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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update

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01/26/2021

HBMA COVID-19 Federal Response Update

 
Congress

  • President Biden has reached out to a bipartisan group of senators about his plan. It does not appear that his plan can get 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. This would require the use of the Budget Reconciliation process which is not subject to the filibuster. It is unlikely that the entirety of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 plan can be passed using reconciliation.
  • House Democrats are planning to formally transmit the Articles of Impeachment for President Donald Trump this evening. The Senate has reached an agreement on the timing for the impeachment trial. The impeachment trial will delay the Senate’s ability to begin consideration of a budget resolution (which is needed to use the Budget Resolution process), additional COVID-19 relief bills, and advancing cabinet nominations, among other things.

White House and Federal Agencies

  • President Biden believes COVID-19 vaccines will be widely available to the public by the spring.
  • The Biden Administration will resume holding regular COVID-19 briefings with federal public health officials.
  • The FDA now says that N95 masks can only be reused up to four decontamination cycles.
  • President Biden directed OSHA to investigate if new regulations or guidance is needed to protect workers from COVID-19.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates

  • The CDC now says that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be administered up to six weeks apart.
  • The CDC published new data on the rarity of allergic reactions to Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines.
  • The CDC updated its information pages for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
  • The CDC updated its FAQ page on the COVID-19 Vaccines.
  • The CDC updated its webpage about COVID-19 Vaccine Related Codes.
  • The CDC updated its What to Expect at Your Appointment to get Vaccinated for COVID-19 web page.

Vaccine, Testing and Treatment

  • This article lists of each state’s website for COVID-19 vaccine information including how to sign up to receive the vaccine.
    • As of January 24th, the CDC says 21.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. Of that total, 3.2 million people have received their second dose while 18.5 million have only received their first dose.
  • Eli Lilly reports that its drug bamlanivimab is effective a reducing risk of infection for COVID-19.
  • Moderna says that its vaccine is less effective against a COVID-19 strain that was identified in South Africa. Moderna is testing booster shots against the new strain.
  • NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci also said that preliminary data indicates that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are less effective against some of the new COVID-19 variants.
  • The CDC is increasing its monitoring of new variants.
  • The Biden Administration issued new restrictions for international travelers to help control the spread of the new strains.