What We’re Reading: COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids; Biden’s Domestic Agenda; Teva Opioid Settlement

The CDC laid out a plan for mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 years old, pending FDA authorization; President Biden pivots focus onto drug pricing to revive his social spending agenda; Teva opioid settlements could total $3.6 billion when all’s said and done.

Rollout Planned for COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Under 5

As reported by CNN, the United States has a tentative plan to roll out around 10 million vaccine doses for children between ages 6 months and 5 years old if the FDA grants emergency use authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The plan stems from the CDC’s updated pediatric COVID-19 vaccination planning guide and states that providers and facilities that ordered dosed should be ready to receive a shipment of vaccine doses on February 21. The FDA’s vaccine advisory committee is set to meet February 15 to discuss potential emergency use authorization for children as young as 6 months old.

Biden Focuses on Drug Prices to Revive Domestic Agenda

In an attempt to progress his stalled domestic agenda, President Biden is refocusing attention on limiting prescription drug costs as he prepares for travel to Virginia, according to a report from the Associated Press. The president’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, said during a press conference that the abuse to American families in relation to high drug prices needs to stop. Biden’s trip will serve as an opportunity for him to start promoting Democratic candidates in preparation for the November midterm elections. During his visit, he expected to lend support to a Democratic representative in danger of losing her seat in a central-leaning district. The report claimed that prescription drugs remain a politically safe focal point for the president’s visit.

Teva May Pay $3.6 Billion in Opioid Settlement

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries may pay up to $3.6 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits alleging that it and other drug companies helped fuel the US opioid epidemic, as reported by Reuters. The Israel-based company recently reached a settlement with Texas worth $225 million, which is comprised of $150 million in cash and $75 million in products. According to chief executive Kåre Schultz, based on the Texas settlement and a proposed nationwide settlement with other distributors and drugmakers, Teva will likely have to pay between $2.7 billion and $3.6 billion over the next 15 years. Schultz added that a deal could be reached by next year.

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