New Data: Where the Public Stands on COVID-19 Booster Shots
With the COVID-19 booster shot rollout well underway, new Morning Consult polling indicates 10 percent of vaccinated adults have already gotten an extra dose — and many more could join them if regulators clear boosters of Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines. An advisory group meets tomorrow and Friday to set off that process.
If the extra doses are authorized, we’ll be keeping an eye on whether booster eligibility for Moderna and J&J will mirror the guidance for Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE’s vaccine, which wasn’t quite as broad as the Biden administration had hoped. We’ve got more data and details — check it out.
The Food and Drug Administration stayed neutral on whether booster shots are needed for Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to documents released ahead of an advisory meeting tomorrow. Moderna is asking regulators to authorize another half-dose of its shot in order to bolster protection against mild and moderate illness, and the FDA’s data review suggests the third dose increases antibody levels when given at least six months after the second shot. (The New York Times)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Colorado’s request to require individual and small-group health plans to cover gender-affirming care for transgender patients beginning in 2023, a first for the federal government under a Trump-era policy that grants states more flexibility with their Obamacare exchanges. CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said she hopes “that other states look to Colorado as a model” and “follow suit.” (The Washington Post)
The FDA authorized an e-cigarette for the first time, saying the Vuse Solo vape from Reynolds American Inc. can help smokers curb their use of traditional cigarettes, a move that comes after a major review of which vaping products should be allowed to remain on the market. The FDA said it rejected another 10 requests for flavored products from Vuse, the No. 2 e-cigarette brand in the United States behind Juul Labs Inc. (The Associated Press)
The Biden administration moved forward with its plan to require roughly 80 million private-sector workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine, with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration submitting the initial text of the rule to the White House for approval. The Labor Department’s announcement came shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) banned businesses and private groups from requiring that their employees get vaccinated. (The Wall Street Journal)
Data collected by the National Institutes of Health show that people who received a shot of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine have a stronger neutralizing antibody response if they receive an mRNA shot instead of a second J&J one, according to a person who has seen the data.
A unit of a Japanese company backed by Philip Morris International is planning to launch the world’s first plant-based Covid-19 vaccine that is potentially cheaper and easier to transport and store than conventional jabs.
When the World Health Organization gave its backing to two coronavirus vaccines produced by Chinese companies early this year, global health experts greeted the move as a much-needed boost to international vaccine supply.
More than 22,000 lives could have been spared in Texas and Florida, states where governors have spoken out against mask and vaccine mandates, if they had vaccinated three-quarters of their adult populations.
While it’s clear vaccines led to a drop in fatalities during the most recent delta variant-driven waves compared with earlier bouts with the virus, some countries saw deaths fall to a greater degree than others, an outcome scientists still don’t have answers for.
A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed which state officials can defend abortion bans in court — a procedural question with implications that extend beyond reproductive health in states where the governor and attorney general hail from opposing parties.
Choosing which Americans should be eligible for benefits in a proposed expansion of the social-safety net is one of the main challenges vexing Democrats, who are attempting to slim down their healthcare, education, child-care and climate bill in the coming weeks.
Medicare managed-care plans say they’ll have to increase premiums and reduce benefit offerings if Democrats cut their program reimbursements to help pay for new dental, vision, and hearing benefits in traditional Medicare.
Advocates are concerned that a proposed boost to Medicaid and home health care for the elderly and disabled in Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget bill will be pared back so much that it wouldn’t deliver on its promise to increase jobs and wages.
People in their 60s or older shouldn’t take aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke because risks likely cancel out the potential benefits, according to a government-backed panel of medical experts.
Acceleron Pharma Inc. engaged with several companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. to gauge their interest in a potential acquisition before Merck & Co. agreed to buy the company for $11.5 billion in the biggest biotechnology deal of 2021, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Biotechnology startup Axial Therapeutics Inc. has raised $37.3 million in new venture capital to run clinical trials of a medication designed to help children with autism who exhibit serious mood swings and aggressive behavior.
More of the cancer patients who received CRISPR Therapeutics’ experimental, off-the-shelf CAR-T cell therapy showed complete remissions compared to the drug’s initial study results, according to a company update Tuesday. Some of the remissions are lasting six months or more, an important measure of durability.
A Message from the Better Medicare Alliance:
With a 98% beneficiary satisfaction rate, the lowest monthly premiums in 15 years, $1,640 in average annual savings, and better health outcomes for seniors, Medicare Advantage continues to prove its value. Now, seniors are counting on Congress to stand up for the health coverage they need and deserve. Learn more about how Medicare Advantage provides high-quality, affordable health coverage to a more diverse, more at-risk beneficiary population in our 2021 State of Medicare Advantage report.
Apple Inc. is studying ways to make AirPods into a health device, including for enhancing hearing, reading body temperature and monitoring posture, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the plans.
Researchers found that nearly 1 million uninsured children and parents, including approximately 300,000 uninsured children, would gain insurance coverage if ARPA subsidy enhancements were made permanent.
In 2019, 71% of all Medicare beneficiaries reported that they did not compare their plan to other Medicare plans that were available during the 2018 open enrollment period, while 29% of all Medicare beneficiaries reported that they compared Medicare plans.