What We’re Reading: Gates Foundation Increases Vaccine Funding; Rising Cases in Nursing Homes; Finding Health Insurance

The Gates Foundation will add another $70 million of funding for vaccines and treatments against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); nursing homes see rising COVID-19 cases; finding health coverage for workers laid off due to the pandemic.

Gates Foundation Increases Funding for COVID-19 Vaccines

As reported by Reuters, the Gates Foundation announced today it will be adding another $70 million of funding to global efforts to develop and distribute vaccines and treatments against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Of the money pledged, $50 million will go to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) led by the Gavi vaccine alliance, with the remaining $20 million given to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. GAVI has said that it plans to secure 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, of which almost 1 billion doses will be available to the 92 poorest countries through the AMC.

Pandemic Straining Nursing Homes Again

After 7 weeks of steady decline, COVID-19 cases in nursing homes rose by more than 40% from mid-September to October 25, with nursing home operators saying it’s nearly impossible to keep the virus contained while cases spike across communities nationwide. POLITICO reports that during each period of heightened community spread, cases have consistently increased in nursing homes. In Wisconsin, 112 long-term care facilities reported new COVID-19 outbreaks in the last week, a stark figure nearly double the prior week’s increase.

Finding Health Coverage for Workers Laid Off Due to COVID-19

An article published by Kaiser Health News spotlighted workers who lost their job and health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is no official tally, studies indicate that at least 10 million workers have lost their health insurance, with almost two-thirds having subsequently found alternative coverage through a new job, Medicaid, or the marketplaces made available by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In California, almost 300,000 residents have enrolled in the state’s ACA marketplaces, while in New York, state officials and private groups have helped those unemployed with enrolling in state-supported programs.