The White House introduced Wednesday that it’s making a $1 billion funding towards placing extra of the extremely sought-after, at-home fast COVID-19 exams on the market.
With that funding, the White House expects that 200 million fast exams can be obtainable for buy every month by December.
“To summarize, we are on track to quadruple the supply of rapid tests available to Americans by December,” Jeffrey Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 coordinator, stated at a information convention. The Biden administration additionally plans to considerably enhance the federal authorities’s free pharmacy testing program to 30,000 websites.
“Together, the steps we’re taking will ensure that every American, no matter their income level or ZIP code, can access accurate, convenient and affordable tests,” Zients stated.
Though the Biden administration made a $2 billion funding final month to get these exams into neighborhood well being facilities, meals banks and faculties, in addition to to stock them at a number of retailers at value, the demand has outpaced provide. The White House expects the value of those exams, which is about $10 now, to drop as provide booms.
A big chunk of that demand is coming from corporations testing unvaccinated workers frequently.
“Employer demand has gone crazy,” Doug Bryant, the chief govt of take a look at producer Quidel, instructed Reuters this week earlier than Wednesday’s announcement. “We won’t be able to meet all the requests that we’re having.”
Though the fast exams aren’t as delicate as PCR exams, they’re extra accessible and, specialists say, they may also help shortly determine extremely contagious individuals with excessive viral hundreds. In a pinch, well being specialists recommend utilizing them earlier than gathering in a high-risk setting to keep away from spreading the illness to others.
The shelf lifetime of the exams is usually six months to 1 year.