Happy Valentines Day.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted 24-18 along party lines Thursday to approve a section of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that includes the [two year long Affordable Care Act] subsidy boost. * * * [Also [t]he House Energy and Commerce Committee released legislation aimed at expanding Medicaid coverage and eligibility. * * * The legislation now moves to the House Budget Committee, which will roll it into the final package and send to the House floor [later this month].
On the COVID-19 vaccination front —
- CBS News reports
Students as young as first grade [age 6] might be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by September, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted in an interview published by ProPublica on Thursday.
Fauci cited clinical trials now underway in the U.S. from vaccine developers Pfizer and Moderna to test the safety and efficacy of the doses in children. He had said previously that the Food and Drug Administration might allow for vaccinations in American children “by the time we get to the late spring and early summer.”
- The Wall Street Journal reports that
Walmart Inc., the U.S.’s largest retailer and private employer, is set to become one of the biggest distributors of the Covid-19 vaccine as the federal government enlists retail pharmacies to accelerate what has been a choppy rollout.
Last week, 21 retail chains and pharmacy networks started administering those doses, including CVS, Walgreens, Kroger and grocers in all 50 states. The government initially plans to give around a million doses a week directly to pharmacies. Around 200,000 of those are going to Walmart, a spokeswoman said.
That is in part because out of the roughly 5,000 U.S. stores under the company’s Walmart and Sam’s Club banners, about 4,000 are located in what the federal government defines as medically underserved areas.
- The Washington Post informs us about volunteer COVID-19 vaccine hunter who are helping the elderly get their protection. Bravo.
- According to the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker, over six million doses COVID-19 vaccines were administered from February 11 through February 13. 38,292,270 Americans have receive their first dose and another 14,077,440 have received both doses of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine. We are likely only two weeks away from the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine joining this portfolio.