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Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday urged people to stop taking ivermectin — a drug used to treat parasites in animals — to respond to or prevent the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Mississippi State Health Department on Friday sent a letter warning health workers of the increase in poisonings from people taking ivermectin.

What they're saying: "The Mississippi Poison Control Center has received an increasing number of calls from individuals with potential ivermectin exposure taken to treat or prevent COVID-19 infection," state officials said in the letter.

  • "At least 70% of the recent calls have been related to ingestion of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased at livestock supply centers," they added.
  • "Never use medications intended for animals on yourself. Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans," FDA guidance says.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Flashback: The World Health Organization in March issued a warning saying ivermectin should only be used in clinical trials because evidence of its use for the coronavirus was "inconclusive."

Go deeper

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key FDA committee takes on the big booster question — Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay.
  2. Health: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island jail spurs call for action — 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising.
  3. Politics: White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss vaccine — Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Tina Reed, author of Vitals
19 hours ago - Health

Key FDA committee takes on the big booster question

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A key FDA advisory committee is meeting today to discuss Pfizer's proposal for a COVID vaccine booster — but it will set the stage for the entire booster debate.

The big question: Not only whether experts believe there’s enough evidence to support boosters, but also whether they believe additional shots should be made available for everyone or limited to older Americans and the immunocompromised.

14 hours ago - Health

CDC: Moderna vaccine most effective against hospitalization in U.S.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Overall healthy adults with the Moderna COVID vaccine had 93% vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization over five months compared to those with 88% protection with Pfizer and 71% from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a new report out Friday from the CDC shows.

Why it matters: The report comes as the Food and Drug Administrations meets Friday to consider whether to endorse a contentious plan for booster shots among the fully vaccinated.