Human resources

US begins to juggle and ration scarce Covid resources, money

Axios says the Biden administration is “rationing” resources to ensure there are enough to tackle any potential covid resurgence in the fall. Bloomberg highlights how health programs are being cut to ‘claw back’ money to buy next-gen covid shots amid ongoing congressional lockdowns. Also in the news: How the White House plans to hand out beatings to under-5s.

Axios: America begins to ration COVID resources

With existing pandemic funds dwindling and no new congressional money in sight, the Biden administration is redistributing $10 billion from testing and other preparedness programs to ensure new COVID vaccines and existing treatments remain available this fall . With Congress unwilling to approve new spending, the White House is making tough choices to avoid being caught off guard if new, more dangerous COVID variants emerge. (Reed and Bettelheim, 6/9)

Bloomberg: US redirects health program money for new Covid vaccine orders

The Biden administration will cut several health programs in a bid to recoup enough money to buy next-generation Covid-19 vaccines, according to a White House official. Congress has for months denied requests for billions of dollars in new funding from the White House to order vaccines designed to boost protection against the highly transmissible omicron variant, as well as treatments and diagnostic tools. That left U.S. pandemic response leaders slashing other health and human service programs to purchase new supplies to meet ongoing pandemic needs. (Griffin and Wingrove, 6/8)

The New York Times: Aid blocked, White House to shift testing funds to vaccines and treatments

White House officials said Wednesday they should reallocate federal Covid-19 funds earmarked for coronavirus testing and protective equipment to provide more antiviral pills and vaccines, after so far failing to persuade Congress to pass a new pandemic relief package. About $10 billion of funds from the Department of Health and Human Services will be redirected, about half of that to buy vaccines for Americans ahead of a possible surge in virus cases in the fall or winter, when an updated vaccine may be needed, a White House official says. The other half will go mainly to buying 10 million courses of Paxlovid, the antiviral treatment made by Pfizer that has been shown to significantly reduce the severity of Covid-19 in high-risk people, the official said. . About $300 million will be spent on another type of treatment, monoclonal antibodies. (Weiland, 6/9)

In related covid cost news —

Modern healthcare: COVID-19 testing demands lab boon, cost blight, study finds

Independent labs are reaping the benefits of lucrative COVID-19 testing and those costs could drive up health insurance premiums and tax bills, a new study finds. Lab revenue from polymerase chain reaction testing increased about 8% per month from May 2020 to December 2020, according to an analysis of Hawaii tax data. Profits per PCR test were at least $10, but that’s a conservative estimate, the researchers wrote in a study to be published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine this week. (Kacik, 6/8)

And the White House details its distribution plan for vaccines for children under 5…

The Hill: White House unveils plans to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 and under

Ten million doses of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine will be available for states, tribes and other jurisdictions to pre-order in anticipation of vaccinations for children 5 and under beginning before the end of the month, the White House announced Thursday. . Administration officials outlining the plan said the vaccines will be distributed to thousands of different sites, but they will focus on frontline providers like pediatricians and primary care physicians because that’s where that they expect many families to want to go. (Weixel, 6/9)

CNN: Biden administration outlines Covid-19 vaccination plan for children under 5

The White House announces Thursday a plan to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine for children under 5, in partnership with state and local governments, health care providers, federal pharmaceutical partners, national and community organizations. and other entities to ship and distribute vaccines across the country after next week’s meeting of FDA vaccine advisers — who will review data on those vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna — and the expected clearance from the entire FDA. “As the (US Food and Drug Administration) and (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) conduct their independent review processes, the Biden administration is planning for all scenarios, including starting the first vaccinations as soon as possible. the week of June 20 – with the schedule escalating over time as more doses are delivered and more appointments become available,” the White House wrote in a statement. backgrounder shared with CNN Wednesday.(Judd, 6/9)

The Wall Street Journal: US prepares to distribute Covid-19 vaccines to children under 5

The Biden administration is preparing to roll out vaccines for children under 5 in conjunction with education and outreach efforts, if the vaccines are approved by federal regulators. Vaccinations for children under 5 could begin as early as June 21 if injections from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE are cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. Ten million initial doses will be made available, senior administration officials said. (Armor, 6/9)

Learn more about the vaccine rollout —

AP: New vaccine could be option for troops with religious concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine that may soon gain federal approval could give the U.S. military a boost: an opportunity to vaccinate some of the thousands of service members who have refused other coronavirus vaccines for religious reasons. At least 175 active duty and reserve service members have already received the Novavax vaccine, with some even traveling overseas at their own expense to obtain it. The vaccine meets Department of Defense requirements as it has emergency use approval from the World Health Organization and is used in Europe and other regions. The Food and Drug Administration is considering giving it emergency use authorization in the United States (Baldor, 6/9)

CIDRAP: HIV may predispose to post-vaccination COVID, requiring additional doses

The risk of COVID-19 infection after the primary vaccination was 28% higher in adults diagnosed with HIV, suggesting that they could benefit from two additional doses, according to a US study published yesterday in JAMA Network Open. Johns Hopkins University researchers led a team assessing the risk of COVID-19 infection among 113,994 vaccinated patients – of whom 33,029 had HIV and 80,965 who did not – through December 31, 2021 (Van Beusekom, 6/8)

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