The Biden administration will begin shipping 400 million N95 masks that will be available for free to Americans starting next week. The White House announced on Wednesday that the masks will come from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile.
The stockpile is said to have more than 750 million of the N95 masks on hand.
The masks will be available for pickup at pharmacies and community health centers across the country. They will begin shipping this week for distribution starting late next week, the White House said.
This will be the largest distribution of “free masks” by the federal government to the public since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Individuals will be limited to three masks per person to ensure broad access to the program, officials said.
After facing criticism over a winter shortage of COVID-19 at-home test kits, Biden launched a website this week for Americans to order four rapid tests to be shipped to their homes for free, with the first tests to ship later this month.
The White House said on Wednesday that “to ensure broad access for all Americans, there will be three masks available per person.”
N95 masks are more widely available now than at any other time since the start of the pandemic, though they are more expensive than surgical masks or cloth masks.
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