As part of its ongoing battle to push back a surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations related to the omicron variant, the Biden administration is expected to make 400 million N95 masks available for free to United States residents, and Walgreens says that it will participate in the program.
The Chicago-based company announced that it would make the masks of varying sizes available to the public, free of charge, beginning in the near future.
“We are pleased to partner with the administration to make N95 masks in varying sizes available free of charge at select Walgreens locations nationwide while supplies last,” a company spokesperson said. “We know masks are an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
According to a White House statement, the masks will come from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile, which has more than 750 million of the highly-protective masks on-hand.
The masks are expected to be available for pickup at pharmacies and community health centers across the country, and final details are still being worked out, according to Walgreens officials.
The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N-95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week.
“We are currently finalizing the operational details of this program and will provide information once available,” the company said.
The masks will begin shipping this week, and distribution will begin later this month, according to officials. Each individual will be able to get up to three of the masks.
The news comes after the CDC recommended that residents wear properly-fitted N95 and KN95 masks, as those coverings were shown to be more effective at protecting individuals from the omicron variant of the virus.
Cloth masks can still be worn, according to officials.