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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Procurement of N95 Respirators

Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

HHS has been working with American manufacturers to prepare for responding to COVID-19 since January 2020 and has been transparent that more supplies are needed, so a request was made to Congress for additional funding to procure more and scale up production. Now manufacturers are scaling up production of PPE and the role at the federal level is to appropriately implement regulatory relief, provide alternative sources and support manufacturing, and adjust allocation to appropriately target areas in need.

On March 21, HHS awarded contracts to Honeywell, Draeger, 3M, Moldex and O&M Halyard to incrementally purchase approximately 600 million N95 respirators. This purchase supports long-term production while encouraging manufacturers to increase production of N95 respirators now – with the guarantee that they will not be left with excess supplies if private sector orders are cancelled once the COVID-19 response subsides.

Two responders in Oakland wearing PPE

HHS announced a partnership with DuPont for TYVEK suits and has worked to ensure regulatory flexibility like allowing the use of industrial N95s in healthcare settings and working with the DOJ to crack down on price gougers and hoarders.

  • This page last reviewed: April 16, 2020