Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: International Reagent Resource

Release Date:
April 13, 2020

Established by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the International Reagent Resource provides resources for surveillance of and detection of influenza and other respiratory pathogens to laboratories with documented training and competency. The organization acquires, authenticates, and produces reagents that scientists need to carry out basic research and develop improved diagnostic tests, vaccines, and detection methods. The IRR is under contract by American Type Culture Collection (ATCC).

The coronavirus (COVID-19) Federal Interagency Task Force continues to expand items supplied by the IRR to help public health labs access diagnostics supplies and reagents for COVID-19 testing free of charge. Consolidating testing supplies under the IRR simplifies the resource request process for states and territories and alleviates the burden on public health labs, increasing efficiency by reducing the need to work with separate, individual suppliers for swabs, reagents and other diagnostic testing supplies.

  • State public health labs should submit open, unfilled requests directly to the IRR.
    • FEMA Regions should cancel such requests for state labs for diagnostic resources with National Response Coordination Center (NRCC)/WebEOC.
  • State public health labs must be registered entities with the IRR in order to access its supplies and resources.  During this emergency response, additional laboratories may be authorized to access IRR supplies and resources by their state’s primary public health laboratory or other qualified public health entity.
  • Tribes and other entities will continue procuring lab diagnostic supplies through the commercial market.
  • The expanded list of diagnostic supplies will include supplies to support three components needed for COVID-19 testing:
    • Sample kits, to swab via the nose and/or throat. 
    • Extraction kits, to isolate the viral genetic material (RNA); and
    • Test kits, to determine the presence of COVID-19.
  • To order resources from the IRR, registered public health labs must submit their request for supplies online at All requests are routed to CDC for review and approval.    
  • CDC sends approved requests to IRR for processing within 24-48 hours. Those supplies produced by the CDC or encompassed within CDC FDA-approved Emergency Use Authorization assay will ship from IRR directly, typically within 2-3 business days from order approval.  Supplies purchased by IRR from other commercial manufacturers will ship directly from those manufacturers’ facilities upon receipt of approved orders from CDC according to their shipping schedule.
  • The NRCC continues to provide prioritization guidance to the IRR using epidemiological and testing data.
    • The IRR retains operational latitude to adjust allocations as they apply the NRCC guidance.
  • Laboratories are encouraged to order reagents in line with immediate (1 – 1 ½ weeks) testing needs so all states and territories may support testing while commercial inventories are relatively constrained. 
    • As commercial manufacturers continue to scale up their production capabilities, IRR anticipates that inventory supplies will expand.
    • For supplies carried by the IRR, public health labs are advised only to submit requests through the IRR.

Visit to see the full list and specifications for available COVID-19 diagnostics supplies and reagents.

Last updated March 17, 2021