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Biden admin to purchase 200 million more vaccine doses, send more doses to states: reports

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The Biden administration said Tuesday it would increase the amount of coronavirus vaccines sent to states by about 16% for the next three weeks and will purchase enough additional doses to vaccinate the U.S. population with a two-dose regimen by the end of the summer, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported.

“It’s going to take a number of months for us to be in a position for us to say to Americans it’s open season to sign up for vaccinations,”

A senior Biden Administration Official Said

Both reported that a senior administration official said the purchases would increase the administration’s total vaccine order by 50%, raising it from 400 million to 600 million doses. The Times reported that it was during a Tuesday phone call with reporters to preview the announcement of these purchases.

The purchases will provide enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans in a two-dose regimen over the summer.

Despite the boost in doses sent to states beginning next week, supplies aren’t yet sufficient for what is needed, a senior administration official said.

“It’s going to take a number of months for us to be in a position for us to say to Americans it’s open season to sign up for vaccinations,” the official said, according to The Journal.

The administration will also begin giving states a three weeks’ advance notice of their estimated vaccine allocations, updated on a running basis, to assist them with their planning, according to The Journal. Governors had said allocations fluctuated under the Trump administration, complicating efforts to staff vaccination sites and manage appointments.

Members of President Joe Biden’s administration, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky and White House coronavirus coordinator Jeffrey Zients, briefed state governors on the updates on a call Tuesday afternoon, people familiar with the discussion told The Journal.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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American and Southwest stand by vaccine mandate, despite Abbott’s ban

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American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are still planning to comply with President Biden’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The order requires all their employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8t. As a result, they will be ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.

Abbott announced his own executive order, effectively banning mandates even from private employers, on Tuesday. “In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”

Yet both airlines are requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 24. This comes despite Southwest’s impromptu cancellation of over 2,000 flights over the weekend. At the time, the airline blamed the cancellations on air traffic control and weather conditions. However, SaraACarter.com was unable to verify that any other airline had to cancel near as many flights for the same reasons. This has left many to speculate that Southwest actually cancelled flights due to their employees walking out as a direct result of the mandate.

Reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted out a flyer circulating among the anti-vaxx Southwest employees. Currently, they are planning a protest outside of Southwest headquarters next Monday. The protest will be called “Freedom Not Force.”

Southwest told Reuters it “would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.” In addition, American similarly said Abbott’s order does not change anything.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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