HHS to support mass respirator development

HHS to support mass respirator development. | Courtesy of Shutterstock

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will support the development of rapid manufacturing systems for N95 respirators.

According to the announcement, approximately 150,000 respirators can be manufactured daily on a single unit. Despite this, a pandemic situation would require at least 90 million respirators, according to a 2006 study by the Institute of Medicine. This development will take place under a $1.6 million contract between the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s (ASPR) Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and Halyard Health.

The company will be tasked with testing manufacturing practices and processes in order to develop equipment with increased production capacity -- to produce cling wrap and tissue paper.

“Pandemic preparedness in the U.S. is imperative to protecting health and saving lives, and respirator manufacturing capacity remains a critical gap in that preparedness,” BARDA Director Robin Robinson said. “Innovations in manufacturing like this high-speed line can help bridge that gap and by applying innovative approaches to manufacturing day-to-day, we improve readiness.”

Robinson also stated that innovation in manufacturing will allow enhanced competitiveness in international markets for medical equipment and health products.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 200 Independence Avenue Southwest Washington, DC 20201

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