A new poll finds that more than 60 percent of U.S. adults who tried to get an at-home COVID-19 test reported difficulty doing so, underscoring problems with testing access.
The survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 62 percent of U.S. adults who tried to get an at-home coronavirus test in the past month had difficulty, compared to 38 percent who found it easy.
The results were better for in-person tests, with 65 percent saying it was easy and 35 percent difficult. But experts have pointed to the value of at-home tests for their ease of use and rapid results, avoiding the need to wait days for a reading.
The poll, which was conducted Jan. 11-23, adds some statistical rigor to anecdotal reports across the country of retailers sold out of at-home tests.
Overall, 23 percent of adults said they tried to get either an in-person or at-home test in the past month and had difficulty, the poll found, with 24 percent trying and not having difficulty, but a majority, 52 percent, not trying at all.
The Biden administration this month has taken some steps to try to make rapid at-home tests more available. A website launched this month to allow people to order free tests shipped to their home, but there is a limit of four tests per residence. Insurers are also now required to cover the cost of eight at-home tests per month, but the reimbursement process can be cumbersome, posing an obstacle.
Asked about responsibility for limited test availability, 49 percent put a lot or a fair amount of blame on the Food and Drug Administration, while 44 percent placed a lot or a fair amount of blame on President Biden.
The poll also signaled some resignation with the state of the pandemic: 77 percent said it is inevitable that most people in the U.S. will eventually get COVID-19.
The poll surveyed 1,536 U.S. adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.