HHS Invests $600 Million in Domestic COVID-19 Test Manufacturing
By Dolores Quintana
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), operating through the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), is pleased to announce a significant investment of $600 million across 12 domestic COVID-19 test manufacturers. In the state of California, CorDx has received $86.4 million.
In conjunction with the investments in domestic manufacturing, starting on September 25, households will once again have the opportunity to order four free COVID-19 tests through COVIDTests.gov. These tests are designed to detect currently circulating COVID-19 variants and are intended for use until the end of 2023. Clear instructions on verifying extended expiration dates will be included with the tests.
This program was closed in May at the same time when the Covid Emergency ended. However, Covid is not yet done with the world, and the Biden Administration has made an effort to restock the supply of home tests and is ready to distribute them again now that Covid infections have risen again.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated, “The Biden-Harris Administration, in collaboration with domestic manufacturers, has taken significant steps to address vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain by reducing our reliance on overseas manufacturing. These crucial investments will fortify our domestic production of at-home COVID-19 rapid tests, contributing to the mitigation of the virus’s spread.”
Collectively, the 12 U.S. manufacturing companies operate production facilities spanning the nation, providing employment to hundreds of workers across seven states.
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell emphasized, “Manufacturing COVID-19 tests in the United States reinforces our preparedness for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, reduces our dependence on foreign sources, and generates quality employment opportunities for hardworking Americans. ASPR’s investments in these domestic manufacturers will enhance the availability of tests in the future.”
This upcoming round of testing distribution follows four prior rounds in which ASPR and USPS provided over 755 million tests to households across the nation free of charge. These efforts complement ASPR’s continuous distribution of free COVID-19 tests to long-term care facilities, low-income senior housing, uninsured individuals, and underserved communities. To date, 500 million tests have been provided through these channels.