The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says rapid COVID-19 antigen tests may not always detect the Omicron variant.
On Tuesday, the FDA released information from research that suggests antigen tests “do detect the omicron variant but may have reduced sensitivity,” which means an antigen test could miss out on detecting the virus and end up giving someone a “false negative” result.
The study was a collaborative effort between the FDA and the National Institutes of Health. According to Yahoo! News, the two groups used samples from patients who had contracted the Omicron variant.
While antigen tests may struggle with spotting the Omicron variant, the FDA says the tests are still good to use.
“The FDA continues to authorize the use of these tests as directed in the authorized labeling and individuals should continue to use them in accordance with the instructions included with the tests,” the agency said in a statement, Yahoo! News reports. “Antigen tests are generally less sensitive and less likely to pick up very early infections compared to molecular tests.”