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An Amazon-designed face shield is now for sale on, you guessed it, Amazon.com.
The e-retailer said Tuesday it's already donated 60,000 of these face shields, developed by the company's Prime Air drone mechanical engineers and hardware teams. An additional 150,000 more face shields will be donated by the end of the year.
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To help meet demand from medical professionals and the general public, the face shields are now on sale at-cost on Amazon.com. They're only available in packs of 25 for $66.25 total, but the company claims that's a third less than the price of all other reusable face shields for sale to frontline workers.
Face shields were among the items in short supply at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. To ensure supplies were available to medical workers, Amazon in April restricted the sale of N95 masks, gloves and disinfectant wipes. Some items, including surgical gloves, are still being restricted for sale on Amazon, while others, like disinfectant wipes, are still hard to find at any retailer.
There have been plenty of innovations, like Amazon's designed face shields, to make up for the supply shortages. For instance, a thriving industry of handmade face masks has grown on Etsy, and distilleries from across the country started making hand sanitizers.
For its face shields, the Amazon team adapted the design from a model created by a nonprofit 3D-printing group in Washington state. The Prime Air engineers worked with the 3D-printing group to make the shields reusable and more comfortable for health care workers. The face shield design has since been approved by the National Institutes of Health.
Amazon said it's made its design available to anyone through an open-sourced design software, so they can be made using 3D printing or injection molding.
In addition to the face shield donations, Amazon this month donated $10 million in personal protective equipment to food banks and clinics.
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