All Public health stories

Erin Brodwin
Dec 17, 2021 - Health

Scoop: Amazon Pharmacy leaders demoted

TJ Parker (left) and Elliot Cohen in 2015. Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Amazon Pharmacy leaders TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen have quietly been demoted to roles as consultants for the company, two sources familiar with the matter tell Axios. 

Why it matters: The leadership shakeup could either be an attempt at hammering out a clearer path forward or a sign of deeper troubles. Parker and Cohen have steered Amazon Pharmacy since 2018 when the tech giant acquired PillPack, their prescription drug startup. 

A push to enroll Latinos in health insurance

U.S. Latino civil rights groups are running bilingual campaigns to get as many eligible people as possible to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act before the end of the year.

Why it matters: Latinos are one of most uninsured groups in the country, whether through public plans like Medicaid or private plans through employers.

Dec 11, 2021 - Health

Navy's polluted water forces Pearl Harbor families from homes

Tunnel inside the underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Photo: U.S. Navy via AP

At Red Hill — a Navy fuel storage facility near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii — samples of drinking water bound for military families contained diesel fuel 350 times the safe level, the state announced Friday.

Why it matters: The Navy has been denying complaints by military families and other residents for weeks.  

Dec 7, 2021 - Health

Report: COVID exacerbated young people's "unprecedented" mental health challenges

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy speaks during a press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on July 15. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. surgeon general warned on Tuesday young people face "unprecedented" mental health challenges — and the pandemic has only made matters worse.

Why it matters: Depression, suicidal ideation and emergency room visits for mental health reasons have risen significantly in young people, according to the 53-page advisory from the country's top physician, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy.

Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant following a meeting with his COVID-19 response team. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal court in Missouri has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities in 10 states.

Why it matters: Monday's decision is the first victory for opponents of the rule, which requires health care workers to get vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. The case is one of four lawsuits challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) rule and argues that the mandate will exacerbate staffing shortages.

Nov 25, 2021 - Health

U.S. to mandate COVID vaccines for all border crossers in January

President Biden speaks during an event at the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

The Biden administration will begin requiring essential travelers crossing U.S. borders to be fully vaccinated starting Jan. 22, a White House spokesperson told Axios Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move comes after the U.S. opened land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel in November, but only to those fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Nov 19, 2021 - Health

Most states ranked poorly in quality of care for people of color, report says

Expand chart
Data: The Commonwealth Fund; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Black Americans in almost every state were more likely than white Americans to die from preventable and treatable health conditions, a new report from the Commonwealth Fund out Thursday shows.

Why it matters: A lack of health care access, and "timely, high-quality care," were correlated to poorer health outcomes, the authors conclude.

Updated Nov 19, 2021 - Health

World gets tough on the unvaccinated

People wait at the registration desk for a vaccination appointment in Dresden, Germany. Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa via Getty Images

Public officials around the world are imposing new restrictions on the unvaccinated as many nations struggle to raise their COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Why it matters: Unvaccinated people are five times more likely than those vaccinated to get infected and 10 times more likely to die from the coronavirus, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many health care systems are buckling under new waves in cases among the unvaccinated.

Fear and loneliness caused surge of early pandemic calls for help

Expand chart
Source: Brülhart, M., Klotzbücher, V., Lalive, R. et al. in Nature; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Fear and loneliness replaced relationship and livelihood concerns during the pandemic, a team of scientists said after looking at millions of helpline calls in multiple countries before and after the COVID-19 pandemic started.

The big picture: Doctors and policymakers are trying to assess the impact of quarantines, school closures and other public health measures on our emotional and mental well-being. Using helpline data could become an important assessment tool, the researchers said.

Nov 18, 2021 - Health

Mask-wearing reduces COVID incidence by 53%, study shows

A face covering required sign posted in the basement of the House side of the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure against the coronavirus, cutting incidence by 53%, according to a new global study published in the British Medical Journal.

Why it matters: The findings come as parts of the world, including D.C., increasingly loosen masking requirements, citing vaccine efficacy. Experts have warned against lifting mask mandates too soon.