COVID-19 Weekly Newsletter: Biden Announces New Pandemic Plan

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

On September 9, President Biden announced a new six-pronged plan to address COVID-19, which includes bold steps aimed at increasing vaccination rates.

Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic Plan

On Thursday, President Biden announced a six-pronged plan to address COVID-19 by focusing on preventative strategies. The plan includes mandates to increase vaccination rates; measures to increase testing and mask requirements; methods to keep schools safe; and tactics to support economic recovery. The plan also proposes actions to improve care for those with COVID-19. One of President Biden’s central aims is to substantially increase vaccination rates through regulatory powers and other actions. The plan includes a mandate for employers to provide paid time off for vaccination and for the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a rule that will require employees with 100+ employees to mandate vaccination or weekly testing. Further, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will require vaccinations for most workers who work in a health care setting that receives Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.

FDA To Consider Vaccines for Children

Today, Friday, September 10, Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock issued a statement describing how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will safely consider vaccine authorizations for children under the age of 12. The agency ensures that thorough and robust clinical trials of adequate size will guide the agency’s decision and that it will “not cut any corners.”

New Type of COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Human Use

The COVID-19 vaccines approved in the U.S. represent two different technology platforms — one based on a portion of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic material (mRNA vaccines) and the other based on a replication-incompetent viral vector encoding the virus’s spike protein. Elsewhere in the world, other platforms have been used for the approved vaccines, e.g., based on inactivated virus. Recently, the armamentarium of approved vaccine platforms has been expanded with the DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use in India.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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