7 Products That Are Harder to Find in 2022

Girl Scout with cookies
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As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic — yes, folks, it’s been that long — shortages of products remain a stubborn and seemingly intractable problem.

In some ways, store shelves are being hit harder now than at any time since the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 first emerged. Supply chain woes continue to keep some products scarce. And to make matters worse, millions of workers are no longer available to transport and stock those products, thanks to a sharp rise in infections that has kept large numbers of employees at home.

Following is a list of the specific products that have become scarce as 2022 has gotten underway.

1. At-home COVID-19 tests

Man taking COVID test at home
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The omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is running wild, and many of us look to over-the-counter tests to indicate whether we’ve been infected.

However, finding such tests has been next to impossible.

During the holidays, test kits began disappearing from store shelves. For the most part, they have yet to return.

The federal government is now offering free test kits to those who want them. But if you decide to search for test kits in other places, make sure you don’t end up on the wrong end of a scam. For more, check out “How to Avoid Fake COVID-19 Test Kits.”

2. New Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout cookies
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It seems that COVID-19 is leaving no part of life untouched, not even our beloved Girl Scout Cookies.

This year marked the arrival of Adventurefuls, a brownie-and-salted-caramel cookie. However, the Washington Post reports there is a shortage of the new cookies in some areas due to what a regional product program team described, in a message to Scout leaders and volunteers, as “extremely high demand and unprecedented covid related labor shortages in the facility where Adventurefuls are produced.”

Samoas, anyone?

3. Baby formula

Baby drinking a bottle of milk
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COVID-19 is largely a disease impacting older Americans, with those under the age of 18 making up just a microscopic fraction of deaths. But that doesn’t mean youngsters are not feeling the effects of the pandemic.

Baby formula has become difficult to find. Everybody seems to agree there is a shortage, but there is no consensus as to why it is happening, reports the Wall Street Journal. Some blame supply issues, while others say retailers are failing to get the product to store shelves after it arrives.

4. Meat

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As omicron variant infections rise among workers in the meat industry, meat production is falling.

Reuters reports that Cargill — one of the top beef producers in the U.S. — has had to lower slaughtering capacity. Over time, that could result in already high meat prices climbing even more.

5. New COVID-19 antivirals

Pills spilling out of a prescription container.
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New drugs authorized late last year promise to keep those with COVID-19 infections from requiring hospitalization. Unfortunately, though, the pills — such as Pfizer’s Paxlovid — remain in limited supply.

President Joe Biden has pledged to double the federal government’s order of the Pfizer drug in an attempt to alleviate the shortage, the Washington Post reports.

6. Blood collection tubes

Man giving blood
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Throughout the pandemic, items one would never have imagined going out of stock — think toilet paper — have vanished.

Add blood collection tubes to the list. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says an increase in demand for such tubes during the pandemic and recent vendor supply issues are making the items scarce.

The FDA is urging health care providers, laboratory directors, phlebotomists and other personnel to take steps to conserve the tubes, including only performing blood draws when they are medically necessary.

7. Lithium

Electric car lithium battery pack
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Demand is red-hot for lithium, a metal used in electric vehicle batteries. Unfortunately, supply is not keeping up.

Reuters reports that countries in the West are moving fast to establish new mines to try to fill the gap, but experts say the shortage could last another few years.

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