Tuesday's health stories

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

FDA approves first e-cigarettes

Vuse brand e-cigarette flavor cartridges seen for sale in 2019. The FDA has cracked down on marketing of flavored products due to high rates of use among adolescents. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration authorized three electronic cigarette products by Vuse Solo on Tuesday, citing benefits to adult smokers who are trying to quit tobacco.

Why it matters: It's the first such move by the agency in its effort to regulate new tobacco products. While e-cigarette manufacturers have touted the vape products as safer, the FDA has previously cracked down on them amid high rates of use among teens.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

Judge rules New York must allow religious exemptions in health care worker vaccine mandate

Health care workers protest against being forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine outside the New York State Office Building in Hauppauge, New York. Photo: Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that New York state must allow for religious exemptions in its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

Why it matters: The move is a new obstacle in the course of Gov. Kathy M. Hochul’s effort to require inoculation for all health care workers.

LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations amid staffing shortage

The first day of school at Montara Avenue Elementary School in California. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Los Angeles school district has extended its deadline for staff to get the COVID vaccine from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15.

Why it matters: The second-largest school district in the nation, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has struggled to fill thousands of vacancies, including teachers, counselors and maintenance staff, per the Los Angeles Times.

Southwest, American Airlines to require workers to be vaccinated despite Texas ban

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, both based in Texas, will still require employees to get vaccinated despite the state's new ban on vaccine mandates by private businesses, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a sweeping executive order Monday night banning vaccine mandates by any "entity," including private employers.

Florida fines county $3.5 million for implementing vaccine mandates

Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday fined Leon County $3.5 million for requiring its employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying it violated the state's ban on "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: This is Florida's latest move to penalize local officials who have attempted to implement mask or vaccine mandates to contain the spread of the virus.

Oct 12, 2021 - Podcasts

Heart disease among women

Here’s a shocking statistic: Within five years of a heart attack, nearly half of women will die compared to 36% of men, according to the American Heart Association. Researchers are discovering a strong link between psychological stress and heart disease, concerning cardiologists who have seen an increase in stress among women during the pandemic.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Axios’ health care reporter Marisa Fernandez on how heart disease disproportionately impacts women and how the pandemic has made things even worse.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

Experts change guidance for people taking daily aspirin

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

People 60 and older should not take low-dose aspirin daily to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, according to a working recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Why it matters: It's a revision of the panel's 2016 recommendation that recommended some people take baby aspirin daily to prevent heart disease and colorectal cancer.

Oct 12, 2021 - Sports

Nets: Kyrie Irving won't play until he's eligible as "full participant"

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets (left) going up against Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks. Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving will not be allowed to play or practice until he is "eligible to be a full participant" under local COVID-19 vaccine rules, Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement Tuesday.

Driving the news: New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate requires individuals to have proof of at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to enter indoor arenas or gyms.

Oct 12, 2021 - World

U.K. COVID lockdown delay cost thousands of lives, report finds

Photo: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

The delay of the U.K.'s first coronavirus lockdown and the government's failure to prioritize social care is one of the country's worst "public health failures" and led to thousands of avoidable deaths, British lawmakers said in a report Tuesday.

Driving the news: The inquiry was aimed at discovering why the U.K. "did significantly worse in terms of covid deaths than many countries" in the early days of the pandemic, according to the the report, compiled by the Health and Social Care Committee.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 12, 2021 - Economy & Business

PE firms avoid mandating vaccines for portfolio companies

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Private equity firms are sitting on the sidelines when it comes to vaccine mandates for portfolio companies, despite often requiring shots for their own employees.

Why it matters: Private equity employs around 7% of all American workers, and is represented in almost every industry and geography, which means that PE vax mandates could have a significant impact on public health.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

Children and teens face unequal mental health realities

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In the weeks after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least 55% of children felt more "sad, depressed, or unhappy," compared to 25% of adults, according to a new report out Monday from the Child Mind Institute.

Why it matters: The data offers a glimpse at the differences in children's early psych0logical responses as researchers work to tease out the pandemic's potential long-term effects on the incoming generation's mental health and developmental skills.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

Poll: Most Americans aren't convinced by pharma's leading argument

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Data: KFF; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Americans are more convinced by the arguments made in favor of allowing the government to negotiate prescription drug prices than they are by those made against the policy, which the drug industry argues would lead to fewer new drugs, according to new KFF polling.

Between the lines: Just because the measure is popular with the public doesn't mean it'll pass, and it's currently in serious hot water with moderate Democrats.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

The health care worker revolt

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The toll of the coronavirus pandemic has spurred nurses, front-line technicians and other hospital employees to walk out or authorize strikes.

Why it matters: The pandemic has buckled a system that already faced worker shortages and burnout. Patients ultimately can't receive adequate care if workers leave from the stress and violence.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive for COVID

Students sit in a classroom at a high school during the first day of classes in Novi, Michigan. Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A parent is suing a Wisconsin school district and its school board after their child contracted COVID-19 from a classmate, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Driving the news: The lawsuit alleges that Shannon Jensen's son contracted the virus because of the Waukesha School District's lack of mitigation measures. The district lifted its mask mandate and many other measures back in May.