Healthcare - Panel approves adding COVID vax to routine schedule

Healthcare – Panel approves adding COVID vax to routine schedule

Liz Truss quit, but Larry the cat stays. He has now outlived four prime ministers.

In health news, a CDC advisory committee voted on Thursday to add coronavirus vaccines to the list of routine vaccinations for children and adults.

Welcome to night health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news concerning your health. For The Hill, we are Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

CDC recommends making COVID a regular vax

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee voted on Thursday to include the COVID-19 vaccine on the list of routine immunizations for adults and children as young as 6 months old.

  • The agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to add the coronavirus vaccine to the 2023 list, which includes flu shots; measles, mumps and rubella; polio; and other inoculations.
  • The full agency must now sign off to formalize the recommendation. The CDC doesn’t have to take the panel’s advice, although it often does.

Current move: Contrary to claims made on social media and on TV, including by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the recommendation does not mean the CDC requires a COVID-19 vaccine for children. Nor does it mean that schools will have to require students to receive the vaccine before enrolling.

The CDC does not have the power to mandate vaccines; that decision is left to states and local jurisdictions.

The Immunization Schedule is an important resource for physicians, especially pediatricians, that can help them determine the best time to administer certain vaccines.

“CDC guidelines based on public health are there to help inform those decisions, but these are state decisions. And different states make different decisions and nothing the CDC has done changes that,” said Jen Kates, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Learn more here.

The Pentagon reimburses travel for abortions

The Pentagon will reimburse service members who have to travel to have abortions, the department announced Thursday, a measure that aims to help soldiers or their family members stationed in states where the procedure is no longer allowed.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo that travel requirements for being in the military should not impact a person’s access to reproductive care.

  • Accordingly, the department will grant time off and reimburse travel and transportation expenses for service members and their dependents.
  • The cost of the procedure itself will not be covered.

“The practical effects of recent changes are that a significant number of Service members and their families may be forced to travel greater distances, miss work and pay more out-of-pocket expenses to receive health care. reproductive health,” Austin wrote, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Military providers on base cannot perform abortions, and military health insurance does not cover abortion, even if obtained from a private physician. The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother.

The new memo outlines privacy protections for service members and also directs the Pentagon to establish protection for military contractors so they are not held criminally or civilly liable by state officials or risk lose their license for the performance of their official duties.

Learn more here.


Nearly 4 in 10 Americans would vote for a candidate from a political party they don’t typically support if cutting health care costs is the candidate’s top priority, according to a new West Health-Gallup survey.

The poll found that 87% of respondents indicated that a candidate’s plan to cut health care costs is at least somewhat important to them in deciding who to vote for, with the majority of Republicans and Democrats polled saying so. .

  • Split by demographics, women and minority voters were more likely to express a willingness to cross party lines to vote for a candidate prioritizing health care cost reductions.
  • A majority of black respondents – 57% – said so, followed by
    49% of Asian respondents, 45% of Hispanic respondents and
    34 percent of white respondents.

The survey revealed a partisan split when respondents were asked how likely they were to vote across all parties on the issue, with 40% of Democrats polled indicating they were at least somewhat likely to do so, against 22% of Republicans.

Learn more here.


Washington, DC, Attorney General Karl Racine (D) has urged city residents not to use Facebook Messenger and other unencrypted services for abortion planning purposes.

In a press release Thursday, Racine said residents of the city should use secure, encrypted messaging apps to discuss private conversations, pointing to a story earlier this year about a Nebraska woman facing multiple felony charges for allegedly assisting his teenage daughter with an illegal abortion. her pregnancy.

“Stories like these confirm the importance of data privacy. Although abortion remains fully legal in the district, consumers and those requesting abortions should be aware of how others may use their data, and they should take steps to protect themselves, their data and their privacy as much as possible,” Racine added.

The Facebook posts are a key piece of evidence in this case, according to an NPR report. Authorities allege the 41-year-old helped her 17-year-old daughter take abortion pills when she was 23 weeks pregnant.

Racine suggested using messaging apps like Signal and WhatsApp that offer secure end-to-end encryption and signing up to create end-to-end encrypted messages for Facebook chats — so messages can’t be seen only by the recipient.

Learn more here.

Democrats weigh in on prescription drug reform

Democrats in key swing states are pointing to prescription drug reform as a crucial victory as they argue for staying in power as they approach midterms and warn Republicans could reverse their progress.

Candidates across the country are touting falling prescription drug costs, and President Biden made sure to remind people of those victories from his White House perch.

“This year, the American people won and Big Pharma lost,” Biden said in a Rose Garden speech last month, pointing to the sweeping Inflation Reduction Act passed by Democrats, which included measures to Medicare negotiated lower drug prices and placed caps on some drugs.

Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona — all crucial battleground states — have been spreading similar messages in recent weeks.

Leslie Dach, president of the Democratic-aligned health advocacy group Protect Our Care, told The Hill that Democratic candidates have been effective in communicating prescription drug reform, and he thinks it’s making a difference. among voters.

  • “Poll after poll has shown that cutting health care costs is the most popular part of the Inflation Reduction Act,” Dach said.
  • “If people can’t afford their health insurance or their medications, that’s a source of great anxiety around every kitchen table. And that’s especially true now, when people are squeezed by other prices for everyday goods,” he added.

Learn more here.


  • Chickenpox vaccine has ‘virtually eliminated’ deaths from the disease, CDC report says (NBC News)
  • US surgeon general says workplaces take a toll on Americans’ mental and physical health (Stat)
  • The Adderall shortage is so severe that some patients can’t fill their prescriptions (The Washington Post)



That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. Until tomorrow.

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