Weideman COVID-19 Update
April 17, 2021
J&J Vaccine Put on Pause
As a result of a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, California has temporarily suspended the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The suspension comes as the CDC and FDA identified six cases of a rare but severe type of blood clot in individuals who received the vaccine. The clotting was very rare, impacting fewer than one in a million vaccine recipients, and J&J has indicated that no causal link has been identified between the blood clotting and the vaccine. Governor Newsom has provided assurances that the state’s ability to administer doses will not be impacted by the suspension. To date, California has administered more than 24.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines across the state and nearly 50% of eligible Californians have received at least one dose. All Californians ages 16 and over are now eligible to receive the vaccine.
Build Back Boldly
California State Senate Democrats released their Build Back Boldy budget priorities plan this week. The plan outlines their budget priorities for the next two years and beyond as the state prepares to move past the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan takes advantage of the state’s one-time surplus, savings during good years and additional money from the federal relief packages. Spending priorities include debt free college, universal early childcare, homelessness, housing affordability, wildfire prevention and resilience, drought protection, health care access and affordability, state system improvements and more.
Back to School
Governor Gavin Newsom is calling on all schools in the state to fully reopen for in-person, full time instruction this fall. With vaccination rates increasing, positivity rates and hospitalizations at an all time low, the availability of funds to assist school districts with reopening, and approximately 9,000 schools already open for some type of in-person instruction, it is likely that most schools will once again provide in-person learning by this fall.
Covered California, the state’s health care marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act, has received $3 billion in subsidies from the federal government. The subsidies are part of the American Rescue Plan, and the money will begin to lower premium payments in May for approximately 1.6 million Californians. It’s estimated that some Californians may be paying just $1 a month for coverage. The enhanced subsidies will run through the end of 2022 and this federal money will allow California to recapture funds they had already budgeted for state financed subsidy augmentations.