What We’re Reading: EU Vaccine Exports Reduced; ACA Enrollment Extended; J&J Vaccine Delivery Deadline

Draft legislation details European Union (EU) plans to cut back its COVID-19 vaccine exports; the Biden administration announces a 3-month extension to Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment; Johnson & Johnson (J&J) may not meet its March 31 vaccine delivery deadline.

COVID-19 Vaccine Supply in the EU Faces Interruption

Despite facing a third COVID-19 surge, the European Union has drafted legislation that will cut back its export of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured among member countries for 6 weeks, The New York Times reported. The 3 vaccines approved in the European Union—Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca—could all be affected, with AstraZeneca reportedly being the main target following its decision in January to reduce its vaccine supply by more than half. Meanwhile, the legislation also proposes blocking shipments to countries with higher vaccination rates than the European Union.

ACA Open Enrollment Extended Through August

Following its previous announcement of a February 15 to May 15 special open enrollment period for HealthCare.gov marketplace plans among the 36 states that have expanded Medicaid coverage, the Biden administration is extending enrollment through August 15, The Hill reported. Current plan enrollees will be allowed to continue to change their plans, although doing so could reset their cost-sharing limits to $0, meaning more out-of-pocket expenses. In the first 2 weeks alone of the original extension, more than 200,000 Americans enrolled in plans.

J&J May Miss Vaccine Delivery Deadline

Having promised to deliver 20 million doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to the federal government by month’s end, early numbers are showing Johnson & Johnson (J&J) may fall short of meeting this goal, according to Politico. Only 20%, or 4 million doses, have reportedly been delivered to the government thus far, while 4.6 million have been distributed to states and federal vaccine programs. The news follows an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA that will permit a Catalent Pharma plant in Bloomington, Indiana, to produce and ship vaccines for J&J.