Health

Why it matters: The U.S. faces a range of health care flashpoints — unaffordable drugs, opioids, vaping — as we debate whether to adopt universal care. For now, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, but Republicans want to issue it a final death blow.

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3 hours ago - Health

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300 million adults by end of May

President Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that ramped-up coronavirus vaccine production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

Why it matters: That's two months sooner than Biden's previous promise of enough vaccines for all American adults by the end of July.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

Texas to end all coronavirus restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the White House in December 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas will end its coronavirus restrictions next week with an upcoming executive order, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Tuesday during a press conference in Lubbock.

Why it matters: After Abbott signs the new order, which rescinds previous orders, all businesses can open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will be over, though large parts of the state will remain under mask local ordinances.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.
10 hours ago - Health

J&J and Merck to partner for COVID vaccine production to boost supply

Empty vials that contained a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the COVID-19. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will announce Tuesday that pharmaceutical giant Merck will help Johnson & Johnson manufacture its newly authorized coronavirus vaccine to boost supply, a senior administration official tells Axios.

The big picture: The development has the potential to vastly increase supply, possibly doubling what the J&J could make on its own, the official said. The company has run into challenges while trying to expand its vaccine production to a global scale.

Dave Lawler, author of World
12 hours ago - World

Vaccine hesitancy is fading in U.S. and Europe

Vaccine hesitancy is fading, according to a poll of six countries shared with Axios by strategic consulting firm Kekst CNC.

Zoom in: Brits have embraced the national vaccination mission, with a whopping 89% willing to be vaccinated.

13 hours ago - Health

Pentagon research arm looks to fund next generation of mRNA vaccines

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A new initiative — funded by DARPA, the Pentagon's high-tech research arm — is aiming to make it much easier to scale up the next generation of RNA- and DNA-based vaccines.

Driving the news: A consortium including GE Research, the Broad Institute and the University of Washington is announcing today that it's secured a $41 million grant from DARPA. 

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
14 hours ago - Health

Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring

Teenagers' demand for mental health care skyrocketed last year amid the pandemic, even as their overall need for care declined, according to a new analysis by FAIR Health.

Why it matters: Parents, schools and pediatricians have been warning for months that kids aren't OK, and this analysis backs up their concern with numbers.

15 hours ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Note: Margin of error for the entire sample is ±3.1%; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

During the last year, Americans have felt stressed out and worried about the coronavirus — but now more say they're hopeful as the vaccines become available, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Americans finally see some light at the end of the tunnel as we approach the one-year anniversary of the national emergency over the pandemic — a year that has been full of misery, mental anguish, and sickness and death here and around the world.

15 hours ago - Health

Study: Only the biggest ACA subsidies improved financial health

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Only the biggest subsidies through the Affordable Care Act improved families' overall financial well-being, according to a study published Monday in Health Affairs.

The big picture: Low-income families eligible for both premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies spent 17% less on out-of-pocket health care costs than unsubsidized enrollees. But the financial burden of health care costs didn't alleviate at all for middle-income families eligible only for premium subsdies.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Mar 2, 2021 - World

Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines

Several countries in the Americas have received their first vaccine shipments over the past few weeks — not from the regional superpower or from Western pharmaceutical giants, but from China, Russia, and in some cases India.

Why it matters: North and South America have been battered by the pandemic and recorded several of the world’s highest death tolls. Few countries other than the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture vaccines at scale, and most lack the resources to buy their way to the front of the line for imports. That’s led to a scramble for whatever supply is available.

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