Business & Investment

The US N95 market is still facing supply problems as the new coronavirus strain raises questions about mask quality.

U.S. and European government officials are calling for stricter masking protocols as more infectious strains of coronavirus are in circulation, but the demand for respiratory masks in the U.S. is far outstripping supply. There are still concerns.

The N95 is unique in that it can filter almost all (95%) large and small particles in the air. This makes it a more efficient blocker for SARS-CoV-2 aerosols that can move through the air.

Of President Joe Biden Executive order Last week, we used the Defense Production Act to speed up the production of personal protective equipment such as N95 respiratory masks, isolation gowns, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swabs used in diagnostic tests.

The N95-centric US mindset is that you need to book for healthcare and other front-line workers who are at the highest risk of getting the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still states that N95 and medical grade masks “should be preserved for healthcare professionals.”

However, with the advent of new viral variants such as B.1.1.7 from the UK, B.1.351 strain from South Africa, and P.1 from Brazil, medical professionals have begun to rethink mask types. .. It’s the safest right now. CDC said it was expecting B.1.1.7 is the most predominant strain of virus By March in the United States.

“The N95 mask is the most protective mask, followed by a three-layer surgical mask, followed by a cloth mask,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the CDC. Tweet January 24th. “Fabric masks are much better than without masks, but if the infectious Covid variant begins to spread widely, you may need to enhance your mask game.”

At least two new strains — B.1.1.7 detected in the vicinity 430 people In the United States, it was detected in B.1.351. Two persons In the United States — it is considered more contagious.Of further concern are South African stocks Reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine Developed by BioNTech SE
BNTX,
+ 6.31%

/Pfizer Japan Inc
PFE,
+ 0.11%

And Moderna Inc.
MRNA,
+ 8.53%

And Of at least one antibody treatment, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.Made
REGN,
-0.48%
..

Biden also called on Americans to wear masks for 100 days, saying that masks are now needed in federal buildings, airports, planes, trains and buses. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, said at the “Today” show this week: “

European countries are also implementing stricter mask rules. Austria, France,and Germany We considered implementing or implementing more protective mask requirements for FFP2 (known in the United States as N95), public transport, grocery stores, and shopping.Austria I am also creating a free FFP2 Available to homeless people, low-income residents, and people over the age of 65.

Ravina Kullar, an epidemiologist and adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said: “People are wise to upgrade their cloth masks to use higher quality masks.” And likewise, Dr. Forch recently doubled the cloth masks as another recommendation. Said to consider. “

But even if most Americans are willing to buy and wear an N95 breathing mask in their daily lives, it can be difficult given the ongoing supply chain issues.

“The pandemic has pushed demand for the N95 to an unprecedented level in the United States,” said Chris Lavanchy, engineering director of ECRI, a medical safety organization, in an email. “It, coupled with the turmoil in the international supply chain, has contributed to the shortage. It also makes major suppliers of both the raw materials for these masks and the masks themselves dependent on other countries such as China. It has become particularly difficult for the United States to quickly expand production and respond. What is needed. “

This is the reason for Kimberly-Clark.
KMB,
-2.26%

We are currently manufacturing N95 in the United States. Prior to 2020, it was manufactured by an external manufacturer on behalf of the company. A spokeswoman for the company said it spent $ 30 million last year to boost its production capacity and is now capable of producing up to 30 million N95 respiratory organs a month for non-medical use in the United States.

3M Co.
Hmm,
-4.23%

He recently told investors that he would deliver about 1 billion respiratory units to the United States in 2020. Honeywell International Inc.
HON,
-3.68%

In December, we sold 225 million N95 and surgical masks to US customers. Honeywell does not sell the N95 directly to the public because of the “unprecedented demand” for respiratorys, but Kimberly Clark currently sells one non-medical N95 respiratory on Amazon.com. I will.

Other issues are related to stockpiling. Some government agencies and healthcare providers have begun to increase their stockpiles after reports of extreme shortages early in the pandemic.

For example, Strategic National Stockpile had 107 million respiratory organs as of October, compared to 12.6 million in December 2019. According to the Government Accountability Office..

Premiere Co., Ltd.
PINC,
-1.05%
,
Buy medicines for hospitals, Said recently In most American hospital systems where it works, you have a median N95 of 150 days compared to April 23. And HCA Healthcare Inc.
HCA,
-0.81%

After the national hospital chain spent $ 196 million more on PPE than expected in 2020, it said this month was part of a new joint venture to manufacture personal protective equipment, including masks.

Healthcare professionals continue to say that they are reusing PPE containing N95 masks while caring for COVID-19 patients. According to media reports..

The N95 Respirator is approved by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and healthcare professionals using the N95 Respirator need to make sure it fits on the face. During the summer campaign, President Joe Biden said it was “unconscientious” for healthcare professionals to distribute PPE.

“All healthcare professionals can be confident that they will have a properly fitted N95 mask,” Biden said.



The US N95 market is still facing supply problems as the new coronavirus strain raises questions about mask quality.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B21005575-02D4-D4B5-4572-D21DC20A3D70%7D&siteid=rss&rss=1 The US N95 market is still facing supply problems as the new coronavirus strain raises questions about mask quality.

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