WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says the federal authorities will purchase half a billion COVID-19 speedy check kits and distribute them freed from cost to individuals to make use of at residence. However regardless of the excessive public demand for exams, it is going to nonetheless be a number of extra weeks earlier than these kits can be found to be shipped.
The administration remains to be engaged on particulars for a way this system will work.
DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE THE TESTS?
Not but. As of this week, the departments of Protection and Well being and Human Companies had been “executing on what’s referred to as an ‘accelerated emergency contract,’” the White Home press secretary, Jen Psaki, stated. A contract is predicted to be signed quickly.
WHEN WILL THE TEST KITS BE DELIVERED?
The primary supply is predicted in early January. All 500 million kits won’t be delivered on the similar time however as a substitute will arrive in batches.
MY DRUGSTORE DOESN’T HAVE ANY TESTS. HOW CAN I GET A FREE KIT FROM THE GOVERNMENT?
You’ll go to a brand new authorities web site to request a equipment, however the website received’t be purposeful till after the primary batch of check kits have been delivered, Psaki stated. She stated the method was being dealt with that strategy to keep away from creating extra confusion for the general public. However the thought is that anybody who desires a check equipment would log onto this web site to request one.
“We’re clearly not going to place the web site up till there are exams accessible,” Psaki stated.
WHICH HOME TEST WILL I GET?
It’s unclear. However Psaki famous that the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration has accredited a number of totally different manufacturers of speedy residence exams.
WILL I BE LIMITED TO ONE TEST OR CAN I REQUEST MULTIPLE?
To be decided, Psaki stated.
WHY IS BIDEN BUYING THESE TEST KITS?
It represents an acknowledgement by the president that the administration must do extra to extend entry to COVID-19 testing, which is a vital software to assist sluggish the unfold of the coronavirus.
In instances the place contaminated individuals present signs or not, testing is the one strategy to discover out if they’ve the virus to allow them to keep away from being out and about and doubtlessly spreading illness.
However demand for check kits soared as the vacations neared and folks grew keen to check themselves and their households earlier than touring, and because the simply transmissible omicron variant unfold quickly in only a few weeks to turn into dominant pressure within the U.S.
Biden’s promise of 500 million check kits is along with the administration’s earlier pledge to ship 50 million speedy exams to neighborhood well being facilities throughout the nation.
IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO GET A TEST KIT FOR FREE?
Biden stated in a speech Tuesday that, beginning in January, personal insurers will cowl the price of at-home testing. So individuals can have the choice of shopping for exams at a retailer or on-line after which searching for reimbursement from their medical insurance supplier.
The federal government can even present entry to free at-home exams for individuals who could not have medical insurance, Biden stated.