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COVID Restrictions Eased in England

Numerous COVID restrictions will be dropped in England because government experts believe the Omicron variant "has now peaked nationally," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday.

As of Jan. 27, COVID-19 passes will no longer be needed to enter large-scale events and the use of face masks in public schools will no longer be required. After that day,

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 19, 2022
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  • White House Launches Website for Free Home COVID Tests One Day Ahead of Schedule

    It was slated to debut on Wednesday, but the federal government quietly launched its website for Americans to order free at-home COVID tests one day early.

    Go to COVIDTests.gov and you can quickly order four tests delivered to your home by the U.S. Postal Service. Only four tests will be given to a single residential address, and t...

    Politics Clouds Folks' Views on COVID Rules, Global Survey Confirms

    People's political views do affect their opinions about COVID-19 policies, a new study confirms, but researchers also found that advice from trusted experts can override those political biases.

    "These findings underscore how important it is to have communications come from scientific sources that are not seen as political and to keep prominent politicians out of the spotlight of crisis co...

    COVAX Program Has Now Sent 1 Billion COVID Vaccines to Poorer Nations

    The latest shipment of 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccines to Rwanda this weekend signaled a noteworthy achievement: The COVAX program, a United Nations-backed program providing poorer countries with vaccines, has now shipped one billion of the doses to combat the coronavirus in 144 countries.

    But still, that "is o...

    Surge of U.S. Military Medical Personnel to Ease Medical Worker Shortages

    President Joe Biden plans to announce Thursday that a "surge" of U.S. military medical personnel will soon be deployed to hospitals struggling with staff shortages amid soaring COVID-19 cases.

    More than 1,000 will begin arriving at hospitals nationwide starting next week, and that deployment will be in addition to other federal medical personnel who have already been sent to states to off...

    Medicaid Rules May Affect Americans' Cancer Survival

    The chance of someone who is covered by Medicaid surviving cancer may depend in part on where they live, a new analysis finds.

    In states that had lower Medicaid income eligibility limits, cancer survival rates were worse for cancers both in early and late stages compared to states with higher Medicaid income eligibility limits, Amer...

    Medicare May Rethink Premium Hike for Pricey Alzheimer’s Drug

    Medicare has been told to reassess a significant premium increase it had announced that largely stemmed from the expensive new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm.

    U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra's directive, which was annou...

    Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Biden's Vaccine Mandate for Big Business

    The Supreme Court began to hear oral arguments on Friday as it weighs whether the Biden administration can enforce vaccine mandates for large companies.

    The justices are also hearing arguments on a separate vaccine mandate for most health care workers.

    The court’s decision will likely determine whether these vaccine requirements will affect more than 80 million people. Legal chall...

    FDA Shortens Time to Booster After Moderna Vaccine to 5 Months

    Citing the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and the need for protection against it, U.S. federal health officials are shortening the recommended time between the second dose of the Moderna vaccine and a booster shot from six months down to five.

    "The country is in the middle of a wave of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which spreads more rapidly than the original SARS-CoV-2 vi...

    AHA News: Health Coach Was Once an Overworked, Unhealthy New Mom Who Had a Stroke at 32

    Kelly Fucheck woke up one summer Sunday ready to spend a quiet morning at home with her husband, Glen. Their toddler, Tomas, had spent the night at grandma's house.

    She picked out a pair of comfy pants, but when she tried to put them on, she swayed to the left. Then Kelly noticed a sharp pain in the back of her neck. She felt foggy.

    She went into the bathroom and splashed water on h...

    Members of Biden’s Transition Team Call for New COVID Plan

    Former members of President Joe Biden’s transition team are calling for a new long-term strategy that envisions a world in which humans learn to live with the new coronavirus.

    Six former advisers published three opinion articles Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association detailing wha...

    New Zealand Aims for Zero Smokers in a Generation: Could Plan Work Elsewhere?

    Nearly all countries agree: Smoking is bad, and getting people to kick the habit is a worthy public health goal.

    But no country has ever attempted what New Zealand is about to try: an outright ban on all cigarette sales.

    The plan is to let those who already smoke retain the right to keep buying cigarettes if they wish, but as of 2023, anyone under 15 would be prohibited for life fro...

    U.S. Army Reports Progress on COVID Vaccine That Fights All Variants

    The U.S. Army says it has developed a COVID-19 vaccine it believes could work against any and all coronavirus variants, including Omicron.

    Results from early human trials of the Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle (SpFN) COVID vaccine are expected by the end of the month, the Army added.

    Lab studies have already shown that the new vaccine protects monkeys from the original strain of COVID-...

    Biden Administration to Tackle Lead in Drinking Water

    In an effort to further lower lead levels in drinking water, the Biden administration on Thursday announced $2.9 billion in infrastructure bill funds for lead pipe removal and tighter lead limits.

    The new, tougher limits to be imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are expected to be finalized by 2024 and would require the replacement of remaining lead drinking water pipes a...

    Supreme Court Allows Legal Challenges to Texas Abortion Law, But Doesn't Overturn It

    Abortion providers in Texas can sue state officials in federal court over the state's new abortion law, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday, but it refused to block the law while such legal actions may be taken.

    In its ruling, the high court said lower courts should consider challenges against the la...

    Biden Pledges to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for Americans

    President Joe Biden promised cheaper prescription drugs for all Americans on Monday as his social agenda legislation winds its way through Congress.

    Biden tried to shift Americans' focus to pocketbook provisions overlooked in his $2 trillion legislation, which deals with everything from climate to family life and taxes. The legislation has passed the House and is pending before the Senate...

    Medicaid Expansion Saved Lives in Affected States: Study

    In a sign that the expansion of Medicaid has really worked, new research finds that death rates have declined in states that expanded the public health insurance program.

    Medicaid expansion began in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare") and has provided health coverage for an additional 12 million Americans. Expansion is optional, and nearly one-quarter of st...

    Over 234,000 Pounds of Ham, Pepperoni Recalled Due to Listeria

    Nearly 235,000 pounds of fully cooked ham and pepperoni products were recalled by Michigan-based Alexander & Hornung on Sunday due to possible listeria contamination.

    There are no confirmed reports of illness associated with the products that were sold across the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

    The recalled ...

    Most Vaccinated Adults Plan to Get Boosters: Poll

    Most vaccinated American adults have every intention of getting booster shots, a new poll finds.

    Only about one in five say they won't get it, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey conducted with 1,820 U.S. adults between Nov. 8 and Nov. 22. About 23% of vaccinated adults have already received a booster shot in the United States, up sharply from October when it was 10%.

    Biden Pushes Vaccines, Masks as Best Defense Against Omicron Variant

    Vaccines and masks will be the United States' first line of defense against the new Omicron variant, not lockdowns or border closures, President Joe Biden told the nation Monday.

    "If people are vaccinated and wear their mask, there's no need for lockdowns," Biden said, noting that vaccinated people who've gotten a booster shot are expected to have the best available protection against the...

    President Biden to Undergo Routine Colonoscopy

    President Joe Biden is undergoing a routine colonoscopy Friday, and will briefly transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris while he's sedated for the procedure, the White House said.

    The colonoscopy will be part of Biden's first routine physical exam as president, and will take place at Walter Reed National Military Center.

    "As was the case when President George W. Bush had the...

    Many Kids Separated From Families at U.S. Border Suffer PTSD

    Parents and children who were separated under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy have shown lasting psychological trauma -- even after being reunited, a new study finds.

    Between 2017 and 2018, more than 5,000 children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border under the policy, which aimed to deter asylum seekers.

    The practice was denounc...

    Biden Expected to Name Former FDA Head Dr. Robert Califf to Lead Agency Again

    Despite concerns about his close ties to the drug industry, President Joe Biden is expected on Friday to nominate Dr. Robert Califf, former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to lead the agency once more.

    Califf, who served during the last year of the Obama administration, has long been a consultant to drug companies and ran a Duke University research center that received fund...

    Biden Announces New Lung Health Program for U.S. Veterans

    A new program to help U.S. veterans with lung problems caused by inhaling toxins while deployed was announced on Veterans Day by President Joe Biden.

    It will also assess the potential connection between cancers and time spent overseas breathing poor air, according to the White House.

    "We're discovering there is a whole host of lung conditions related to deployment," Dr. Richard Meeh...

    Hepatitis B Shots Advised for All U.S. Adults Under 60

    All U.S. adults younger than 60 should be vaccinated against hepatitis B, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended Wednesday.

    Until now, the shots were recommended only for certain groups of adults, including prisoners, health care workers, international travelers, people with diabetes and certain other conditions, and those who inject drugs or who have multiple sexual...

    Medicare Could Negotiate Drug Prices Under Democrat Proposal

    A measure designed to lower prescription drug costs for seniors has been added to President Joe Biden's social safety net and climate change bill that Democratic leaders hope to bring to a House vote this week.

    For the first time, the measure would enable the federal government to negotiate prices for medications covered by Medicare, The New York Times reported.

    Under the proposal, ...

    Biden Administration Moves to Cut Methane Emissions That Threaten Climate, Health

    A new rule to sharply cut methane emissions and other oil and gas industry air pollutants that harm health and contribute to climate change is in the works.

    The new Clean Air Act rule proposed Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would cut 41 million tons of methane emissions between 2023 and 2035.

    That's the equivalent of 920 million metric tons of carbon dioxi...

    White House Announces COVID Vaccination Plan for Young Kids

    The White House on Wednesday unveiled a national plan to roll out coronavirus vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds that is designed to make getting shots as easy and comfortable as possible for both kids and their parents.

    Rather than mass vaccination sites, the Biden administration plans to have pediatric COVID shots delivered in settings that parents know and trust.

    "Nationwide, more t...

    Fully Immunized Colin Powell Dies of COVID: Can Vaccines Protect You?

    Colin Powell, the first Black person to become Secretary of State, and a statesman who helped shape U.S. foreign policy for decades, died Monday of complications from COVID-19. He was 84.

    "General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from COVID-19," the Powell family wrote in a Facebook

    FDA Panel Recommends Approval of Johnson & Johnson Booster Shot

    In a unanimous vote, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisory panel on Friday recommended that the agency grant emergency use of booster shots of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine.

    The FDA is expected to make a decision within days that will help guide the 15 million Americans who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, many of whom have felt left out of the boo...

    Vaccinated Foreign Travelers Can Enter United States Beginning Nov. 8

    All international travelers who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will be able to enter the United States beginning Nov. 8, an official at the White House told The New York Times.

    The announcement came on the heels of news on Wednesday that the United States would reopen its land borders to fully vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico for the first time ...

    State Lotteries Didn't Help Boost Vaccination Rates

    A shot at winning $1 million did nothing to budge the number of people who got the COVID-19 jab.

    According to a new study, lotteries in 19 states designed to encourage people to get vaccinated ...

    Former FDA Chief Robert Califf a Contender to Head Agency Again

    Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Robert Califf is under strong consideration by the White House to once again lead the agency.

    The FDA hasn't had a permanent head for more than eight months and is being overseen by acting commissioner Janet Woodcock. Under federal law, President Joe Biden has until mid-November to pick a new FDA leader, but three people with inside kn...

    California Expands Access to Free Menstrual Products in Schools

    Free menstrual pads and tampons must be provided in restrooms at all California public schools and colleges starting in the 2022-2023 academic year.

    The bill, signed on Oct. 8 by Gov. Gavin Newsom, adds to a 2017 law requiring low-income schools in disadvantaged areas to provide students with free menstrual products, the Associated Press reported.

    The new law expands that t...

    Over Half of Police Killings Aren't Reported, Blacks Most Likely Victims

    While high-profile cases like the 2020 killing of George Floyd have cast a harsh spotlight on police violence in the United States, researchers say deaths attributable to it have been underreported for at least 40 years.

    That's the key finding in a new study published Sept. 30 in The Lancet.

    For the study, a team from the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seat...

    Americans Divided on Biden's Vaccine Mandate, Poll Finds

    Americans are of two minds about President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate, with political party affiliation playing a pivotal role in their opinions, a new poll finds.

    Most Democrats are for it and most Republicans are against it, the survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research revealed.

    Overall, the

  • Steven Reinberg
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  • September 30, 2021
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  • Second Report on Toxins in Baby Foods Finds Continuing Problems

    Despite the troubling findings of a congressional report released earlier this year on toxins in baby foods, a new report finds even more manufacturers are selling baby foods that contain potentially unsafe levels of heavy metals.

    The toxins in question include dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, among others.

    "No level of toxic heavy metals and exposure to them ...

    EPA to Sharply Limit Refrigerant Production in New Climate Rule

    In a move to combat global warming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday that it will restrict U.S. production and use of hydrofluorocarbons by 85% over the next 15 years.

    Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are potent greenhouse gases often used in refrigerators and air conditioners, and they are vastly more powerful than carbon dioxide. These gases can leak into the a...

    Biden Administration Buys More Monoclonal Antibody Treatments to Ward Off Shortage

    As severe cases of COVID-19 rise and demand surges for monoclonal antibody treatments, the U.S. government is ordering more from two key suppliers.

    Monoclonal antibodies, which are lab-engineered immune system proteins, can help trigger a healthy immune response against COVID-19 infection.

    The Biden administration has also taken over distributing the therapeutics, to help avoid shor...

    Appeals Court Backs Florida's Ban on School Mask Mandates

    The law on whether or not students in Florida schools will be required to wear masks has changed again.

    On Friday the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee reinstated that state's ban on school mask mandates, CBS News reported.

    The issue has been in flux since July, when Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order barring school districts from requiring that stu...

    COVAX Cuts Global COVID Vaccine Supply Estimates By a Quarter

    Fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses than expected will be available through the global COVAX program, affecting many less-affluent nations waiting on these doses.

    The United Nations forecast last week that it would have about 25% fewer vaccines to distribute through COVAX this year — 1.4 billion compared to an earlier projection for 1.9 billion doses,

  • Cara Murez
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  • September 13, 2021
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  • Judge Rules Against Florida's Ban on School Mask Mandates

    School districts in Florida can require their students to wear masks, despite the governor's order blocking mask mandates -- for now at least.

    A circuit court judge in Leon County ruled Wednesday that the state can't enforce Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on school mask mandates,CBS News reported.

    "We're not in normal times. We are in a pandemic," said Leon County Circuit Judge...

    More Affordable Housing, Healthier Hearts?

    One of the keys to good health could be in the hands of those who decide zoning policies for their communities.

    Inclusionary zoning policies that provide for affordable housing were associated with lower rates of heart disease for those who benefited from these dwellings, according to a new U.S. study.

    "Many cities around the country are facing a severe shortage of affordable ...

    Pentagon Says Troops Must Start Lining Up Now for COVID Shots

    Unvaccinated U.S. troops must immediately start getting COVID-19 vaccines, says a memo issued Tuesday by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

    The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which recently received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be added to the list of required shots for U.S. troops. They'll be able to get their shots at their bases and from their commands worldwid...

    American Dental Association Pushes for Dental Coverage Under Medicaid

    Dental care should be a required part of Medicaid coverage for adults in every state, the American Dental Association and nearly 130 other organizations urge in a letter to Congress.

    The groups called on lawmakers to support and advance a bill called the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act.

    "Poor oral health hurts more than our mouths," the

  • Robert Preidt
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  • August 20, 2021
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  • WHO Slams COVID-19 Booster Shots in Wealthy Nations

    Wealthy nations shouldn't be giving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to their citizens while poor nations struggle to get first doses of vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

    The U.N. health organization called for a moratorium on booster shots until at least the end of September, even for the elderly, health care workers and other high-risk groups.

    "I understa...

    Lowering Medicare Age Could Help Close Racial Gaps in Health Care: Study

    Could reducing racial disparities in health care be as simple as lowering the age at which Americans qualify for Medicare?

    Yes, claims a new study that suggests lowering eligibility from age 65 to age 60 could go a long way toward addressing inequities in health insurance, access to care and self-reported health decline.

    Racial and ethnic disparities in insurance coverage fall by mo...

    Who's Most Likely to Refuse a COVID Vaccine?

    COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among American adults fell by one-third in the first five months of 2021, a new study finds, but distrust of vaccines and the government are still keeping many people from getting vaccinated.

    Researchers analyzed data gathered from about 1 million Americans a month between January and May as part of an ongoing national COVID-19 survey. Those who said they would ...

    U.S. to Stick With International Travel Restrictions

    The rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant around the world means that the United States will continue with COVID-19 international travel restrictions for now, a White House official said Monday.

    The Delta variant now accounts for 83% of all U.S. coronavirus cases, according to the U.S. Ce...

    Many Hit Hard by Pandemic Now Swamped by Medical Debt

    The coronavirus pandemic has left plenty of Americans saddled with medical bills they can't pay, a new survey reveals.

    More than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt, according to researchers from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates a high-performing health care system.

    "T...