Vending machine with COVID-19 home tests coming to NYC this month

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Remember when vending machines were for snacks and soda?

COVID-19 home test kits will soon be sold via vending machines in cities including New York. But they won’t be as cheap as a bag of chips.

Health company Wellness 4 Humanity is rolling out vending machines stocked with COVID-19 at-home test kits. The tests cost $149 a pop, according to the company’s website.

However, the convenience factor marks a sharp change from the beginning of the pandemic, when a shortage of tests for the coronavirus initially made them so hard to come by that influencers and celebrities had to use personal connections just to score one.

The vending machines — set to begin appearing this month in major cities across the US, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas — will dispense Emergency Use Authorized rapid antigen and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) saliva tests. The saliva tests, which a Wellness 4 Humanity rep boasts have a 99% accuracy rate, come with a prepaid FedEx shipping label, so they can be sent to the company’s partner lab, with results promised within 48 hours. 

The antigen tests will come at a later date, and provide results within 15 minutes, no shipping required. 

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