The major news dominating the media this week is, at last, the roll-out of the first millions of doses of the F.D.A.-approved COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine – with the COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna being approved any minute now – is reaping headlines like, “The weapon that will end the war” and similar ‘hallelujah’ descriptions. It’s important to remember that we’re still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and it will be several months before the public-at-large will have access to the vaccines. Crucially, COVID-19 won’t stop evolving when the vaccine arrives (The New York Times, “The Virus Won’t Stop Evolving When The Vaccine Arrives, published December 2nd, 2020). There’s also a sizable percentage of the population that refuses to get vaccinated at any time. No vaccines are 100% effective, meaning even after vaccination, there’s still a small chance of contracting COVID-19. Those who choose to vaccinate will likely have to do so every season, like with the influenza vaccine, assuming that COVID-19 continues to mutate and without us knowing how long immunity actually lasts. Wearing masks, social-distancing, hand-washing and all of the other COVID-19 era precautions are still strongly urged for even those who’ve been vaccinated, after they’ve been vaccinated.
EDMTunes: Will you be administering the F.D.A.-approved COVID-19 vaccines once they become widely available?
Pavel Stuchlik: We have the ability and the U.S. government authorization to do so, should we decide to provide approved vaccines. It’s important to remember that COVID-19 will continue to mutate, and the virus will always be around each year, so you’ll always need to do routine testing. COVID-19 is simply creating a new era of life, a new way of living and behaving.
EDMTunes: Please tell us about your at-home COVID-19 test kit and how it will help people gather with family and loved ones, safely, for the Holiday season that’s now upon us and beyond, into this winter.
Pavel Stuchlik: “Now|Later” is our form of getting families together again. What that means is we’re the first company on the market to combine an antigen test (the “Now” portion of our package) with the P.C.R. saliva test (the “Later” portion of our package) to provide a nearly 99% clearance. The tests come bundled together in convenient packaging.
EDMTunes: How is this “NOW|Later” at-home test kit different from what you’re already doing with your TRUSTPASS TM 4-step system for large-scale gatherings like nightclubs and music festivals?
Pavel Stuchlik: It has received F.D.A. E.U.A. (Emergency Use Authorization) to be used as a home test kit, which makes it one of the firsts tests to the market. Until now, all the antigen tests on the market have had to be administered by a licensed medical professional. Now, we’re the first ones to offer this direct-to-consumers to do at-home. You can order it online at our website. You can order 50 packs, or 10 packs, or just one pack to have at home. We have several customers who travel frequently on business and they keep our test kits stocked-up at home. Our TRUSTPASS TM system is the same thing; it’s just that our licensed medical professionals administer the antigen onsite.
EDMTunes: Let’s give readers a real-world example of how your “NOW|Later” kit works, by giving specific dates. Let’s assume for a moment that you live in NYC and you plan to travel to visit your family in Los Angeles for Christmas, and that you’ll be flying from NYC🡪L.A. on December 23rd. Your entire day on December 23rd is basically shot, as it’ll be eaten-up by travel. So, by what date will you need to take your “NOW|Later” tests so that your results come back in time to ensure a safe family gathering from December 24th through January 2nd (the date you fly from L.A.–>NYC)?
Pavel Stuchlik: We have a pop-up platform on our store and you order it from our website (https://w4humanity.shop/). Within 72 hours and depending on how protected people want to be, it takes 24-48 hours to receive the saliva test, so during the time people are waiting for their results, they can take the rapid antigen test which returns results in about 15 minutes. The P.C.R. test is the gold-standard and requires a medical laboratory, and that’s what we give it 72 hours to turnaround the result. We recommend you test before you fly.
EDMTunes: Can you give us an example?
Pavel Stuchlik: Post Malone was flying from Park City, Utah, to Greece a few months ago. He needed 72 hours before his departure flight from the U.S. Then on the return, he needed 72 hours before he could get clearance for his return flight to the U.S. While he was in Greece, he did an antigen test. So, we recommend 72 hours before your flight; this is standard in most countries. We’re basically adding the antigen (15 minute) test for when you land at your destination. The steps we recommend go like this: 1) Take the antigen test first; 2) Take a P.C.R. test 72 hours before your first flight; 3) Take another antigen (15 minute) test while you’re at your travel-destination, let’s say in another city visiting relatives. Repeat these steps before your return flight. David Long, CEO & Co-Founder of Orangetheory Fitness, keeps his test with him before he flies. He has many of our packs in stock at home. He does the antigen (15 minutes) test and if it comes back positive, then he does a P.C.R. (72 hours) test. Our antigen test has a 0% false-negative rate and it has a very small false-positive rate. Our antigen test is 97.4% accurate.
EDMTunes: Governors in each state are imploring people not to travel for the Holidays, yet judging by the fact that millions of Americans still traveled for Thanksgiving, we don’t see everyone refraining from gathering over the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Year’s Eve holidays. Many governors are mandating that returning-citizens self-quarantine for a period of 7-14 days upon their return home. Do your “NOW|Later” test kits address the need for testing upon one’s return home after travel?
Pavel Stuchlik: Essentially, yes. You’d just do the same process. For saliva alone, the test is $149, but we’re doing $149 for saliva/P.C.R. and antigen. The price-per-unit goes down with bulk purchases.
EDMTunes: You also have physical locations – kind of like retail stores, but with medical staff in addition to salespersons – where you offer Wellness4Humanity biotechnology services for walk-in customers. For those who prefer to walk-in to one of your locations rather than do at-home testing, how many locations do you have? Where are they located (i.e. cities/states)?
Pavel Stuchlik: Currently, we have locations in Honolulu, Atlanta, Houston at the Galleria (the first one we have inside a mall), we have mobile testing in Colorado and Utah where we deliver onsite. We’re coming to Miami, coming to New York City, we’re in San Jose, California…we’re going after every major city in America!
EDMTunes: We heard you’ll also have vending machines?
Pavel Stuchlik: Yes! We’re also rolling-out vending machines which will work just like our locations. We’ll have drop-off locations where people can drop-off their at-home kits (that are packaged to safely and securely seal). Some of the vending machine locations will be accompanied by medical staff, some will just be a drop-off like at airports. We have the first 25 vending machines coming-out – we’re partnering with Swyft Inc. https://swyftstore.com/) and their AI-powered retail automation and smart robotics systems – where the vending machines are touchless and work through a QR code. Those will supplement our physical locations. We’re finalizing our locations, but they’ll include airports, shopping malls, venues and so on.
EDMTunes: Is this something you can scale for music festivals or nightclubs?
Pavel Stuchlik: Totally. This is something similar to what we can provide to music festivals to serve as an entry station. People can pick-up their tests like they’ll pick-up their tickets. If you think of BestBuy vending machines where you drop-off at the airport. Our packaging is very safe, and we have F.D.A. E.U.A. authorization. The authorization is for everything, including our packaging.
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