The Biden administration is taking every possible move that would help to contain the coronavirus. It has announced additional steps that will increase the availability of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests and would also bring down the costs. The National Institutes of Health has invested $70 million that would help the regulatory process of the Food and Drug Administration. The funds were used from the American Rescue plan that was passed earlier in 2021.
The program by the National Institutes of Health aims at speeding the process of the new tests and helping the manufacturers produce the need of data regulators. The NIH will also identify the rapid tests that can be produced and distributed in a large scale. Experts have opined that the at-home rapid COVID-19 tests can be useful during a bad flu season particularly in the settings like a school, care facilities or nursing homes. Many of the tests provide results within minutes and would help to distinguish between coronavirus and flu as the symptoms of the two can be similar.
It will also help to determine that the people most at risk include the elderly and the immuno –compromised. The most recent efforts have come as the administration is expected to finalize a rule where the businesses with more than 100 employees will have to follow the vaccine mandate and the employees who are not vaccinated will have to undergo regular testing. Experts have opined that the at-home tests would help in a great way to implement the rule for the employees.
Gigi Gronvall, a senior scholar at the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security has said this comes as a good news as validation efforts would be expanded. The recent announcement is also a part to address the issue of a shortage of at-home rapid tests in the United States. The Americans have a fewer test options available than what is available for the people in Europe.
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