DORAL, FL – Starting this week, those interested can begin ordering online free rapid at-home COVID-19 tests to be delivered within 7 to 12 days.
“Half a billion tests will be available for order on January 19,” said a senior administration official about the program conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The initial program will allow four free tests to be requested per residential address at COVIDTests.gov, and the administration is planning on launching a free call line for the tests, although a date hasn’t been provided yet.
The total cost for the initial 500 million tests is around $4 billion for purchase and distribution, according to information provided to the media.
It was also revealed that of those, 420 million tests are already under contract, all of which have been granted an emergency use authorization by the FDA.
The contracts all have an estimated completion date of March 14, 2022, but it hasn’t been announced how many in total free rapid at-home COVID-19 tests will be bought.
Due to the shortage of tests available at the end of last year when cases increased, the Department of Defense announced three major contracts totaling nearly $2 billion for COVID-19 test kits.
iHealth Labs Inc., based in Sunnyvale, California, was awarded a $1.275 billion contract for Covid-19 rapid antigen tests. Roche Diagnostics Corp., based in Indianapolis, was awarded a contract for $340 million, and Abbott Rapid Dx North America LLC, based in Orlando was awarded a contract for $306 million.
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