The Biden Administration issued a formal request for information from diagnostic assay manufacturers for more tests.The goal is to ensure access to testing capacity even if demand wanes in the coming year, an official said during a news briefing from the White House COVID-19 Response Team.
“The information being sought includes proposed solutions to managing market volatility and addressing supply chain challenges, as well as what it will take to scale up manufacturing and bring new technologies and manufacturing processes online,” said Tom Inglesby, MD, Senior Advisor to the White House COVID Response. “The request also emphasizes equity and the need for manufacturers to ensure at-home tests are easy to use and accessible for all, including for people who are blind or visually impaired and those living with disabilities,” he added.
The overall goal of the new RFI is to “be ready if we face a new variant or surge in the future,” Inglesby said. "The information we receive will help guide our new investments. And it’s a key part of planning and implementing our longer-term testing strategy and preparing for future testing needs."
In a related testing issue, Jeff Zients, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, updated reporters on the administration’s program to send at-home tests to Americans free of charge. He said the United States Postal Service has shipped 50 million orders, or 85% of the initial orders placed through the program. “Once the package ships, over 60% are delivered within 24 hours and 90% within 48 hours,” he added.