top of page
All Categories /

Pandemics, Vaccinations, & Research


Vaccination Requirements End

The Biden Administration lifted its remaining key COVID-19 vaccination requirements, announcing (May 1) that the mandates will end on the same day of the official end of the current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (May 11).

Vaccination requirements will end immediately on May 11 for:

  • Federal employees and Federal contractors.

  • International air travelers.

The Administration says that the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security “will start the process” to end vaccination requirements” for:

  • Head Start educators.

  • Federally-certified healthcare facilities (e.g., hospitals).

  • Persons entering land borders.

Further details on changes for these groups will be provided in “the coming days.”

This should also bring an end to the myriad of legal battles still pending in the courts that have cost the Federal Government millions of dollars and thousands of staff hours to fight on behalf of those wanting to stay healthy.

(posted: 5-2-23)


US Intelligence Assessment on Origins of COVID-19

Reporting in the Wall Street Journal (February 26) indicates that a classified US Department of Energy intelligence assessment concluded “with low confidence” that the virus emerged from a lab in China. Energy apparently based this conclusion on new (not reportedin the WSJ) information, after previously having an undecided view of this matter.

A view with low confidence may mean that the information is not sufficiently conclusive or evidentiary upon which to express a viewpoint with confidence. Four other intelligence agencies apparently still view the outbreak, also with low confidence, as having occurred through a natural transmission.

A year ago, the US intelligence community, through the Director of National Intelligence, issued an unclassified assessment of the origins of the COVID-19 virus. The document outlined the specific areas of agreement and disagreement on this matter across the US intelligence community:

  • Areas of agreement - the virus started as a small-scale exposure between November and December of 2019 with the first known cases occurring in Wuhan, China; the virus was not developed as a biological weapon; the Chinese government did not have knowledge beforehand that an outbreak would occur; and, that the virus was probably not genetically engineered (though not all agencies believe current information is sufficient to make this conclusion definitively).

  • Area of disagreement - whether the cause of outbreak was due to a natural spread of the virus versus a laboratory-associated incident; specifically, an incident from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

(updated: 2-27-23)


COVID-19 Emergency Extension & End

The Biden Administration announced (January 30) that it will officially end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) on May 11. The last PHE period extension was issued on January 11.

This designation has implication, in particular, for the management of Medicaid-supported health care. States will lose special Medicaid subsidies supporting beneficiaries after the PHE expires. States are then expected to the restart eligibility determinations of an estimated 80 million current enrollees. Anywhere between 5 million and 14 million persons could be deemed ineligible and lose Medicaid coverage. Many, if not most, persons losing Medicaid coverage may not seek (at least immediately) alternate insurance coverage.

(updated: 2-2-23)


Updated COVID-19 Guidance

The FDA announced (October 12) that it has approved single "bivalent" booster dosage for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for childen. A single dose Pfizer booster will be permitted for children down to age 5, while the Moderna booster will be available for children down to age 6. Both are available two months after recieving both the primary and booster vaccines of either company. In June, the FDA had approved the use of both vaccines for children down to age 6 months or older. 

A bivalent booster is the latest booster vaccine offered by manufacturers that is intended to address Omnicron versions of the virus and its variants.

In August, the CDC issued updated COVID-19 guidance that drops quarantine recommendations and generally shifts responsibilities to individuals and away from public entities such as public schools. 

The updated CDC guidance provided that “recommending screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures will no longer be recommended in most community settings.” Instead of quarantining if exposed to COVID-19, the CDC merely recommends that the person wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5. For unvaccinated persons with close contact to an infected person, the CDC no longer advises a 5-day quarantine period if that person has not themselves tested positive or had any symptoms.

(updated: 10-12-22)


Monkeypox U. S. Response

The FDA announced (August 9) an emergency use authorization of the Bavarian Nordic JYNNEOS vaccine through intradermal injection (i.e., between layers of skin). This will enable each full dosage to be divided by five with the same effectiveness according to the FDA. Two dosages four weeks apart will still be needed for each person, the same as a full dosage administered normally (i.e., subcutaneously under the skin).

The Administration established (August 2) a National Monkeypox Response Team to guide the "strategy and operations to combat the current monkeypox outbreak, including equitably increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations and treatments."

HHS announced (July 15) that it doubled its initial July 1st order of 2.5 million doses to 5 million doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine. The first 2.5 million doses will arrive only gradually, however, over the next year. And, the delivery of the second tranche of doses won’t be completed until the middle of next year. The Administration claimed (August 18) that “nearly 1 million doses” of the vaccine have been distributed so far across the country.

The at risk population for monkeypox centers on those who had close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, those who know their sexual partner was diagnosed with monkeypox, and men who have sex with men who have recently had multiple sex partners in a venue where there was known to be monkeypox or in an area where monkeypox is spreading.

(updated: 8-17-22)


Connected Policies


No Results Found

State School Vaccination Rules
State School Vaccination Rules

This website of the CDC provides an accounting of current State law on school vaccinations.

Status: this list is updated as with any changes in State law.

COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools and Promotion of In-Person Learning
COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools and Promotion of In-Person Learning

This the website detailing the policy position of the American Academy of Pediadrics concerning in-person learning and masking at elementary and secondary schools.

Status: AAP updated its guidance on January 14, 2022.


Have an issue, topic, or policy not cover here?

bottom of page