Antigen test in Puerto Vallarta

Covid Antigen Tests in Puerto Vallarta: a cost-effective option for travel to the US

A Covid Antigen test also called a rapid antigen test, is the most convenient, quick, and affordable option for travel to the U.S.

A rapid antigen assay is one of the two Coronavirus tests that can be used to detect a current Covid infection. Accordingly, the only two tests that can be used in Mexico to diagnose a Covid-19 infection are:

  • ✔ A Covid Antigen Test can be used to diagnose a current coronavirus infection.
  • ✔ A Covid PCR Test can be used to diagnose a current coronavirus infection.
  •    A Covid Antibody Test should not be used to diagnose a current coronavirus infection. It should only be used to detect if a person has had a Covid-19 infection in the past. 

What is an Antigen Test?

An antigen test is a laboratory diagnostic test that looks for specific proteins on the surface of a virus. Therefore, if the test finds these proteins, it can be inferred that the virus is present.

What is a Covid Antigen Test?

A Covid Antigen Test is an assay that is used to detect a specific viral antigen (a Covid protein that is always present on the virus’ surface). Therefore, if the test detects this Covid protein, one can infer that the virus is active and present. Moreover, it can be implied that there is a current coronavirus infection.  

Fortunately, covid antigen tests have been approved for detecting a current coronavirus infection both in the U.S. and Mexico. Accordingly, the FDA has granted emergency use authorization in the United States for antigen tests that can identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Similarly, COFEPRIS has also granted emergency use authorization for five antigen tests in Mexico.

A Covid Viral Test is required for travel to the U.S.

Since January 26th of 2021, a negative Pre-departure test result is required for travel to the US. Specifically, this assay must be a valid viral test that can detect a current coronavirus infection. Thus, the only two covid lab exams that are valid for travel to the US are a Covid Antigen Test or a Covid PCR Test. In addition, for these assays to be valid, the test specimen must be collected no more than 72 hours before your scheduled departure.

Rapid Covid Antigen Assays that are currently approved in Mexico.

The following are the only rapid covid antigen tests that are approved in Mexico.

These five antigen assays are the only tests approved, which are valid and accepted at Mexican airports when traveling to the US.

Name of antigen test Manufacturer Sensitivity Specificity Price range
SARS-CoV2 Antigen Rapid Test System Monocent, Inc. 83.21 % 95.28% $450 – $1,000 pesos
SARS-CoV2 Antigen Rapid Test SD Biosensor, Inc. 88.66% 98.97% $450 – $1,000 pesos
STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Test SD Biosensor, Inc. 93.12% 100% $490 – $1,200 pesos
Panbio COVID-19 Ag RAPID Test Device Abbott Rapid Diagnostics 85% 99% $490 – $1,200 pesos
Sofia2 SARS Antigen FIA Quidel Corporation 90% 97% $590 – $1,200 pesos

Price range: the price ranges included above are based on national averages. These prices may not reflect the current costs in a specific city in Mexico.

** We recommend that you verify that the antigen test that you get is indeed one of the above-mentioned assays. These five antigen tests are the only ones that are currently approved in Mexico. Therefore, these are the only tests/brands that are accepted at Mexican airports when traveling to the U.S. **

Covid Antigen Testing in Puerto Vallarta. Where can I get my Antigen Test?

Covid antigen testing in Puerto Vallarta is available in several testing sites, hospitals, and laboratories. Most importantly, when choosing your testing site, we recommend that you consider the following crucial factors:

  • Location: choose a convenient location that is close-by and easy to access.
  • Turnaround time: remember that your swab sample must be taken no more than 72 hours before your flight. Thus, we recommend choosing a testing site that can issue your result as fast as possible.
  • Use of approved Covid Antigen Tests in Mexico: there are only five covid antigen tests that are currently approved in Mexico. Consequently, make sure that the laboratory that you choose performs its tests with an approved antigen assay.

When choosing your testing site, consider both quality and cost.

  • Choose an affordable covid testing site with high-quality standards: Although cost is always a relevant factor, quality should also be considered when choosing your testing site. For example, tests that have an extremely low cost may not be approved for use in Mexico and may not provide the needed accuracy. Thus, we recommend that you get your antigen assay from a well-known testing facility. For example, an adequate price range for an antigen exam in a renowned testing site should be between $600 pesos and $1,100.00 pesos per test.

Recommended testing sites for your Rapid Covid Antigen Assay

Covid Antigen Test prices

Laboratory location Laboratory location Location closest to: Covid Antigen test price in Puerto Vallarta Average turnaround time of test results
Laboratory at CMQ City Center Address: Calle Basilio Badillo # 365, Colonia Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México.

Phone number:
322 223 1919

Laboratory at CMQ City Center is located near:

  • Conchas Chinas
  • Amapas
  • Gringo Gulch
  • The Malecon
  • The romantic zone
  • Mismaloya
  • Downtown Puerto Vallarta
Price for one covid antigen test: $600 pesos.

Price for two to five covid antigen tests: $500 pesos.

Price for six or more covid antigen tests: $450 pesos.

Normal turnaround time: 4 to 5 hours.
Laboratory at CMQ Premiere Address: Avenida Francisco Villa # 1749, Colonia Vallarta Villas, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México.

Phone number:
322 226 6500

Laboratory at CMQ Premiere is located near:

  • Costco
  • Wallmart Macro Plaza
  • Fluvial Vallarta
  • Las Aralias
  • Colonia Versalles
  • Main Hotel Zone
  • Marina Vallarta
Price for one covid antigen test: $600 pesos.

Price for two to five covid antigen tests: $500 pesos.

Price for six or more covid antigen tests: $450 pesos.

Normal turnaround time: 4 to 5 hours.
Laboratory at CMQ Riviera Address: Héroes de Nacozari 280, Bucerías Nayarit

Phone number:
329 298 0717

Laboratory at CMQ Riviera is located near:

  • Nuevo Vallarta
  • Mezcales
  • Bucerias
  • Cruz de Huanacaxtle
  • Punta Mita
  • Sayulita
  • San Pancho
Price for one covid antigen test: $600 pesos.

Price for two to five covid antigen tests: $500 pesos.

Price for six or more covid antigen tests: $450 pesos.

Normal turnaround time: 4 to 5 hours.
Sanlor Laboratory at Plaza Las Glorias Address: Calle David Alfaro Siqueiros # 412-6, Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.

Phone number:
322 225 6204

Sanlor Laboratory Plaza Las Glorias is located near:

  • Plaza Las Glorias
  • Sheraton Hotel
  • Fiesta Americana Hotel
  • Secrets Vallarta Hotel
  • Dreams Vallarta Hotel
  • Canto del Sol Hotel
  • Plaza Pelicanos Hotel
  • Hotel Los Tules
  • Villa del Palmar Hotel
Price of covid antigen test: $995 pesos. Normal turnaround time: 4 to 5 hours.

** Please note that although an antigen test can be processed in 15 minutes to 1 hour, the actual result is usually reported and sent in approximately 4 to 5 hours. This is due to the current high local demand in Puerto Vallarta. **

How to prepare for your Covid Antigen Assay

Please consider the following recommendations for scheduling your appointment and preparing for your test:

  1. Make your appointment well in advance: Local demand for covid antigen testing is high and spaces are limited. Thus, please schedule your appointment well in advance.
  2. Confirm your appointment: Request a confirmation email for your appointment several days before your test. Alternatively, call to confirm your appointment over the phone.
  3. Arrive on time: Please make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
  4. Keep your face mask on: Protect yourself and the people around you by always wearing and keeping your face mask on. Accordingly, please make sure that your face mask completely covers your mouth and nose.
  5. Fasting is not indispensable, but it is recommended: although fasting before your test is not needed, it may be a good idea to avoid eating two to three hours before your appointment. This could help you to be more comfortable when your swab sample is taken.
  6. Make sure your information and email are correct: it is extremely important that the laboratory receives your correct email and personal information. This is vital because the information that you provide will be printed on your test exactly as it was received. In addition, your email needs to be correct, as your result will be sent to your email account.   

Covid Antigen Test Advantages

A covid antigen test is an immunoassay that is used to detect specific Covid-19 viral proteins. An antigen test is performed by collecting a nasal swab sample. Subsequently, this swab sample is introduced into the assay’s diagnostic kit which includes a buffer or a reagent. Once this is done, your test result will normally be ready in less than one hour. 

Fortunately, covid antigen tests have several advantages. First of all, rapid antigen tests are fairly inexpensive. Second, assays of this type can be performed at home or at your hotel. Consequently, this means that you do not have to go to a hospital or a laboratory to get your covid exam. Third, this test is very quick and convenient. Thus, once your swab sample has been taken, your result can be ready in 15 minutes to 1 hour.

** Please note that although an antigen test can be processed in 15 minutes to 1 hour, the actual result is usually reported and sent in approximately 3 to 4 hours. This is due to current high local demand in Puerto Vallarta. **  

Covid Antigen Test disadvantages

In general, an antigen test’s main disadvantage is that it is less accurate than PCR tests. Consequently, it is important to know that a covid antigen test performs best when there is a high viral load. On the contrary, this assay is less accurate when there is a low viral load.

When is a patient’s viral load high or low? 

  • A person’s viral load is generally high, from day six to day twelve of a Covid-19 infection. Therefore, this is when a covid antigen test is most accurate.
  • A person’s viral load is generally low, from day one through five, and from day thirteen onwards, of a Covid-19 infection. Therefore, this is when a covid antigen test is less accurate. 

Covid antigen tests are less accurate and are more prone to give false-negative results when there is a low viral load. 

Testing during the course of a Covid-19 infection

Sensitivity and specificity of a rapid covid antigen assay

A test’s sensitivity and specificity are used to measure its accuracy. Therefore, according to Public Health experts, they are used to determine “how well does a test detect a disease, and how well does it detect the absence of disease”. 

  • Sensitivity: it is defined as the proportion of patients with a current coronavirus infection who correctly get a positive test result.
  • Specificity: The proportion of patients that do not have a current Covid-19 infection, who correctly get a negative test result.

When is an antigen assay considered accurate? When could it be inaccurate?

In general, a covid antigen test has a high sensitivity. Therefore, when a person who is experiencing symptoms receives a positive antigen test result, it is normally considered to be accurate. However, a covid antigen test’s specificity is normally not as high as its sensitivity. Thus, if a person who is experiencing symptoms receives a negative antigen test result, it could be inaccurate (it could be a false negative). Consequently, this negative test result should be confirmed with a subsequent PCR test.

Covid-19 Rapid Test