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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Most states are making people with underlying conditions eligible for coronavirus vaccines, but which conditions differ by state and sometimes even by county, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: With health care workers and the oldest Americans increasingly vaccinated, public health officials are grappling with who should be next in line — a decision that could have life-or-death consequences.

Details: At least 37 states and Washington, D.C. have made at least some people with health conditions eligible.

  • But states are making decisions about what conditions get priority without definitive research on which ones put a person at highest risk of severe coronavirus infection.

For example: At least 30 states have made some people with Type 2 diabetes eligible, but people with Type 1 diabetes are only eligible in 23 states.

  • And at least 30 states are allowing people who are overweight or obese to get shots, but body mass index requirements vary significantly.

What we're watching: Most experts generally agreed that nursing home residents should be vaccinated only after health care workers. But using age to determine eligibility will likely become increasingly controversial if states continue to move down into younger age brackets.

  • "Age-only distribution is unethical, likely illegal and bad health policy. It also abdicates the government's responsibility to seek equity and proactively reach out to high-risk people in search of the mirage of value neutrality," a trio of law, medical ethics and health policy professors opined yesterday in the Washington Post.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

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.