WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) — More than 90 percent of free at-home COVID-19 tests ordered through a federal government website have been shipped in an “unprecedented” effort, the Biden administration senior adviser on testing said Tuesday.

“It’s a lot of firsts. It’s the biggest test acquisition in history. It’s the fastest delivery of anything to this number of households,” said Thomas Inglesby, M.D., CBS News reported.

Last month, the White House said about 60 million orders for the free tests were received within 10 days after launching the site. The huge demand was driven by concerns about the omicron variant. The White House initially said that the tests would “typically ship within 7 to 12 days of ordering,” but millions of Americans waited weeks to receive their tests, which were shipped on a first-come, first-served basis, CBS News reported.

Getting testing kits from suppliers has been the “rate-limiting” factor in fulfilling all of the initial requests, according to Inglesby. “As tests have been arriving, we’re getting them out as fast as we get them in from the manufacturers,” he said.

Distributing so many tests also presented logistical challenges. “For many companies, this was something that they had never done before on this scale, or at this speed. And so it was all in, from the companies and from the government side and the logistics providers, whether they were trucks or planes moving things around,” Inglesby said, CBS News reported.

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