✦ The Trump administration is shifting gears with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy amid increasing frustration over the slow pace of vaccine distribution, multiple news outlets reported. HHS Secretary Alex Azar told reporters during a press briefing on Jan. 12 that the administration now plans to allocate vaccine doses to states based on how quickly they can administer the shots, rather than their population, according to The Hill. The administration is also pushing states to administer vaccines to anyone aged 65 or over and anyone with an underlying health condition, the news outlet said. However, public health experts who spoke to Politico suggested that the allocation strategy shift won’t fix the problems that have so far beset the vaccine rollout, such as low uptake in underprivileged communities. Read more at https://bit.ly/3oI85cV and https://politi.co/38Eauzx.
✦ In a deal unveiled on Jan. 6, AmerisourceBergen Corp. plans to acquire the majority of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.’s wholesale drug distribution businesses — called Alliance Healthcare — for approximately $6.5 billion. The move will allow Walgreens “to increase its focus on growing and transforming its core retail pharmacy and healthcare businesses, facilitate higher growth investments and accelerate its strategic goals,” while allowing AmeriSourceBergen to expand its presence in Europe, where Alliance Healthcare is one of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers, the companies said. The two firms also agreed to extend their U.S. strategic partnership through 2029. Read more at https://bit.ly/3nHzQ3K.