Public health

The big picture

The malaria vaccine could be a game-changer for global development
The malaria vaccine could be a game-changer for global development

Mosquirix could be one of the biggest achievements ever in global development

Oct 6, 2021 - Health
America's deepening drinking habit

Pandemic-related spikes in drinking came after years of increasing alcohol consumption

Jul 7, 2021 - Health
America's poor health is jeopardizing its future

New studies underscore just how bad American health is compared to other rich countries, which has worsened the impact of COVID-19

Oct 24, 2020 - Health
How the world could monitor for potential pandemic viruses

Global monitoring is key to UN strategy for preventing future pandemics.

Jul 9, 2020 - Health
Saving the elderly from coronavirus

America and much of the world is aging rapidly and is in need of technologies to care for the elderly.

Jun 17, 2020 - Health
Pandemic re-emphasizes need for universal flu vaccine

There's been "promising progress" in the quest for the universal flu vaccine.

Jun 4, 2020 - Health

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Jan 22, 2022 - Health

FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients

A medical worker in full PPE works on a patient who has COVID in a negative pressure room in the ICU ward at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Jan. 4. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for some non-hospitalized adults and pediatric patients with mild to moderate COVID symptoms.

Why it matters: The move expands use of remdesivir, previously limited to only patients who were hospitalized, and comes as doctors face shortages of FDA-authorized treatments, per the Washington Post.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Jan 21, 2022 - Health

Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

While the vaccine focus has centered around COVID, American teens and adults have missed out on tens of millions of other CDC recommended shots, a new analysis released exclusively to Axios shows.

Why it matters: It's yet another example of deferred preventative care during the pandemic — including kidney care and cancer screenings — which could ultimately turn into a major problem across the U.S. later.

Jan 19, 2022 - Health

Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing

President Biden acknowledged Wednesday that the U.S. should have done more COVID-19 testing earlier on during his first year in office.

Why it matters: The administration has faced criticism for the timing of the free tests that it distributed. A widespread shortage impacted millions across the country during the holidays as Omicron cases surged.

You can start ordering free COVID tests Wednesday

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The White House said Friday a new website,, will begin accepting orders Jan. 19 for free rapid tests shipped to Americans' homes.

Why it matters: The White House emphasized the importance of testing during the Omicron surge, with President Biden on Thursday announcing plans for the government to have 1 billion tests.

Jan 13, 2022 - Health

Democratic Reps call on FDA to revise blood donation policy for gay men

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

LGBTQ advocates and Congress members are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to revise its blood donor policy on sexually active gay and bisexual men as the country faces a blood shortage.

Why it matters: The FDA requires gay and bisexual men abstain from same-sex sexual activity for 90 days in order to donate blood.

Jan 13, 2022 - Health

The cost of testing

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Note: Prices vary within countries. France and Malaysia prices reflect legal price caps. Data: Axios research; Chart: Axios Visuals

The average cost of a single at-home rapid COVID test is about $12 in the U.S., more than twice the cost of a test in France and more than three times as much as in India.

The big picture: Places like Canada and the U.K. make tests available for free.

Jan 13, 2022 - Health

Biden's FDA nominee faces uncertain Senate vote

FDA commissioner nominee Robert Califf. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Robert Califf, President Biden's nominee to lead the FDA, is facing a surprisingly tight confirmation vote in the Senate.

Between the lines: A handful of Democrats have already announced their opposition to him over concerns about his drug industry ties or the FDA's record on the opioid epidemic, and several others may be on the fence.

  • But abortion politics — not to mention the opportunity to sink a Biden nominee — are complicating efforts to make up for these defectors with Republican votes.

Newsom proposes health care coverage for undocumented Californians

California Gov. Gavin Newsom takes questions from the media during a press conference at the Native American Health Center in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2021. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday proposed a plan to expand health care coverage to cover all low-income, undocumented Californians.

Why it matters: The proposal is part of the Democratic governor's $213 billion budget request for the 2022-23 fiscal year. If approved by the state legislature, it would begin no sooner than Jan. 1, 2024.

The fate of Biden's vaccine mandates is in the Supreme Court's hands

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Most American businesses are holding back on requiring vaccines or testing for their employees. Now the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide whether the Biden administration can force their hand.

Why it matters: Lives are at stake. And Omicron outbreaks are forcing business closures, flight cancellations and staffing shortages — a chaotic business environment that's not great for the economy or employers already struggling to attract workers.

Dec 21, 2021 - Health

Chicago to require proof of vaccination at gyms, bars and restaurants

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Patrons will have to show proof of full vaccination to get into Chicago bars, restaurants, gyms and entertainment establishments that serve food or drinks starting Jan. 3.

Why it matters: More than a quarter of Chicagoans wouldn't currently qualify for entry under those rules. But at least one study shows the mandate could result in wider vaccination compliance.

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