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Rapid Antigen Test

A home use test for COVID-19 can be used conveniently and safely without the supervision of a Health Care Practitioner.

Rapid antigen tests for concession card holders§

From 24 January 2022, eligible Commonwealth concession card holders are able to access free rapid antigen tests through participating community pharmacies, including select Guardian pharmacies.

To access free rapid antigen tests in participating pharmacies, eligible concession card holders will need to provide one of the following:

  • Pension Concession Card
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card
  • DVA Gold, White or Orange Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Low Income Health Card

If you are eligible, you may receive:

  • 1 pack per patient per day
    (One pack per patient listed if multiple patients are on the concession card)
  • Up to 5 tests per month
    Therefore, the maximum pack size for a single supply is 5 tests
  • Up to 10 tests in total until April 2022

This initiative is available at participating Guardian pharmacies and is dependent on stock availability. This is a Commonwealth Government initiative and details may change. For the latest information, including eligibility, please visit the Commonwealth Department of Health site here.

Our team is working hard to keep our community safe, administer vaccines, and maintain the general health and wellbeing of our customers throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Stock of rapid antigen tests in our pharmacies may vary due to high demand. We sincerely apologise for any frustration the demand for rapid antigen tests places on you and on our community, and thank you for your patience.

§Negative results do not exclude infection with COVID-19. For positive test results follow Department of Health guidelines. Available at selected pharmacies. Purchase limits may apply. Proof of eligibility for free tests for Commonwealth concession card holders is required, limits apply.

Advantages of a Home Nasal Swab Antigen Test

  • Does not require supervision of a Health Care Practitioner.
  • It can be used by people in the home, workplace or elsewhere by simple nasal swab sample.
  • It detects the protein (antigen) the COVID-19 virus generates which is consistent across all the different strains and variants, with evidence of detection for major COVID-19 strains including Omicron1
  • Can be used within the first 7 days of symptom onset with a result generated between 10-15 minutes.

1. For RightSign COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. https://www.tga.gov.au/post-market-review-antigen-and-rapid-antigen-tests

When to Use the Home Rapid Antigen Test

  • It is recommended for use within the first 7 days of symptom onset when the viral load is at its highest.

Interpreting Results

Positive Reading

Two lines appear in the main window. Line in Control Region (C) and any visible line in Test Region (T). A very faint line in the Test region (T) is also still considered to be a positive result.

If a positive result is obtained, visit a COVID-19 clinic for a PCR rest immediately to confirm the result.

Negative Result

One line appears in Control Region (C) and no apparent line in Test Region (T).

Invalid Result

No line in Control Region (C), with or without a line in the Test Region (T).

  • Results from any test which has not produced a Control band at the specified read time must be discarded.
  • Please review the procedure and repeat with a new test.
  • If the problem persists, discontinue using the kit immediately and contact your supplier.

Disposal of Used Tests

Used rapid antigen test cassettes, swabs, buffer tubes, plastic gloves and all other items in contact with bodily fluids should be double-bagged in plastic, leak-proof bags and disposed in the normal household rubbish disposal.

Frequently Asked Questions

The COVID-19 rapid antigen test is a single-use test kit intended to detect COVID-19 antigen in a nasal swab. Evidence of performance against major strains, including Omicron. Refer to the test package insert for full details.

Within the first 7 days of symptom onset.

If you receive a positive result, follow local Department of Health guidelines in your State or Territory.