Research scientist: Adoption of saliva testing is frustratingly slow

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 Aug 2021, 2:00PM
(Photo / Auckland Airport)
(Photo / Auckland Airport)

Research scientist: Adoption of saliva testing is frustratingly slow

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 Aug 2021, 2:00PM

New Zealand's adoption of saliva testing is 'frustratingly slow' according to Dr Anne Wyllie, a New Zealander working on leading-edge saliva test science at the Yale School of Public Health.

However, Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall told the MHB this morning we don't have a need for more saliva testing.

“Saliva testing - it depends where you put it in our system. I don’t think it’ll add much to dealing with the community outbreak when we have the wastewater testing and the nasopharyngeal PCR. But we’ve been increasingly using it for people getting repeat testing and those are our people in MIQ, and that’s probably a good place for it.”

Dr Wyllie said that she expected more progress onto using saliva testing over nasal swabs.

"They really want to look into it, really wanted to be sure, but I would've expected a lot more progress during this time."

Dr Wylie suggests that the Ministry of Health may be getting the wrong advice about saliva testing.

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