Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

America's wealthiest are finding ways to access the vaccine ahead of those who qualify for it.

Why it matters: The pandemic has already widened existing health inequities and underserved communities continue to lag in vaccinations compared to the white and rich.

The incident: In January, Florida's Baptist Health Systems helped vaccinate 1,200 residents of the wealthy Ocean Reef community, but the doses came from its storage of vaccines for the general public, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

  • Though Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) insists the state was "not involved," a Baptist Health spokesperson said the Medical Center at Ocean Reef asked the state of Florida for doses, which the state then requested from Baptist Health.
  • Some of the beneficiaries were wealthy Republican donors who had contributed to DeSantis' political action committee, Axios' Ben Montgomery reported.
  • Baptist Health was forced to cancel vaccine appointments for "hundreds of people" due to the shortage, according to the Times. DeSantis has since faced backlash.

But that's not the only case of wealthy folks skirting the line.

  • In Philadelphia, the 22-year-old CEO of a COVID-response startup was caught taking home doses for his friends.
  • In another instance, nursing-home board members and major donors were invited to get the vaccine meant for residents in West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • The Los Angeles Times has reported that affluent Californians are taking vaccines meant for Black and Latino communities.
  • Wealthy clients in Los Angeles and New York City offered donations of up to $25,000 to concierge doctors in exchange for the vaccine.
  • "Suddenly our clinic was full of white people," George Jones, the head of a nonprofit that runs a medical clinic, told the New York Times in February. "We’d never had that before. We serve people who are disproportionately African-American."

The big picture: An analysis of local vaccine data in 10 states with the biggest wealth gaps found that a number of states had vaccinated a significantly higher proportion of people in the wealthiest counties, according to STAT.

  • Connecticut has the most "glaring disparity" in vaccination rates between its richest and poorest communities with a difference of 65%.
  • California, Florida, New Jersey and Mississippi have also vaccinated people in the wealthiest 10% of counties at much higher rates.
  • Cities continue to struggle with adequately reaching lower-income communities of color.

The Biden administration has allocated $250 million in grants for community organizations in an effort to combat inequities in cities' response to the coronavirus.

  • States such as Colorado and Minnesota are attempting to address gaps in vaccine distribution as well.

Go deeper: "Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Go deeper

Tech's war for your wrist

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech's biggest companies are ramping up competition for the real estate between your hand and your elbow.

The big picture: The next big hardware platform after the smartphone will likely involve devices for your eyes, your ears and your wrists.

1 hour ago - World

Tokyo Olympics to allow up to 10,000 fans at each event

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto (L) and IOC President Thomas Bach on Monday. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics said Monday that venues can be filled up to 50% capacity when the Games kick off on July 23, with a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators at each event, AP reports.

Why it matters: Medical experts advising the Japanese government had recommended against allowing fans, citing the low vaccination rates in Japan and the potential for new variants to drive up infections.

2 hours ago - Health

The psychology behind COVID-19 vaccine lotteries

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NBA season tickets. Scholarships. A chance at $5 million. The list of lotteries and raffles states are launching to drive up COVID-19 vaccination rates is growing, and some local officials are already reporting "encouraging" results.

Driving the news: The reason why, some psychologists and public health experts say, is that the allure of lotteries for many people is simply that the prospect of winning a great prize seems better than passing up the chance, regardless of the odds.