|Johnson & Johnson’s shot is approved, the House passes $1.9 trillion aid bill, and the EU plans for vaccine passports. Here’s what you should know:Headlines|
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is approved in the US
The FDA and the CDC gave Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine the go-ahead this weekend. The first shipments are expected to go out this week. J&J told lawmakers last week that it would be ready to ship almost 4 million doses as soon as the shot was approved, and that it should have 20 million doses ready by the end of this month. Officials say that the vaccine, which only requires one shot and can be shipped at regular refrigerator temperatures, could be helpful for overcoming logistical hurdles and getting harder-to-reach populations inoculated.
House passes Biden’s $1.9 trillion aid package, paving its path to the Senate
Over the weekend, the House passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid bill, largely along party lines. Now, it will go to the Senate as legislators race to get it approved before some federal unemployment aid expires on March 14. The plan includes provisions to extend unemployment benefits, send $1,400 stimulus check to many Americans, and provide more money to state and local governments.
Plans are underway for EU-wide vaccine passports
In a speech today, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that later this month the EU will put forward a proposal for vaccine passports. These would provide proof that someone has gotten a Covid-19 vaccine, evidence of negative test results if they’re not yet vaccinated, or information about their recovery if they’ve had the disease. If enacted, this proposal would make it easier for Europeans to travel during the summer, and has received particular support from some countries that rely on tourism.