s daily figures and information on positive cases is automatically handed over to the NHS Test and Trace system. 

The Superdrug test is the first high-street saliva test available in the UK and offers a less intrusive and more comfortable option than nose and throat swabs.  

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The £120 kits (pictured) are available today either in store or online and give results within two to three days after sending off a test 

The Superdrug test is the first high-street saliva test available in the UK and offers a less intrusive and more comfortable option than nose and throat swabs

How Superdrug’s PCR saliva test works 

• Purchase the test at one of Superdrug’s 200 pharmacies or on Superdrug.com for £120. This can take 24 hours to arrive if bought online

• Register your sample online at https://app.chronomics.com/register and enter the 14 digital barcode on your saliva collection tube

• Follow the instructions provided to collect your saliva sample and package it up in the Royal Mail tracked envelope provided

• Post the sample back via a Royal Mail priority post box

• The saliva sample arrives at a UKAS accredited laboratory around 24 hours later 

• Results are ready 24-36 hours later 

• The customer will be notified via an email that their results are ready within their online account they set up during registration.

The tests are powered by a lab technique called RT-PCR, which is the same ‘gold standard’ procedure used on swabs. 

However instead of the uncomfortable tests which go deep into the nose or throat, the Superdrug test is painless and hassle free as it only involves spitting into a tube. 

Superdrug says there is no age restriction on the test but children should be supervised by an adult to make sure a sample is properly obtained.  

Users produce saliva and deposit it into a tube, enter the test’s unique code online and then send their test off in a secure and tracked Royal Mail envelope. 

It is then taken to a London-based company called Chromatics Laboratories which tests the sample for evidence of the coronavirus’s genetic material. 

Chromatics is accredited by the authorities and is approved to perform Covid-19 tests.  

Saliva samples are much easier for a person to take when testing themselves, with nasal swabs being uncomfortable and, if not performed correctly, inaccurate. 

However, viral genetic information is only present in spit at diminutive levels.  

For example, the coronavirus is only 100 micrometres in diameter, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair, and all the SARS-CoV-2 in the world would fit in a can of Coke. 

Even the currently used swabs require a process called PCR to amplify the amount of virus to a detectable level. 

PCR seeks out these small traces of viral  RNA and after boosting the signal gives a positive result. It is between 97 and 99 per cent accurate.  

Dr Tom Stubbs, CEO of Chronomics said: ‘We’re delighted to be partnering with Superdrug, providing the public with easy access to our RT-PCR saliva Covid-19 test. 

‘People need certainty in these difficult times, and that’s precisely what the Chronomic test gives them. 

‘Being a saliva based test, it’s simple, straightforward and far less intrusive to get an accurate result.’ 

Superdrug nurse Mary Saunders speaks to Henry William Rice, 95, from Guildford as he waits to receive the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine at Superdrug in Guildford in january 

Superdrug, along with high street rival Boots, was included in the first batch of clinics selected to distribute Covid-19 vaccines in January. 

Michael Henry, healthcare director at Superdrug, says: ‘Superdrug offers the most comprehensive suite of Covid 19 services on the high street and has supported the public from the start of the pandemic.

‘Adding the PCR saliva test to our portfolio of COVID-19 testing services, is another step forward in the global battle to fight the pandemic. 

‘We’re proud that we can offer our customers further choice and accessibility to a range of Covid-19 tests that suit their needs.’

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