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To Boost Rapid Testing

New programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home testing for SARS-CoV-2 in the US, according to the Washington Post.

It adds that one such program at the US National Institutes of Health is using $70 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan to help test makers make their way through the regulatory process at the Food and Drug Administration and better understand what data the FDA needs. According to the Post, the hope for the program is to speed up the authorization process. It notes that the Biden Administration announced earlier this month that it would buy $1 billion worth of rapid tests.

While rapid tests are generally less accurate than PCR tests, they can return results in minutes and be used help make decisions about school or participating in other activities, the Post says, adding that other countries like the UK have implemented rapid testing as part of their pandemic response.

"This is all extremely good news, and I love that they are expanding the validation efforts so that there won't just be more tests, but high-quality tests," Gigi Gronvall from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security tells the Post.