All Public health stories

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Sep 13, 2021 - Health

Parents search for COVID vaccine trials for their children

A health care worker testing a child for coronavirus in Austin, Texas, in August 2021. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some parents around the U.S. are on the hunt for COVID-19 vaccine trials instead of waiting for FDA approval to get their young children inoculated, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: As kids return for in-person schooling before those under 12 became eligible for shots, it's created anxiety for parents who worry about the small — but very real — possibility that their kid could become severely ill, experience long-term consequences from or die from COVID.

How the Delta variant dominates Mu

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The Mu variant of the coronavirus is something to monitor — as it appears to partially evade immunity from authorized COVID-19 vaccines — but Delta's continued dominance means "Mu is not any immediate threat," NIAID director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

Why it matters: Sounding the alarm, Fauci says widespread vaccination is a priority to fight the coronavirus and cut down on the rate of new infections — which is currently 10 times higher than where it needs to be.

FDA needs more time on Juul e-cigarette ban decision

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will delay its decision on top-seller Juul, but thousands of other electronic cigarettes will be ordered off the U.S. market.

Why it matters: The stalled decision prolongs the agency's determination on whether there is enough data to show if adult cigarette smokers switching to a less harmful option outweighs the detrimental costs of young people getting hooked on nicotine by vaping.

Sep 9, 2021 - Health

HHS awards over $18M in grants to bolster students' health care access

Students and parents in line to enter school. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Biden administration has awarded over $18 million in grants to expand students' access to health care and mental health support as the new school year takes off, according to new numbers shared with Axios.

Why it matters: Both children's mental health and their utilization of mental health services worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, per research from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The return to in-person instruction could also lead to increased health risks depending on masking and vaccinations in the community.

Sep 8, 2021 - World

COVAX cuts 2021 forecast for available COVID doses by a quarter

Needles and vials of vaccine. Photo: Sebastian Barros/NurPhoto via Getty Images

COVAX, the UN-backed program aimed at addressing COVID vaccine inequality, cut its forecast for doses available in 2021 by roughly a quarter.

Why it matters: The forecast led the World Health Organization (WHO) to double down on calls for wealthier nations to wait until at least the end of the year to administer booster shots so lower-income nations can vaccinate their populations.

Black youth more likely to visit hospital for police-related injuries

Trends in the Annual Rate of Legal Intervention Injury Among Youth Aged 0 to 19 Years by Race and Ethnicity and Sex. Screenshot: JAMA Pediatrics

Nearly 16,000 children and adolescents went to the emergency room or hospital due to police encounters between 2005 and 2017, with rates four to seven times higher for Black kids compared to white kids, according to a statewide analysis in California.

Why it matters: While youth are less likely to be injured by policing compared to adults, the analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics shows kids aren't spared the racial disparities seen in law enforcement of adults.

Sep 7, 2021 - Health

Fauci slams DeSantis over "completely incorrect" COVID vaccine comment

Photos: Stefani Reynolds-Pool and Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci in an interview with CNN Tuesday pushed back on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R) claim last week that getting the COVID vaccine should be a personal choice that "really doesn't impact me or anyone else."

What he's saying: "When you're dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, it isn't only about you," said the nation's top infectious diseases expert. "There's a societal responsibility that we all have."

Sep 1, 2021 - Health

CDC urges unvaccinated people to not travel Labor Day weekend

Nurse Katie Kelley puts on PPE before treating a COVID-19 patient. Photo: Nic Coury/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC is asking unvaccinated people to not travel this Labor Day weekend, citing the surge in COVID-19 cases largely driven by the Delta variant.

What they're saying: "First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 press briefing Tuesday.

Aug 31, 2021 - Health

Pennsylvania issues indoor mask mandate for K-12 schools

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. Photo: Pete Bannan/ MediaNews Group/Daily Local News via Getty Images

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) on Tuesday announced that masks will be required inside K-12 school buildings.

The big picture: The move is a reversal from his initial stance earlier this month, when he said he wanted to leave the decision on mask requirements to individual school districts, citing guidance from the CDC, which "strongly recommend" the practice: "They're not mandating it, and neither am I."

Aug 30, 2021 - Health

Reproductive rights groups ask Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Thousands of demonstrators take part in a march outside the Texas State Capitol in May after Gov. Greg Abbott signed a restrictive abortion law. Photo: Sergio Flores via Getty Images

The ACLU and other reproductive rights advocates Monday said they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a restrictive Texas abortion law that is set to take effect Wednesday.

Why it matters: The law bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, and before many people know they are pregnant. The law also offers at least $10,000 to citizens who successfully sue any person assisting pregnant people in violation of the ban. It is one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S.