Over the course of the pandemic, the marketplace for vetted, medical-grade PPE has been very difficult to navigate, particularly for small and underserved communities with smaller procurement budgets. Counterfeit PPE and price gouging have been rife as demand surged past need, so much so that the Department of Justice announced the formation of a COVID-19 Fraud Task Force in May 2021.
Loosened FDA restrictions allowed new manufacturers to supply the demand for hand sanitizer when the pandemic broke out. But months after, several of these new products have been recalled, with the FDA issuing a list of products consumers should not use.
A study found prolonged mask-wearing–specifically, the prolonged use of N95 masks–negatively affected hospital workers, causing headaches, acne and skin breakdown, and impaired cognition.
Two governors announced their states would be lifting their respective mask mandates. Meanwhile, in the United States, healthcare workers continue to ration personal protective equipment (PPE), revealing an ongoing healthcare crisis caused by issues in the supply chain.
Millions of N95 masks were exported earlier this year, while American healthcare workers risk their lives every day by reusing PPE, exposing issues in the PPE Supply Chain.
PPE supply chains begin to ease as COVID-19 cases decline; however, virus variants and inequitable access to PPE and vaccines continue to threaten a full recovery.
Although supply chains have not been able to make many changes to their processes, data from Get Us PPE shows that the need is only growing.