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Category Archives: Health Care

CDC recommends spring COVID booster for people 65 and up

Ars Technica: “People ages 65 and up should get another dose of a COVID-19 vaccine this spring, given the age group’s higher risk of severe disease and death from the pandemic virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. Earlier today, an advisory committee for the CDC voted overwhelmingly in favor of recommending the spring booster dose. And late this afternoon, CDC Director Mandy Cohen signed off on the recommendation, allowing boosting to begin. “Today’s recommendation allows older adults to receive an additional dose of this season’s COVID-19 vaccine to provide added protection,” Cohen said in a statement. “Most COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations last year were among people 65 years and older. An additional vaccine dose can provide added protection that may have decreased over time for those at highest risk.” The spring booster will be an additional shot of the 2023–2024 COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax. The booster dose should be taken after at least four months have passed since a previous COVID-19 vaccination. However, as FDA representative David Kaslow noted in today’s advisory committee meeting, the FDA will likely approve a 2024–2025 version of COVID-19 vaccines for this coming fall. Given that, it’s best for people to get their spring booster dose by the end of June, so they can be ready for another booster before the winter when COVID-19 has generally peaked. A report published earlier this month by the CDC found that the 2023–2024 COVID-19 vaccine was about 54 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 when compared against people who had not received the latest vaccine. However, the CDC estimates that only about 22 percent of adults in the US have gotten a COVID-19 booster this season, and just over 40 percent of people ages 65 and up have gotten the shot…”

Biden Issues Executive Order to Protect Americans’ Sensitive Personal Data

“President Biden issued an Executive Order to protect Americans’ sensitive personal data from exploitation by countries of concern. The Executive Order on Preventing Access to Americans’ Bulk Sensitive Personal Data and United States Government-Related Data by Countries of Concern, marks the most significant executive action any President has ever taken to protect Americans’ data security, authorizes the… Continue Reading

Their States Banned Abortion

ProPublica – Doctors Now Say They Can’t Give Women Potential Lifesaving Care. “…Most medical exceptions in abortion bans only allow the procedure to “save the life of the mother.” But there is a wide spectrum of health risks patients can face during pregnancy, and even those that are potentially fatal could fall outside of the… Continue Reading

Libraries are on the front lines of America’s problems

Axios: “…Zoom out: At the same time, libraries are grappling with everything from the high cost of e-books to the need to provide free outdoor Wi-Fi so people without broadband can have off-hours access. Many libraries are trying to ease food insecurity by adding gardens, nutrition classes, food pantries and cooking lessons. “During the pandemic,… Continue Reading

Air pollution could be significant cause of dementia even for those not predisposed

The Guardian: “Air pollution from traffic is linked to some of the more severe forms of dementia, and could be a significant cause of the condition among those who are not already genetically predisposed to it, research suggests. Research carried out in Atlanta, Georgia, found that people with higher exposure to traffic-related fine particulate matter… Continue Reading

Air pollution linked to more signs of Alzheimer’s in brain

Grace M. Christensen, Zhenjiang Li, Donghai Liang, Stefanie Ebelt, Marla Gearing, Allan I. Levey, James J. Lah, Aliza Wingo, Thomas Wingo, Anke Hüls. Association of PM 2.5 Exposure and Alzheimer Disease Pathology in Brain Bank Donors—Effect Modification by APOE Genotype. Neurology, 2024; 102 (5) “People with higher exposure to traffic-related air pollution were more likely… Continue Reading

Why car insurance rates are so high

Vox: “If you pay for car insurance, you’ve probably noticed that rates are really high lately. You’re not alone. Last week’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report — the government’s method for tracking what people are paying for goods and services and how that’s changing over time — noted that the price of car insurance was… Continue Reading

Mapping Soot and Smog Pollution in the United States

Earth Justice: “Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must set standards that protect public health from common air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter (also known as soot) and ground-level ozone (also known as smog). On Feb. 7, the EPA strengthened the annual particulate matter standard from 12 micrograms per cubic meter… Continue Reading

Wyden Reveals Phone Data Used to Target Abortion Misinformation at Visitors to Hundreds of Reproductive Health Clinics

“U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., revealed today that an anti-abortion political group used mobile phone location data to send targeted misinformation to people who visited any of 600 reproductive health clinics in 48 states. In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, Wyden urged the government to act quickly to… Continue Reading