US president Biden’s administration will make 400 million N95 masks available to Americans for free starting next week in US.
The masks — which are coming from the Strategic National Stockpile — will be made available at a number of local pharmacies and community health centers, the US official said, adding that the program will be “fully up and running by early February.”
People looking to pick up the free masks will be limited to three per person.
The 400 million non-surgical N95 masks amount to more than half of the 750 million stored in the US’ Strategic National Stockpile, a figure that tripled over the last year as the White House sought to boost reserves.
The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recently advised that well-fitting respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health — such as N95 masks — offer “the highest level of protection” against Covid-19.
The administration’s step comes as the US grapples with an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases. An average of more than 750,000 new Covid-19 infections were reported every day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
“Masks are a really important tool to stop the spread, especially of the highly transmittable Omicron variant. So, please, please wear the mask” Biden said last week in remarks on his administration’s coronavirus response.
Source: US Media