The Biden administration will once again provide American households with free at-home COVID-19 tests ahead of the colder fall and winter months.
Twelve domestic manufacturers have received $600 million to make about 200 million new over-the-counter COVID-19 tests, which will be available to the public through COVIDTests.gov starting Sept. 25, the Department of Health announced Wednesday. and Human Services. .
Households can request up to four free tests, which are planned for use through the end of the year and will detect coronavirus variants currently circulating.
“The Biden-Harris Administration, in partnership with domestic manufacturers, has made great strides in addressing vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain by reducing our reliance on foreign manufacturing,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, in a statement. “These critical investments will strengthen production levels of domestic rapid COVID-19 tests in our country and help mitigate the spread of the virus.”
The government has ordered approximately 200 million new COVID-19 test kits. AP
California-based health product maker iHealth received the largest amount of federal outlays, $167 million, to produce the new tests. New Jersey-based Access Bio is receiving the second-largest payment, $88.7 million, as part of the new program.
Advin, CorDx, Kwell Laboratories and Quidel are the other California-based companies receiving funding. Azure in Texas, InBios in Washington, Maxim Bio in Maryland, OraSure Technologies in Pennsylvania, Sekisui in Delaware and Princeton BioMeditech in New Jersey also received millions of dollars from the Biden administration to produce the new COVID tests.
“Manufacturing COVID-19 tests in the United States strengthens our preparation for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, reduces our dependence on other countries, and provides good jobs for hard-working Americans,” said Undersecretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O. ‘Connell, in a statement. “ASPR’s investments in these domestic manufacturers will increase testing availability in the future.”
This is the fifth at-home COVID testing program launched by the Biden administration.AFP via Getty Images
The Biden administration’s latest initiative follows four previous rounds of deliveries that provided free COVID tests to more than 755 million people, according to HHS.
While the COVID-19 public health emergency was officially declared over in May, public health officials across the country have begun to record a steady rise in cases of the virus.
“As we approach the fall and winter months, and once again see a surge of COVID across the state, I urge all New Yorkers to remember that COVID is a treatable disease and that we now have an updated vaccine that will help to reduce your chances. of serious illness and hospitalization. Remember, this is about personal protection, personal prevention and personal well-being,” Dr. James McDonald, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, said earlier this month.