Patients in Massachusetts will have better access to a wider array of medications after Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill yesterday that was unanimously approved by lawmakers.
The big picture: The so-called "step therapy" bill will curtail the policy of insurance providers insisting on lower-cost treatments before approving coverage of more expensive medications.
As students return to schools with looser COVID-19 restrictions, Boston health officials are trying to get more children vaccinated.
Why it matters: While three-quarters of Boston residents are fully vaccinated, that number drops to about 49% among kids ages 5-11.
Nearly three-fourths of Massachusetts children have had COVID-19, according to recent surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Driving the news: The CDC estimates that 74% of Massachusetts children had COVID-19 antibodies as of June 25, based on testing of 628 blood samples.
Massachusetts families received more than $53.5 million to cover COVID-related funeral expenses during the pandemic, according to the Federal Emergency Management Administration.
- The agency has paid for 7,865 funerals in the state as of Aug. 1, spokesperson Dennis W. Pinkham said in an email to Axios.
COVID-19 vaccines are finally available for children under the age of 5 and parents are scrambling to find appointments for their little ones.
What's happening: The Baker administration authorized children from 6 months to 4 years old to get either a Moderna or Pfizer shot Friday.
- This follows federal clearance last week.
- The Pfizer vaccine will be a course of three pediatric doses, while Moderna will be two doses for full vaccination.
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