Administration & Agency Updates

Recent Administration & Agency Updates


President Biden Announces Plan to Combat Delta and Omicron Variants this Winter

As we head into winter, President Biden has detailed the administration’s nine-pronged plan to fight the Omicron and Delta variants while keeping the economy growing. In addition to the mask mandate remaining in effect for all public transportation until March 18, 2022 the U.S. will now require all inbound international travelers to provide a negative COVID-19 test within one day of travel, regardless of…

Biden Administration Secures 10 Million Courses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Medicine

On November 18, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the Biden administration has secured 10 million courses of the COVID-19 oral antiviral drug Paxlovid from Pfizer. Paxlovid will help to reduce hospitalizations and save lives. This drug can block an enzyme the SARS-CoV-2 virus needs to replicate in human cells. Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization (EUA) or…

New COVID-19 Variant Reported in South Africa

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.529 as a Variant of Concern and has named it Omicron. This variant was first reported to the WHO by South Africa, but that does not necessarily mean that is where the Omicron variant originated. The South African government and its scientists have openly communicated with the global scientific community…

Rural Providers Impacted by COVID-19 Start to Receive American Rescue Plan Payments

On November 23, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration began distributing American Rescue Plan (ARP) rural funding totaling $7.5 billion. The money will go to providers and suppliers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare beneficiaries. Providers may use the funds to purchase supplies such as N95 or surgical masks; equipment like ventilators or improved filtration systems; capital investments; information technology; and…

FDA Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

On November 19, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that all adults 18 years of age and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot for Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. This is a win for Indian Country. The expanded use of booster doses for individuals in this group helps to provide continued protection for Tribal communities against COVID-19.  …

The COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Stakeholder Briefing on the American Indian/Alaska Native Community

The COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force stakeholder briefing on the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Community was held virtually last week. During this call, there were some recommendations for AI/AN people.   The Federal Government should fully fund the Indian Health Service (IHS) and self-determined Tribes as recommended by the IHS budget formulation committee for health care and health services for AI/AN population…

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This website is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of financial assistance awards totaling $2,000,000, Tribal Capacity Building for COVID-19 Disease Control, and $4,000,000, Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Through Tribal Health Departments, with 80 percent funded by CDC/HHS, and 20 percent funded by non-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.