Monday's health stories

More schools are reopening in the U.S.

Students settle into a classroom in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

More than 72% of K-12 students are now attending schools that offer in-person or hybrid models of learning.

The big picture: The U.S. is seeing an almost-universal return of schools that were in-person as of November, as well as a gradual return in parts of the country that had been virtual for almost a year.

Updated Mar 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Former President Trump and former first lady Melania Trump were both vaccinated at the White House in January, a Trump adviser tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump declared at CPAC on Sunday that "everybody" should get the coronavirus vaccine — the first time he's encouraged his supporters, who have been more skeptical of getting vaccinated, to do so.

Mar 1, 2021 - Podcasts

The Affordable Care Act's future under Biden

Obamacare is still standing, despite numerous GOP efforts to repeal it and progressive pleas to expand it.

Dan talks with Jonathan Cohn, a longtime health care reporter at the Huffington Post and author of a new book on the ACA, “The 10 Year War,” to learn where the law stands today and what we should expect to come next.

CMS will give community groups $2.3 million to bolster ACA sign-ups

President Biden speaks before signing executive orders on health care in January. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration will provide about $2.3 million to help bolster Affordable Care Act sign-ups in underserved communities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Monday.

Why it matters: This funding for ACA "navigators" who provide in-person enrollment assistance will help uninsured Americans take advantage of the special enrollment window that opens later this month.

CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Mar 1, 2021 - Technology

Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic

Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

All Apple stores in the U.S. are open for the first time since businesses began widespread closures due to the coronavirus last spring, the company confirmed to CNBC.

Why it matters: The milestone is a sign that the pandemic is winding down in the U.S. The stores closed nearly a year ago as COVID-19 first began to spread rapidly across the country.

Colorado sets timeline for return to normalcy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Colorado officials are starting to offer a picture of what life looks like when the pandemic eases its grip.

Driving the news: More school districts are returning to in-person learning before the end of the school year and the state is considering relaxing its rules for event venues, the Denver Post reports.

Mar 1, 2021 - Health

J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Monday that he is "absolutely" confident that the company will be able to meet its distribution goals, which include 100 million doses by June and up to a billion by the end of 2021.

Driving the news: J&J is already in the process of shipping 3.9 million doses this week, just days after the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the one-shot vaccine. Gorsky said he expects vaccines to be administered to Americans "literally within the next 24 to 48 hours."

Mar 1, 2021 - Health

RNA technology used for COVID could lead to malaria vaccine

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The RNA technology that helped us get a COVID vaccine may help the world get a vaccine for malaria, too.

Driving the news: Scientists have applied for a patent for an RNA-based vaccine that might circumvent the problems that have made it difficult to come up with any kind of malaria vaccine, per the Academic Times.

Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Most states have not made much of their incarcerated populations eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The big picture: Jails and prisons have seen big outbreaks and a higher death rate than the general public, but with supplies still limited, most governors aren't putting prisoners at the top of the list for vaccines.

Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking

Reproduced from KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The share of Americans who say they won’t get vaccinated is already small enough that the U.S. should be able to reach herd immunity even if the most reluctant people don’t change their minds.

By the numbers: According to the KFF Vaccine Monitor, 57% of adults either have already received at least one dose of a vaccine or plan to get vaccinated as soon as they can.