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The Latest: Indian states warn of COVID-19 vaccine shortages

The Latest: Indian states warn of COVID-19 vaccine shortages

Health
NEW DELHI — Multiple Indian states are warning the federal government of COVID-19 vaccine shortages as another spike in cases threatens to overrun the country and its already-feeble medical infrastructure.Authorities in New Delhi and in Punjab and Rajasthan states said Saturday that they would not be able to continue vaccinations in the coming days unless stocks were replenished. Earlier this week, western Maharashtra state, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, closed some vaccination centers and turned people away due to inadequate vaccine supplies.Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said the country has enough doses and urged state governments to put an end to “fearmongering.”India, a major vaccine manufacturer, has so far administered 97 million shots but is facing major supply...

As states expand vaccines, prisoners still lack access

Health
This week, Florida expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to all residents 16 and older. But across the state, more than 70,000 people still don’t have access to the vaccine. Those men and women are Florida state prisoners.More than half the country has opened up vaccine eligibility, vastly expanding the ability for most Americans to get the shots, whatever their age or medical conditions. But inside prisons, it’s a different story: Prisoners, not free to seek out vaccines, still lack access on the whole.Nationwide, less than 20% of state and federal prisoners have been vaccinated, according to data collected by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press. In some states, prisoners and advocates have resorted to lawsuits to get access. And even when they are eligible, they ar...
EXPLAINER: How states are seeking to loosen controls on guns

EXPLAINER: How states are seeking to loosen controls on guns

Health
Mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado that left at least 18 people dead since last week are reigniting calls from gun control advocates for tighter restrictions on buying firearms and ammunition. But with Democrats in control of the federal government, gun rights advocates have been persuading Republican-run state legislatures to go the other way, making it easier to obtain and carry guns.How are the politics of gun legislation playing out in the United States this year? Here's the breakdown.PROSPECTS MIXED FOR LEGISLATIONThis month, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives adopted measures to expand background checks to all gun purchases and expand the time to to vet people flagged in a nationwide background check system.But to pass in the Senate, the support of every Democr...

Congress wants to waive taxes on unemployment. Some states may not

Finance
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesCongress may soon offer a tax break to unemployed Americans. States may not be so generous.The Senate passed a $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief bill on Saturday that waives tax on up to $ 10,200 of unemployment benefits per person received in 2020.President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation this week after it's passed by the Democrat-led House of Representatives.But the tax policy, which applies to households that made less than $ 150,000, is only a break on workers' federal income taxes.More from Personal Finance:American Rescue Plan creates a tax headache for the joblessHere's how a $ 300 and $ 400 unemployment boost compareSmallest businesses can still apply for a PPP loanMore than half of states levy an income tax on unemployment benef...
US asking states to speed vaccine, not hold back 2nd dose

US asking states to speed vaccine, not hold back 2nd dose

Health
WASHINGTON -- Barely a month into a mass vaccination campaign to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration unexpectedly shifted gears Tuesday to speed the delivery of shots. The move came after widespread concern over a slow start even as coronavirus cases and deaths reach alarming new highs.Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced a series of major changes to increase supply of vaccines and expand the age groups eligible as well as locations where people can get shots.One change will have some teeth to it. Azar said going forward the federal government will base each state's allocation of vaccines partly on how successful states have been in administering those already provided.“If you are not using vaccines that you have the right to, then we should be rebalanci...