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Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Mass-vaccination sites are returning across the U.S. as officials scramble to address a recent uptick in coronavirus infections, largely driven by the Omicron variant, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Large vaccination sites had served a significant role during the onset of the U.S. vaccine rollout, the Times notes. The re-emergence of these sites may prove to be instrumental in alleviating the toll on smaller clinics.

Driving the news: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday his state will open up new mass vaccination sites to meet a growing demand for booster shots.

  • Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island have either opened up sites, or plan to, per Wall Street Journal.

State of play: The U.S. saw a 225% increase in new cases in the two weeks leading up to Jan. 6. Though Omicron appears to cause less severe illness, the surge in infections has posed a significant burden on health care systems that are already stretched thin.

Worth noting: Initial studies have found that prior coronavirus infections appear to be much less protective against Omicron than with other variants.

  • Though 62.5% of the country has been vaccinated, concerns over the new strain have driven many people to seek out boosters, per the Times.

Go deeper

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.