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In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about public acceptance of the vaccine, food insecurity, grant funds for youth pre-apprenticeships, an aging federal workforce, and predictions for healthcare in 2021.

1. Most Americans will likely get a COVID-19 vaccine, Kaiser Family Foundation survey finds

The percentage of Americans who say they are likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine has risen to 71% as regulators begin authorizing their use in the U.S. But almost 40% of survey respondents said they prefer a ‘wait and see’ approach rather than participating in the first round of vaccinations. According to CNN, officials are still working to build public trust in the vaccine, especially among vaccine-hesitant audiences. These efforts include greater transparency by releasing more data, public vaccinations, and finding trusted messengers.

2. For hungry Americans across the country, food insecurity crisis deepens 

NPR reports that food banks are experiencing unprecedented demand in 2020. This demand may worsen if expanded benefits from the COVID relief legislation expire later this month. A representative from Feeding America appeals for another COVID relief package and an increase in SNAP benefits. 

3. US Labor announces YouthBuild grant availability

Nearly $90 million in grant funds are now available for organizations offering pre-apprenticeship programs for youth ages 16-24, according to the Albany Herald. The YouthBuild model combines project-based academic learning and occupational skills training, while also serving the greater community. The Department of Labor, who is funding the effort, will award approximately 75 grants across the U.S.

4. Lawmakers express concern about lack of young people in federal workforce

More than 1/3 of federal civilian employees will be eligible for retirement in the next five years, and that has raised concerns among lawmakers. The Hill reports, less than 6% of employees are under age 30. Low pay and benefits, stress from the coronavirus pandemic, and the conversion of civil service positions to political appointments were all cited as barriers to rebuilding the federal workforce. 

5. ‘The health system of the future will be consumer-centric, wellness-oriented, and digitally connected’ 

Healthcare IT News asked experts about their predictions for healthcare in 2021. Their responses included additional opportunities to innovate, increased integration of technology and digital health solutions, the continued rise of telehealth, a focus on preventing security breaches, and a push to improve health inequities.