White House buys $1B in at-home COVID tests

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden Administration is adding another tool for the fight against the pandemic – more rapid test kits.

The White House said its recent investment in millions of at-home COVID tests should help address the ongoing shortage.

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The Biden administration said production should ramp up to 200 million rapid tests hitting the market each month starting in December.

Dr. Michael Mina said this investment is a good step forward, but he has concerns about if these tests will get to those who need them most quickly.

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He believes these rapid at-home tests would have the greatest impact in underserved, poorer communities and these kits should be available at little to no cost.

Additionally, Dr. Mina said these tests should be used in places where there’s the most potential for spread, like in schools.

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“We want to give these tools to people to use at home before they go to school. And say, instead of quarantining, use your test in the morning, if you’re negative, go to school, if you’re positive, don’t go to school, it’s that simple. And we can partner that with verification, if needed, and all these different things that all exist,” said Dr. Mina, an epidemiology professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The Biden administration is also increasing free covid testing options by doubling capacity to 20,000 pharmacies.