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Linsey Jones, a medical assistant working at a drive-up coronavirus testing clinic, wears an N95 mask on Jan. 4 in Puyallup, Wash. The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting this week. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Ted S. Warren/AP

A firefighter tests the seal on his N95 mask at the start of his shift in Glen Burnie, Md. With the spread of omicron, experts say to wear high-filtration respirators in public indoor spaces for the best protection. Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

15 Million N95s Without A Buyer

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Left to right: a neck gaiter (aka a buff) that slips over the head; a KN95 respirator, a version of the N95 respirator used in U.S. hospitals; a pleated surgical mask (below the KN95); a cloth mask. Photo illustration by Max Posner/NPR hide caption

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Photo illustration by Max Posner/NPR