A year after the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived on American soil, the U.S. still has a long way to go before the coronavirus is under control. But this second year of life with SARS-CoV-2 has started off with a bang, with a new White House administration promising major changes to the nation’s pandemic response and millions of vaccine doses being administered daily.
While the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were the big news of 2020—and are now being injected into the arms of over a million Americans each day—2021 has brought new vaccine trial results from Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, and Russia’s Sputnik V. Some results have been more promising than others, stirring experts to debate the balance between vaccine effectiveness and the challenges of availability and distribution. Meanwhile, researchers are scrambling to learn how each of these vaccines will perform when met with the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 that are taking hold across the globe.
The Biden administration has been announcing executive orders and new initiatives left and right, putting more scientists in charge of pandemic response and pushing to get vaccines to as many Americans as possible. The CDC has continued to issue new guidelines as they’ve developed more safety measures to prevent transmission of the virus, like suggesting doubling up on masks and guidelines on how to keep school kids safe during in-person classes.
With so much changing every day, it can be hard to keep up with all the news. That’s why Stacker has constructed a timeline of how the COVID-19 pandemic has played out so far in 2021, using White House briefings and news reports. Here’s what President Biden and his administration have accomplished since he took office in January, and what the virus—and its novel variants—have been up to since then.
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