President Joe Biden announced his administration’s strategy for curbing the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus includes ordering 500 million at-home tests to ship free to Americans.
During a Tuesday afternoon speech, Biden said omicron will cause breakthrough infections among vaccinated Americans in “potentially in large numbers,” although the cases are unlikely to be severe, he added.
The president announced 500 million free at-home tests will be in addition to getting at-home tests reimbursed, which will go into effect on Jan. 15.
Douglas Bryant, president and CEO of Quidel Corporation, a provider of rapid diagnostic testing solutions, said his company is “anticipating continued strong demand approaching the Holidays based on the recent rise in infection rates and our discussions with employers, institutions, and the federal government.”
Quidel is producing as many testing kits as possible, Bryant told Benzinga.
“Our people are working tirelessly to increase our manufacturing capacity to a run-rate of 70 million tests per month by the end of the year,” he said. “Part of that production is dedicated to fulfilling a 12-month federal government contract estimated at approximately 100 million QuickVue® At-Home OTC COVID-19 Tests.”
An Abbott Laboratories spokesperson responded to Biden’s announcement, saying, “I can tell you that since the onset of the pandemic, no company has done more to make testing available to Americans than Abbott.”
“In January, we’ll be making 70 million BinaxNOW rapid tests and can scale significantly further in the months ahead,” the Abbott spokesperson added.
By Michael Cohen
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