World Continues Efforts To Vaccinate More Citizens, Battle Covid Variants
Reports say India’s vaccine is highly effective against coronavirus; Europe starts reviewing Russia’s Sputnik shot and Tokyo’s Olympic Officials struggle with a buggy contract-tracing app.
Two Hospital Systems Create Coalition With Home Health Care Providers
The group seeks to lobby Congress to make certain pandemic-era changes permanent. One of the biggest requests is to allow hospitals to continue hospital-at-home programs, Modern Healthcare reports. Other industry news is on Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, Centene and telemedicine.
Several Florida Communities Criticized Over Distribution Of Shots
At issue are a wealthy community in the Florida Keys, a senior center in the Gulf Coast community of Pinellas Park and vaccines meant for Black residents that instead went to white residents in Palm Beach County. Other news is from Maryland and Minnesota.
Research Roundup: Covid, Antibiotic Use; Proton Pump Inhibitors; And Flu
Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs.
NIH Halts Trial Of Convalescent Plasma
The study at the National Institutes of Health was stopped early Tuesday. “We do not see any sign that convalescent plasma had a benefit” in ER patients at risk for more serious disease, said Dr. Simone Glynn, program scientist for the trial, as reported in USA Today.
California To Set Aside 40% Of Doses For At-Risk Communities
California officials believe that focusing on vulnerable neighborhoods will get vaccinations where they are needed most and speed up reopenings. A report of underdosing at a mass vaccination site in Oakland is also debunked.
Pace Of Vaccinations Picks Up As States Assured Of More Supply
The CDC reports that the U.S. has been averaging 2 million shots a day for the last week and that 80% of the total doses delivered to states are now in arms.
CDC Delays Updated Covid Guidelines, Warns Of St. Patrick’s Day Crowd Risks
New CDC pandemic guidelines for vaccinated people are being finalized. Meanwhile potential St. Patrick’s Day crowds cause concern, while the FDA is under fire for slowing drug manufacture with inspection delays.
Senate Preps For Marathon Of Debate On Revised Covid Stimulus Bill
News outlets report on details of the latest version of the legislation that is expected to hit the Senate floor on Thursday. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, plan their tactics to drag out the debate.
Special Enrollment Yields Over 200,000 ACA Sign Ups So Far
Analysts say the strong enrollment numbers show a pent-up demand for health coverage while President Joe Biden called the trend “encouraging.” Americans can apply for an Obamacare plan through May 15.
Walensky Warns Of ‘Pandemic Fatigue’ Amid Fourth-Wave Worries
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, voiced concerns about slipping anti-coronavirus habits as case numbers in the U.S. and across the world seem to stop falling.
White House Gives A Shot In The Arm To School Reopening Plans
As the Biden administration urges vaccines for teachers and staff, state- and company-driven efforts to vaccinate educators begin.
‘Big Mistake’: Biden Slams States For Prematurely Lifting Covid Precautions
“The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking, that, ‘In the meantime, everything’s fine. Take off your mask. Forget it.’ It still matters,” President Joe Biden said of Texas and Mississippi rolling back mask mandates.
Businesses Brace For Repeat Of Mask Battles
While some big businesses announced that they will continue to require customers to wear face coverings, no matter state mandates, other Texas and Mississippi establishments will no longer do so. That tension sets up a likely return of confrontations over masks.
Abbott’s Motives Questioned Amid Criticism For Revoking Mask Mandate
Public health officials warn that Texas reopening so liberally will lead to more deaths. And others criticize Gov. Greg Abbott, calling his decision politically motivated and an effort to distract from his state’s deficient response to recent winter storms.
First Edition: March 4, 2021
Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations.
To Help Farmworkers Get Covid Tests and Vaccine, Build Trust and a Safety Net
Testing and vaccinating essential workers on commercial farms and in meatpacking plants requires more than a pop-up clinic miles away. Missing work to get a test, or to quarantine after a positive result, can be financially devastating.
Coronavirus Deranges the Immune System in Complex and Deadly Ways
Researchers are testing treatments to overcome autoimmune reactions that begin when the body’s defenses respond to the coronavirus.
Reopening of Long-Term Care Facilities Is ‘an Absolute Necessity for Our Well-Being’
Relatives and advocates are calling for federal authorities to relax restrictions in long-term care institutions and grant special status to “essential caregivers” — family members or friends who provide critically important hands-on care — so they have the opportunity to tend to relatives in need.