As we continue to experience a spike in COVID cases in New Jersey thanks to the new omicron variant, the White House announced early this week that they will be distributing over 400 million N95 masks.

A spokesperson for the White House said this is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history

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Distribution could begin as early as the beginning of February, CNN reports.

These masks were previously reserved for healthcare workers and are very hard to find.

The government has dipped into what they are calling "the national stockpile."

What are N95 masks?

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According to the CDC, N95 masks are the most effective face masks to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Reuters reports that N95 masks are often made of multiple layers of polypropylene, a synthetic fiber.

They are specifically designed to have a very snug fit with straps that go around the back of the head.

N95 masks are said to filter out at least 95% of particles in the air.

It's recommended that they only be used once, but you can usually get a few uses out of them.

They start becoming ineffective after five uses.

Where in New Jersey are free N95 masks being distributed?

N95 masks will be distributed at New Jersey pharmacies that have been providing free COVID vaccinations.

There will be a limit of three per person. It is still unknown at the point whether child-sized masks will be available.

Participating locations include:

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Click here for all New Jersey locations.

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Click here for all New Jersey locations.

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Click here for all New Jersey locations.

Select Costco and Walmart stores will have masks available as well.

Be sure to check ahead before going to claim your masks.

Most importantly, please don't hoard masks. Three per person will allow everyone who wants an N95 face mask to get one.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

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Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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