Category: COVID-19

  • In Super-Vaxxed Vermont, Covid Strikes — But Packs Far Less Punch

    Even Eden, a snow-covered paradise in northern Vermont, is poisoned by omicron. The nearly vertical ascent of new coronavirus cases in recent weeks, before peaking in mid-January, affected nearly every mountain hamlet, every shuttered factory town, every frozen bucolic college campus in this state despite its near-perfect vaccination record. Of all the states, Vermont appeared […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Record ACA Enrollment Puts Pressure on Congress

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Biden administration announced that 14.5 million Americans have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for 2022. That’s a record, and several states […]

  • Moderna starts dosing patients with its Omicron COVID jab

    Moderna has started human trials of an Omicron version of its COVID-19 vaccine SpikeVax, just in case a modified version will be needed to boost protection against the new variant later this year. The biotech has also reported new data suggesting that may well be the case, with a six-fold reduction in neutralising antibody levels […]

  • Readers and Tweeters: Give Nurse Practitioners Their Due

    Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. The latest installment in: Hospital Billing is Totally Ridiculous. See also: High Deductibles are Bad — Rachel Patterson (@racheljpat) January 24, 2022 — Rachel Patterson, Washington, D.C. In Respect to Nurse […]

  • CDC Tells Pharmacies to Give 4th Covid Shots to Immunocompromised Patients

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reached out to pharmacists Wednesday to reinforce the message that people with moderate to severe immune suppression are eligible for fourth covid shots. The conference call came a day after KHN reported that immunocompromised people were being turned away by pharmacy employees unfamiliar with the latest CDC guidelines. […]

  • Pfizer starts dosing patients with its Omicron COVID shot

    Pfizer and partner BioNTech have started their clinical trial of a new version of their COVID-19 vaccine that has been specifically designed to protect against the Omicron variant. The trial in 1,420 adult patients aged 18 to 55 will include dosing with the partners’ existing Comirnaty mRNA-based vaccine with the Omicron-based jab in a mix-and-match […]

  • The Tests were a Test

    By KIM BELLARD Raise your hand if you’ve gone out shopping for home COVID tests, only to find empty shelves and signs apologizing for the lack of availability.  Raise your hand if you’ve been able to obtain one, but were surprised at its cost.  Raise your hand if you took one and weren’t quite sure […]

  • FDA bans use of Lilly, Regeneron COVID drugs due to Omicron

    The FDA has limited the use of COVID-19 antibody therapies developed by Eli Lilly and Regeneron, on the back of data suggesting they have are “highly unlikely” to be effective against the now-dominant Omicron variant. The emergency use authorisations (EUAs) for Lilly’s bamlanivimab/etesevimab combination and Regeneron’s REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab) issued earlier on in the […]

  • With a Vaccine Mandate Looming, Nursing Homes Face More Staffing Problems

    ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Jamie Smith, a staffing agency nurse who loves end-of-life care, said she has been warmly welcomed by staffers and residents at Frontier Health & Rehabilitation in this conservative St. Louis suburb. That’s even though she has not been vaccinated against covid-19. But leaders of the nursing home, where 22 residents died […]

  • Pharmacies Are Turning Away Immunocompromised Patients Seeking 4th Covid Shot

    Patients with weakened immune systems — who are at high risk from covid-19 — say pharmacies are turning them away when they seek additional vaccine doses recommended by federal health officials. Alyson Smith became eligible this month for a fourth vaccine dose because her medications leave her immunocompromised. Although the Centers for Disease Control and […]

  • ¿Por qué Medicare no paga por las pruebas caseras para COVID?

    ¿Qué grupo es especialmente vulnerable a los estragos de covid, incluso si está vacunado por completo y con sus refuerzos? Los adultos mayores. Sin embargo, ¿quién tendrá más dificultades para obtener pruebas caseras gratuitas para covid según el plan de la administración Biden? Sí, los adultos mayores. Desde el 15 de enero, las personas con […]

  • Should we be worried about Omicron ‘stealth variant’ BA.2?

    With healthcare systems around the world labouring under the strain of dealing with the Omicron wave of COVID-19 infections, attention is already turning to a new sub-variant that is starting to emerge in some countries, including the UK, India and Denmark. Dubbed BA.2, the sub-variant of Omicron (BA.1) hasn’t been classed as a variant of […]

  • Vaccine Wars Ignite in California as Lawmakers Seek Stronger Laws

    SACRAMENTO — California is poised to become the front line of America’s vaccination wars. State lawmakers are drafting the toughest covid-19 vaccine legislation in the country, backed by a new pro-vaccine lobbying force promising to counter anti-vaccine activists who have threatened government officials and shut down public meetings across the state. Legislators want to require […]

  • Why Medicare Doesn’t Pay for Rapid At-Home Covid Tests

    What group is especially vulnerable to the ravages of covid-19 even if fully vaccinated and boosted? Seniors. And who will have an especially tough time getting free at-home covid tests under the Biden administration’s plan? Yes, seniors. As of Jan. 15, private insurers will cover the cost of eight at-home rapid covid tests each month […]

  • FDA clears Gilead’s Veklury for COVID outpatients

    The FDA has extended the emergency use authorisation for Gilead Sciences’ antiviral Veklury to include non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19, extending the uses of the drug. The green light means that intravenously-administered Veklury (remdesivir) is another option for non-hospitalised patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of progression to severe disease, alongside oral antivirals […]

  • The Covid Vaccine’s PR Crisis: Health Innovation vs the Take-Down Power of Disinformation

    By JESSICA DaMASSA Misinformation and disinformation (intentionally wrong information) have plagued the storyline of the Covid19 vaccine since the early days of its development, creating a healthcare communications crisis that has not only stalled U.S. vaccination rates, but has also raised questions about how medical and scientific experts will ever again win trust across audiences […]

  • Covid vaccine booster raises antibody levels in fight against Omicron

    A third dose of vaccine has been shown to effectively neutralise the Omicron variant of covid-19, according to researchers. Research led by UCLH, UCL and the Francis Crick Institute found that the booster dose successfully stimulates antibody levels that neutralise Omicron. Details of the study were published in The Lancet this week. UCLH researchers stated that antibodies […]

  • Japan approves Pfizer COVID vaccine for children aged 5 to 11

    Japan’s health ministry has authorised the use of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children aged between five and 11. The vaccine, Comirnaty, is claimed to be the first in Japan to be approved for use in this age group. Once the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare grants special approval, Japan will join the […]

  • Patient, Beware: Some States Still Pushing Ineffective Covid Antibody Treatments

    As the omicron variant completes its sweep across the U.S., states with scarce supplies of monoclonal antibody therapies continue to use two treatments that federal health officials warn no longer work against the highly contagious version of the virus that causes covid-19. The antibody treatment now most recommended is sotrovimab from GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Roe v. Wade’s (Possibly Last) Anniversary

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Jan. 22 is the 49th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion ruling, Roe v. Wade, and could well be its last. The conservative supermajority on the […]

  • Wildfires and Omicron Prompt a Special Health Insurance Enrollment Period in Colorado

    A wildfire displaced thousands of Coloradans just as the omicron surge began sweeping through the state, so health insurance was likely not on many people’s minds when the regular enrollment period for the state’s health insurance marketplace ended Jan. 15. But now, because of those twin emergencies, everyone in the state will get another chance […]

  • Families Complain as States Require Covid Testing for Nursing Home Visits

    As covid-19 cases rise again in nursing homes, a few states have begun requiring visitors to present proof that they’re not infected before entering facilities, stoking frustration and dismay among family members. Officials in California, New York, and Rhode Island say new covid testing requirements are necessary to protect residents — an enormously vulnerable population […]

  • Cinco cosas que deberías saber sobre las pruebas caseras “gratis” para covid

    Los estadounidenses siguen escuchando que es importante hacerse pruebas caseras para covid con frecuencia. El problema es encontrar tests que sean lo suficientemente asequibles para poder comprarlos a menudo. Hacerse pruebas, así como el uso de máscaras, es una medida importante si el país quiere vencer a covid, recuperar las rutinas de la vida diaria […]

  • 5 Things You Should Know About ‘Free’ At-Home Covid Tests

    Americans keep hearing that it is important to test frequently for covid-19 at home. But just try to find an “at-home” rapid covid test in a store and at a price that makes frequent tests affordable. Testing, as well as mask-wearing, is an important measure if the country ever hopes to beat covid, restore normal […]

  • Buffy Wicks Turns Her Health History Into Legislation

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In her short tenure as an elected official, California Assembly member Buffy Wicks hasn’t been shy about sharing her most intimate health care struggles with the public. In her very first speech in the Assembly, Wicks, a Democrat who has represented Oakland since late 2018, told the story of her abortion at […]

  • Funcionarios advierten sobre sitios de pruebas para covid de dudosa calidad

    NUEVA YORK, NY.- En los últimos meses, los sitios para pruebas de covid en carpas y camiones se han multiplicado en las calles como la mala hierba. A medida que la variante omicron atraviesa los Estados Unidos, la demanda de tests se ha disparado y las filas dan la vuelta a la esquina. Además de […]

  • Two new drugs added to WHO list of COVID-19 therapies

    A World Health Organization (WHO) panel has given the green light to two new drugs to treat COVID-19. US-based Eli Lilly’s baricitinib (Olumiant), a Janus kinase inhibitor, and GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology’s sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody, were recommended in new WHO guidelines, published in the British Medical Journal.  Baricitinib, administered with corticosteroids, was strongly recommended as […]

  • As Omicron Surges, Effort to Vaccinate Young Children Stalls

    Two months after Pfizer’s covid vaccine was authorized for children ages 5 to 11, just 27% have received at least one shot, according to Jan. 12 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 18%, or 5 million kids, have both doses. The national effort to vaccinate children has stalled even as the […]

  • With No End in Sight to Pandemic Life, Parents Find Disruption Is the New Normal

    As my kindergartner fumbled with his shoes, I stood at our door sifting through the mental parenting checklist newly lodged in my brain: backpack. Sweatshirt. Snacks. Sunscreen. Water bottle. KN95 mask. Vaccination card. Jesse asked for his cloth mask, and I explained again that if he wore that one he’d need to have on a […]

  • Una prueba rápida negativa no significa que se está libre de covid

    Julie Ann Justo, farmacéutica clínica de enfermedades infecciosas para un sistema hospitalario de Carolina del Sur, esperaba que la semana de Navidad finalmente fuera el momento en que su familia pudiera reunirse de manera segura. Antes de la celebración, los familiares elegibles se vacunaron y tuvieron sus refuerzos. Se aislaron y usaron máscaras. Y muchos […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Dealing With Drug Prices

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Medicare officials have preliminarily decided to restrict reimbursement for Aduhelm, the controversial Alzheimer’s drug, to only patients participating in approved clinical trials. The FDA approved the drug […]

  • Third dose of AZ’s COVID jab boosts Omicron antibodies

    Preliminary data from an ongoing trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Vaxzevria has shown that a booster dose stimulates an increase in antibodies against Omicron, as well as other variants of the virus, including Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma. The increased immune response was seen in people who received AZ’s shot as their primary vaccination as […]

  • BioNTech, InstaDeep showcase early warning system for COVID variants

    BioNTech and artificial intelligence startup InstaDeep say they have developed an early warning system that can predict high-risk variants of COVID-19 from their genetic sequences much earlier than with current methods. In testing, the AI was able to correctly identify more than 90% of variants of concern – including the Omicron strain currently spreading around […]

  • Watch and Listen: Examining the Risks of Covid’s Spread Within Hospitals

    KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber appeared on Newsy’s “Evening Debrief” program to discuss her recent investigative series on the risks of covid’s spread within hospitals. The series, reported with Christina Jewett, documented how more than 10,000 patients were diagnosed with covid after being hospitalized for other medical conditions in 2020 — and how multiple gaps […]

  • Incidental Cases and Staff Shortages Make Covid’s Next Act Tough for Hospitals

    The Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida, on Jan. 11 was treating 80 covid-19 patients — a tenfold increase since late December. Nearly half were admitted for other medical reasons. The surge driven by the extremely infectious omicron variant helped push the South Florida hospital with 206 licensed beds to 250 patients. The rise in cases […]

  • La máscara de tela, ¿es lo suficientemente buena contra omicron?

    La super contagiosa variante omicron se está extendiendo por los Estados Unidos, provocando un dramático aumento de casos y saturando muchos sistemas hospitalarios. Además de instar a los estadounidenses a vacunarse y recibir el refuerzo, funcionarios de salud pública recomiendan que las personas cambien sus máscaras de tela por máscaras médicas de mayor calidad. ¿Qué […]

  • Ask KHN-PolitiFact: Is My Cloth Mask Good Enough? The 2022 Edition

    The highly transmissible omicron variant is sweeping the U.S., causing a huge spike in covid-19 cases and overwhelming many hospital systems. Besides urging Americans to get vaccinated and boosted, public health officials are recommending that people upgrade from their cloth masks to higher-quality medical-grade masks. But what does this even mean? At a recent Senate […]

  • Pfizer, Moderna are prepping new vaccines for Omicron

    With evidence growing that the current crop of COVID-19 vaccines are less protective against infection with Omicron, both Pfizer and Moderna have announced plans to develop new versions of their mRNA-based shots that are tailored to the new variant. Pfizer has said that a COVID-19 jab specifically targeting Omicron, as well as other existing variants, […]

  • Fire Closes Hospital and Displaces Staff as Colorado Battles Omicron

    The Colorado wildfire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes last month has forced the temporary closure of a hospital and upended the lives of health care workers as the state’s already strained health care system braces for another surge in covid-19 hospitalizations. Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville, a community outside Boulder that was devastated in […]

  • The power of similarities to accelerate antiviral development for COVID-19

    In April 2020, I wrote a blog post entitled “Exploiting similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses to accelerate vaccine and therapy development,” where I described research areas leveraging genetic and phenotypic similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and other known viruses. In my quest to find relevant data, I used Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry to generate a list of […]

  • After trial win, Novartis nabs COVID drug from Molecular Partners

    There are still licensing deals to be done in the COVID-19 category it seems, after Novartis paid around $163 million to license rights to an antiviral drug developed by Molecular Partners. The opt-in has been prompted by the results of a phase 2 trial of ensovibep (MPO420), which showed that a single intravenous dose of […]

  • Beyond the pandemic: the potential of mRNA technology

    The arrival of COVID-19 brought precious few positives, but one that emerged for the pharmaceutical industry was the emergence and validation of mRNA vaccine technology to prevent disease. Ben Hargreaves takes a look at how the space is currently progressing and in what direction it could be heading in future. The pandemic brought about an […]

  • Supreme Court Weighs Biden’s Workplace Vaccine Requirements

    The Supreme Court on Friday took up one of the most contentious issues of the covid-19 pandemic, hearing a series of cases challenging the Biden administration’s authority to require workers to get a covid vaccine or be tested for the virus regularly. The issue in the cases, which challenge rules set in November by the […]

  • COVID-19 Updates

    Date:  January 24, 2022 Issue #:  1642 Summary:  On January 3, the FDA amended its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) to incorporate the following changes. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody combinations casirivimab plus imdevimab (REGEN-COV) and bamlanivimab plus etesevimab are not active against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

  • Hospitals Recruit International Nurses to Fill Pandemic Shortages

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Before Mary Venus was offered a nursing job at a hospital here, she’d never heard of Billings or visited the United States. A native of the Philippines, she researched her prospective move via the internet, set aside her angst about the cold Montana winters and took the job, sight unseen. Venus has […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Contagion Confusion

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The covid-19 pandemic is now entering its third year, and the ever-evolving health advice to combat an ever-evolving virus is leaving Americans more cranky and confused than […]

  • Nine for 2022: innovation and opportunities in healthcare

    In the second part of our examination of issues that will shape the course of 2022, we’ll update the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, which have, as they did in 2021, a pervasive effect on both pharma and healthcare issues, with themes we highlighted at the beginning of 2021 continuing their impact. Big Tech makes […]

  • Gritstone bio trumpets first data for ‘multivariant’ COVID jab

    A COVID-19 vaccine that could work against multiple variants of the coronavirus – developed by US biotech Gritstone bio – has generated encouraging immune response data in its first clinical trial. The new vaccine differs from the currently approved shots because it delivers antigens for both the spike protein and other proteins found in SARS-CoV-2. […]

  • Nine for 2022: International issues that are compelling, new or changed in 2022

    The year 2020 ended on a note of hope, with the 8th December vaccination of 91-year-old Margaret Keenan, the world’s first person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside clinical trials. Despite an estimated 9.25 billion doses administered globally by 4th January, with 25 different vaccines either approved for use or under emergency use authorisation, 2022 […]

  • FDA clears Pfizer, BioNTech COVID booster for younger teens

    The FDA has authorised the first COVID-19 booster vaccine for teenagers in the 12 to 15 age group, giving the okay for wider use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty shot as it tries to keep the Omicron variant under control. The US regulator has also reduced the time between completion of the first two doses […]

  • Why an HBCU Med School Decided to Put CARES Act Money Into Students’ Pockets

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Just before students at Meharry Medical College went home for Thanksgiving, Dr. James Hildreth, the school’s president, emailed them a video message that he acknowledged seemed hard to believe. Or at least they had to give it a second listen. “We’ll gift each of you $10,000 in cash,” he said, looking at […]

  • Interesting COVID-19 Health Economics Research

    How does quarantining impact COVID-19 deaths? Just comparing individuals who did compared to did not quarantine is problematic since this will be a non-randomized sample. Individuals who adhere to quarantine recommendations may be more careful overall (e.g., better mask adherence, less likely to be smokers, conduct more preventive care) and thus the benefits of quarantining […]

  • Newly public Pardes Bio aims to show its Covid-19 pill can offer edge over Pfizer’s

    Pardes Biosciences’ experimental oral antiviral for treating and preventing Covid-19 infection addresses the same target as Pfizer’s authorized pill Paxlovid, but with a potential dosing advantage. The Pardes pill is in Phase 1 testing, and the biotech joined the public markets this week after completing a SPAC merger that infuses the company with $274 million.

  • Causes of Death 2015-2020: Where does COVID-19 rank?

    A paper by Ahmad and Anderson in JAMA last spring examined trends in the causes of death in the US. Below are the charts in terms of both the number of deaths and the share of total deaths. The data come from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). The […]

  • FDA authorizes Merck antiviral, which joins Pfizer pill as oral option for Covid-19

    Merck antiviral drug molnupiravir received emergency authorization, joining Pfizer’s Paxlovid as the only authorized oral antiviral drugs for treating Covid-19. Though the Merck and Pfizer antivirals appear to work against the omicron variant, FDA officials stressed that these drugs are authorized only for certain patients and they are not a substitute for vaccination.

  • As Patients Fell Ill With Covid Inside Hospitals, Government Oversight Fell Short

    One by one, the nurses taking care of actress Judi Evans at Riverside Community Hospital kept calling out sick. Patients were coughing as staffers wheeled the maskless soap opera star around the California hospital while treating her for injuries from a horseback fall in May 2020, Evans said. She remembered they took her to a […]

  • Watch: One City’s Effort to Raise Vaccination Rates Among Black Residents

    About 72% of Americans have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. During much of the vaccine rollout, Hispanic and Black Americans have been less likely than white Americans to get vaccinated. The gap between white and Hispanic Americans has largely closed, but the vaccination rate for the Black community still lags significantly […]

  • Pfizer pips Merck to first oral COVID antiviral okay in US

    Pfizer’s Paxlovid has become the first oral antiviral for COVID-19 to be authorised for emergency use by the FDA, as the US braces itself for a surge in Omicron cases over the holiday period. The green light means that Paxlovid – based on nirmatrelvir (formerly PF-07321332) and ritonavir – has been cleared for use in […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Manchin Blows Up Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) dashed the hopes of President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats for passage of the giant “Build Back Better” bill before the end of […]

  • US health department backs 15 COVID-focused digital health startups

    A group of 15 digital health startups have joined a programme set up by the US federal government to address health inequality and mitigate the effects if the COVID-19 pandemic. The PandemicX accelerator, launched by the Department of Health and Human Services, is focused on “using digital tools and publicly accessible data to eliminate disparities […]

  • ‘An Arm and a Leg’: The Rapid-Test Edition: Who’s Making a Buck?

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Click here for a transcript of the episode. Rapid, at-home covid-19 tests are close to essential if you want to see friends and family this holiday season, and do your best to stay safe.  But they’re freaking expensive and can be hard to find. What the heck […]

  • As Pandemic Wears Down Hospital Staff, One Town Offers Groceries to Say Thanks

    PARK CITY, Utah — This mountain community — which comes alive during the winter ski season and annual Sundance Film Festival — is home to the Park City Hospital, which has 460 employees. As in countless hospitals across the country, the demands of covid-19 at times overwhelmed the facility and dramatically changed the way caregivers […]

  • Bond Digital Health raises £1m for lateral flow test software

    Welsh medtech company Bond Digital health has raised £1 million ($1.3 million) in additional funding for its data capture and management system for lateral flow tests (LFTs). The Cardiff-based company said  it will use the new money to expand its headcount, including hiring a new customer service team, and adding to its sales, marketing and […]

  • Some Groups Are Left Out of Montana Covid Test Giveaway Program

    As Montana’s tally of new covid cases neared 1,000 each day in September, Shelly Stanley-Lehman worried about when the virus would reach her day care in Billings. She wanted to have covid tests on hand to help prevent an outbreak from sweeping through her business, but stores were sold out. She spent days making calls […]

  • Pandemic Poses Short- and Long-Term Risks to Babies, Especially Boys

    The pandemic has created a hostile environment for pregnant people and their babies. Stress levels among expectant mothers have soared. Pregnant women with covid are five times as likely as uninfected pregnant people to require intensive care and 22 times as likely to die. Infected moms are four times as likely to have a stillborn […]

  • Vaccine Promoters Struggle to Get People Boosted in California’s Fields

    Since the start of the pandemic, Luz Gallegos and her team of 56 advocates for immigrants have battled the scorching sun, illiteracy and deadly propaganda in the fields and fruit groves of the Coachella Valley. As they fanned out to educate farmworkers on how to protect themselves from covid-19, they quickly learned that rumors and […]

  • Journalists Review Public Views on Vaccines and the Arc of Covid Testing

    KHN correspondent Rachana Pradhan discussed how the public opinion of vaccines has changed in the past year with Newsy on Tuesday and how supply chain disruptions hurt hospital care with KCRW’s “Press Play” podcast. Click here to watch Pradhan on Newsy Click here to hear Pradhan on KCRW Read Pradhan’s “Never Mind Toys, It’s Time […]

  • As Omicron cases rise, EMA backs early use of Pfizer’s Paxlovid

    The EMA’s human medicines committee has said that EU member states can start to offer Pfizer’s oral antiviral Paxlovid as a treatment for people with COVID-19 outside hospital, ahead of a formal approval for the drug. The decision comes amid rising rates of infection and deaths due to COVID-19 across the EU, and with 529 […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Oh, Oh, Omicron

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. This week, the U.S. passed the milestone of 800,000 dead from covid-19, as hospitals are starting to fill following the Thanksgiving holiday and the ominous omicron variant […]

  • Nurses in Crisis Over Covid Dig In for Better Work Conditions

    Nurses and health care workers across the country are finding strength in numbers and with labor actions not seen in years. In California, which has a strong union tradition, Kaiser Permanente management misjudged workplace tensions during the covid-19 crisis and risked a walkout of thousands when union nurses balked at signing a four-year contract that […]

  • Covid Shots for Kids Are Scarce — And Demand Is Mixed — In Rural Montana

    When children ages 5 to 11 were approved for Pfizer’s lower-dose pediatric covid-19 vaccine in November, Annie Edwards was eager to get her daughter Hannah, then 5, the shot because of underlying health conditions she has stemming from her premature birth. “She was on a ventilator for the first month of her life. Throughout this […]

  • After ‘Truly Appalling’ Death Toll in Nursing Homes, California Rethinks Their Funding

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — About 1 in 8 Californians who have died of covid lived in a nursing home. They were among the state’s most frail residents: nearly 9,400 mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles whom Californians entrusted to a nursing home’s care. An additional 56,275 confirmed covid cases among nursing home residents weren’t fatal. “The […]

  • CDC eyes safety of J&J COVID jab as EU backs booster

    Johnson & Johnson’s also-ran COVID-19 vaccine has been cleared in the EU as a booster shot, although its role in the US could be impacted by new data on rare blood clots. A Centres for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) advisory committee is scheduled to meet today to discuss the new results, according to a […]

  • Analysis: Behavioral health conditions, risk, and cost during the COVID-19 pandemic

    As millions of people found themselves out of work or isolated from loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, the added social and economic stress triggered new and exacerbated existing behavioral health conditions. This shift has led payers to look at how they can use data analytics to mitigate behavioral health challenges among the populations they […]

  • Colorado Hospitals in ‘Critical Condition’ as State Weathers Another Surge

    Harold Burch’s home has a spectacular view in Paonia, a rural part of Colorado’s Western Slope at the foot of Mount Lamborn. But the landscape has been little consolation to the 60-year-old as he has battled a cascade of health problems during the pandemic. “It’s been a real rodeo,” Burch said. “It’s been a lot […]

  • Patients ‘29% less likely to be hospitalised with Omicron’

    Data from a real-world study South Africa has indicated that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is 29% less likely to cause hospitalisation among infected adults than other strains – although the researchers behind the work stress the findings are preliminary. The results – released by healthcare insurance group Discovery SA and the South African Medical […]

  • Mesoblast pummelled as Novartis exits COVID deal

    Novartis as opted out of a collaboration with Mesoblast to develop its stem cell-based therapy remestemcel-L as a treatment for COVID-19, prompting a slump in the biotech’s share price. Novartis agreed to pay $25 million upfront for opt-in rights to remestemcel-L just over a year ago and to make a $25 million equity stake in […]

  • Preparing for Omicron: streamlining care with digital scheduling tools

    The recent discovery of the Omicron variant has placed the world on high alert. As COVID-19 continues to transform and evolve, erupting as “new” pandemics within the existing pandemic,  it is becoming clear that digitally-enabled clinical care and access to that care are some of the world’s tools to mitigate its spread. Should infection rates […]

  • Booster COVID jabs offered to all adults in England

    The UK government has said it will step up its COVID-19 booster vaccination dramatically, with everyone in England aged over 18 offered a third dose before the end of the month. Westminster has promised additional support for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to step up the booster campaign, and Scotland has […]

  • Why the Next Generation of Drugs Can’t Depend on Legacy Drug Packaging

    By Christopher Weikart, Chief Scientist at SiO2 Materials Science Why is an incredibly innovative and forward-thinking industry like pharmaceuticals being held back by the products that haven’t changed in over a century? The glass used to package, store, and deliver drugs today was created in 1881 — just 16 years after the Civil War ended […]

  • Journalists Discuss Omicron, Public Health, Culturally Competent Care

    KHN Midwest correspondent Cara Anthony discussed how Black tech entrepreneurs are trying to solve neglected health care issues on the America’s Heroes Group podcast Dec. 4. She talked about health technology and culturally competent care on KTVU on Dec. 1. Click here to hear Anthony on America’s Heroes Group Click here to watch Anthony on […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Much Ado About (Vaccine) Mandates

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Even with the new omicron variant of the covid virus spreading in the U.S., Republicans on Capitol Hill are pushing to stop President Joe Biden from requiring […]

  • AstraZeneca’s long-acting antibody drug lands FDA authorization for Covid-19

    FDA authorization of AstraZeneca drug Evusheld makes it the first antibody therapy for preventing infection before exposure to Covid-19, providing an option for immunocompromised patients who won’t mount a strong immune response to vaccination. The antibodies that comprise the AstraZeneca drug are engineered with technology that makes the therapy long lasting.

  • AZ’s antibody first to be cleared by FDA for COVID prevention

    AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail for COVID-19, now called Evushield, has become the first drug in the class to be authorised for prevention of infection by the US FDA. The long-acting antibody combination, formerly known as AZD7442 (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) has been cleared for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents aged 12 and older […]

  • Health Experts Worry CDC’s Covid Vaccination Rates Appear Inflated

    For nearly a month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online vaccine tracker has shown that virtually everyone 65 and older in the United States — 99.9% — has received at least one covid vaccine dose. That would be remarkable — if true. But health experts and state officials say it’s certainly not. They […]

  • Never Mind Toys, It’s Time to Ask Santa for Crutches and Catheters

    America’s hospitals, strained by nearly two years of fighting the covid-19 pandemic, are now scrounging for basic medical supplies. In another consequence of the global supply chain crisis, hospitals managing holiday covid surges and all their other patients are running short of many necessities of care: crutches, syringes, needles, tubing, gloves, catheters, drapes for surgery, […]

  • BioNTech CEO: omicron is partial escape variant, but booster may restore protection

    Preliminary data suggest the BioNTech and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine may have diminished protection against the omicron variant, but that levels of neutralizing antibodies can be restored with a third shot. Real-world data are needed to further assess the vaccine’s efficacy against the new variant and whether an omicron-specific version of the shot is needed.

  • Omicron may evade Pfizer/BioNTech COVID jab, says study

    Preliminary study results from South Africa have suggested that antibodies stimulated by Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty are less effective against the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. A study by the African Health Research Institute (AHRI) has found that the less of immune protection was “extensive but incomplete,” meaning that some level of immunity was retained against […]

  • From ‘Physician Assistant’ to Medicare, Readers and Tweeters Mince No Words

    Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. On ‘Physician Assistant’: Watch Your Language I think this story left out a few critical pieces of information (“A Title Fight Pits Physician Assistants Against Doctors,” Dec. 3). The term “physician […]

  • ¿Ha llegado el momento de cambiar la definición de “totalmente vacunado”?

    A medida que aumenta el número de lugares que exigen una prueba de vacunación para entrar, y ante la llegada del invierno y de omicron, la nueva variante del coronavirus, científicos y funcionarios de salud pública debaten cuándo será el momento de cambiar la definición de “totalmente vacunado” para que incluya una vacuna de refuerzo. […]

  • When the Surges Just Keep Coming: A View From the Covid Vortex

    Dr. Rais Vohra has impeccable timing. He stepped into his role as interim health officer of Fresno County just months before the start of the covid-19 pandemic. Almost immediately, he found himself navigating the treacherous tensions between public health messaging and a skeptical population in a hub of industrial agriculture that is also one of […]

  • EU approves Roche’s Actemra for severe COVID-19

    The European Commission has moved swiftly to grant full approval to Roche’s Actemra/RoActemra as a treatment for severe COVID-19, clearing the drug within 24 hours of a recommendation from its advisory committee. Actemra (tocilizumab) has been approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults who are receiving systemic corticosteroids and require supplemental oxygen or mechanical […]

  • The Healing Power of Even Virtual Human Connection

    By HANS DUVEFELT Almost two years into this new age of varying degrees of self quarantine, I am registering that my own social interactions through technology have been an important part of my life. I text with my son, 175 miles away, morning and night and often in between. I talk and text with my […]

  • Omicron set to dominate in UK within weeks, says expert

    The Omicron variant could supersede other strains of COVID-19 within the next few weeks to become dominant in the UK, according to an infectious diseases expert. Professor Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia told the BBC this morning that it is likely there is already more than 1,000 cases of Omicron (also known […]

  • Infants, kids now have a Covid-19 therapy as FDA expands use of Eli Lilly drug

    Eli Lilly’s authorized antibody drug for treating and preventing Covid-19 infection in adolescents and adults is now authorized for pediatric patients, including newborns. While tests are still assessing whether the drug works against omicron, early data suggest a Vir Biotechnology antibody can address the new variant but Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ antibody drug might not.

  • Journalists Explore Health Care Disparities and Policy Pitfalls

    KHN Midwest correspondent Cara Anthony discussed how Black entrepreneurs in the medical-technology industry are looking to fill health care gaps on Newsy on Wednesday. Click here to watch Anthony on Newsy Read Anthony’s “Black Tech Founders Want to Change the Culture of Health Care, One Click at a Time” KHN Colorado correspondent Rae Ellen Bichell […]

  • Is It Time to Change the Definition of ‘Fully Vaccinated’?

    As more indoor venues require proof of vaccination for entrance and with winter — as well as omicron, a new covid variant — looming, scientists and public health officials are debating when it will be time to change the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include a booster shot. It’s been more than six months since […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Roe v. Wade on the Rocks

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Judging by oral arguments this week, the Supreme Court appears ready to uphold a Mississippi law barring most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — and possibly […]

  • MHRA okays GSK’s Xevudy as data suggest it works against Omicron

    The UK medicines regulator has approved GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotech’s antibody for COVID-19, Xevudy, which has been shown to be effective against the new Omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2 in lab testing. Xevudy (sotrovimab) is the second COVID-19 antibody to be approved by the MHRA after Roche/Regeneron’s Ronapreve (casirivimab and imdevimab), which got a green light […]

  • UK government rubberstamps millions of extra COVID vaccines

    The UK government has placed a 114 million-dose order with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna – sufficient to provide two doses to every person in Britain – in a bid to future-proof against COVID-19 variants.  Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced the move as researchers race to uncover the effect of existing vaccines on the Omicron […]

  • Hospitals Refused to Give Patients Ivermectin. Lockdowns and Political Pressure Followed.

    HELENA, Mont. — One Montana hospital went into lockdown and called police after a woman threatened violence because her relative was denied her request to be treated with ivermectin. Officials of another Montana hospital accused public officials of threatening and harassing their health care workers for refusing to treat a politically connected covid-19 patient with […]

  • Truepill preps launch of virtual COVID-19 service for oral antivirals

    Telehealth, diagnostics and pharmacy business Truepill will launch a new virtual care platform in the coming weeks that it says will provide “end-to-end” care for people with COVID-19. The on-demand, online service will combine virtual consultations and next-day delivery of oral antiviral medicines – assuming those become available to patients in the US. Closest to […]

  • Watch: No Extra Resources for Children Orphaned by Covid

    The number of U.S. deaths from covid-19 has surpassed 778,000. Left behind are tens of thousands of children — some orphaned — after their parents or a grandparent who cared for them died. In this report, co-produced with PBS NewsHour, KHN correspondent Sarah Varney looks at the risks these grieving children face to their well-being, […]

  • For Older Adults, Smelling the Roses May Be More Difficult

    The reports from covid-19 patients are disconcerting. Only a few hours before, they were enjoying a cup of pungent coffee or the fragrance of flowers in a garden. Then, as if a switch had been flipped, those smells disappeared. Young and old alike are affected — more than 80% to 90% of those diagnosed with […]

  • Merck’s oral COVID drug squeaks past FDA advisory committee

    An FDA advisory committee voted by 13 to 10 to recommend emergency-use authorisation for Merck & Co and Ridgeback’s oral antiviral molnupiravir for mild-to-moderate COVID-19, saying it would be useful for some high-risk patients. The panel met shortly after updated results from the phase 3 MOVE-OUT trial of the drug showed it was less effective […]

  • Omicron and Other Coronavirus Variants: What You Need to Know

    Americans, already weary of a pandemic nearly two years long, were dealt a new blow during the long Thanksgiving weekend: the announcement that a new coronavirus variant had emerged. The omicron variant, officially known as B.1.1.529, surfaced in November in several southern African nations. It set off alarm bells worldwide when public health officials in […]

  • With Federal Covid Sick Leave Gone, Workers Feel Pressure to Show Up at Work

    Economists and public health experts alike say paid sick leave is an essential tool — like testing, masks and vaccines — in the effort to prevent covid-19 infection and keep workplaces safe. Yet the U.S. is in the midst of another covid holiday season, and federal laws that offered covid-related paid sick leave to workers […]

  • UK accelerates COVID booster plans in response to Omicron

    The UK looks set to extend its COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to all over-18s, as the number of cases of the new Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has reached double figures. The gap between second doses and boosters is also being reduced from six to three months in an attempt to get as much protection in […]

  • Enabling the leaders of the future

    Janssen’s Mark Larsen, VP & Head of HR at Janssen EMEA, looks at what COVID-19 has taught us about good leadership and how we develop and enable the leaders of the future. COVID-19 has amplified what is expected of leaders in workplaces around the world. From clear communication with an unsettled, dispersed workforce to maintaining […]

  • Pharma pledges rapid response to Omicron COVID variant

    With governments around the world announcing measures to curb the new B.1.1.529 variant of COVID-19 – now christened Omicron – leading vaccine manufacturers have said they are poised to develop new shots if needed. News of the new variant emerged last week, and has resulted in travel bans being imposed on various African countries by […]

  • Fall in efficacy of Merck’s molnupiravir puts Pfizer in driver’s seat

    Merck & Co has reported new data with its oral antiviral molnupiravir that suggests it is not as effective against COVID-19 as originally hoped. An updated readout from the MOVE-OUT study of molnupiravir shows that the original 48% reduction in the risk of hospitalisation or death in people with mild or moderate COVID-19 at high […]

  • Turkey’s home-grown COVID vaccine project nears fruition

    Turkey could have its own COVID-19 vaccine Turkovac available for use by the end of the year, according to the country’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. An emergency use authorisation (EUA) application for the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has been submitted to the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TITCK) on the back of preliminary data from […]

  • EU authorises first COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty for children between the ages of five and 11, as EU countries struggle to cope with rising infection rates. The EU regulator said that the under-12s should get a lower dose of the vaccine – 10 mcg rather than 30 mcg – […]

  • New COVID variant ‘may sidestep vaccine protection’

    A new variant of COVID-19 identified in Botswana with dozens of mutations is being watched closely, amid fears it could be resistant to the effect of currently-used vaccines. The B.1.1.529 variant has more mutations affecting the spike protein targeted by vaccines than any other strain identified to date, although it’s not yet clear if it […]

  • Innovation and collaboration – the MHRA’s pandemic approach

    The pandemic has propelled issues for the pharmaceutical industry to the top of the political and public agenda, from clinical trial recruitment to the journey required for medicines or vaccines to reach patients. The public knows now more than ever that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) ensures the safety and quality of […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Big Biden Budget Bill Passes the House

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” social spending bill passed the House last week, but the legislation faces a new and different set of hurdles in the […]

  • Etching the Pain of Covid Into the Flesh of Survivors

    It was Saturday morning at Southbay Tattoo and Body Piercing in Carson, California, and owner Efrain Espinoza Diaz Jr. was prepping for his first tattoo of the day — a memorial portrait of a man that his widow wanted on her forearm. Diaz, known as “Rock,” has been a tattoo artist for 26 years but […]

  • FDA, CDC COVID jab decisions ‘will simplify booster messaging’

    Three hurdles to allowing booster COVID-19 vaccinations for all adults in the US fell in swift succession on Friday, clearing the way for wider use of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots. The FDA cleared emergency use of the two vaccines on Friday, which was swiftly followed by a recommendation from a Centres for Disease Control […]

  • Why You Can’t Find Cheap At-Home Covid Tests

    While developing a rapid test that detects the coronavirus in someone’s saliva, Blink Science, a Florida-based startup, heard something startling: The Food and Drug Administration had more than 3,000 emergency use authorization applications and didn’t have the resources to get through them. “We want to try to avoid the EUA quagmire,” said Peb Hendrix, the […]

  • Success of Covid Antiviral Pills Hinges on Access to Speedy and Accurate Tests

    Within a few weeks, perhaps before many Americans finish decorating for the holidays, the U.S. could have access to a new antiviral pill from Merck expected to alter the deadly trajectory of the covid-19 pandemic — with a second option from Pfizer to follow shortly after. Now under federal review, both pills are being hailed […]

  • Journalists Cover Issues From Pollution to Vaccines and the Spread of Covid in Hospitals

    KHN freelancer Jim Robbins discussed unhealthy ozone levels in the West on KUNC’s “Colorado Edition” on Tuesday. Click here to hear Robbins on “Colorado Edition” Read Robbins’ “Western Boom Cities See Spike in Harmful Ozone“ Christina Jewett, a senior correspondent with KHN’s enterprise team, detailed her findings on the spread of covid-19 in hospitals on […]

  • Book Review: Uncontrolled Spread

    If you want to learn more about what went wrong for America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a great book to read is Scott Gottlieb’s Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic. Gottlieb is a physician, a former FDA commissioner, and a member of the National Academy of […]

  • Respira Labs’ wearable device listens for lung diseases

    US company Respira Labs has developed a device worn on the chest that uses tiny speakers and microphones to project sound into the lungs and listen for signals that could indicate serious lung diseases. The Sylvee wearable uses an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to interpret sounds that may indicate trapped air in the lungs, which […]

  • What Happens After a Campus Suicide Is a Form of Prevention, Too

    If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Ethan Phillips was 13 years old when he first heard the term “suicide contagion.” It’s the scientific concept that after one person dies by […]

  • Vaccine-or-Test Requirements Increase Work and Costs for Governments

    Amanda Kostroski, a 911 dispatcher in Madison, Wisconsin, leaves her busy job once a week to go to a county health clinic to be tested for covid-19. She’s been making the 15-minute drive from work since late September, when Dane County mandated all employees get vaccinated or tested weekly. The testing is free, and she […]

  • Pfizer gets bumper $5.3bn order from US for oral COVID drug

    Already making big profits from its COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer looks set to bolt on another big revenue stream with its oral antiviral drug Paxlovid after scoring a $5.3 billion order for the drug from the US government. The deal is dependent on Paxlovid (PF-07321332/ritonavir) being granted either emergency use authorisation (EUA) or full approval, although […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Boosting Confusion

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. With covid caseloads rising across much of the country, several governors and mayors are unilaterally expanding access to booster shots, getting out ahead of federal health officials. […]

  • Schools, Pediatricians Look to Make Up Lost Ground on Non-Covid Vaccinations

    WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Melissa Blatzer was determined to get her three children caught up on their routine immunizations on a recent Saturday morning at a walk-in clinic in this Denver suburb. It had been about a year since the kids’ last shots, a delay Blatzer chalked up to the pandemic. Two-year-old Lincoln Blatzer, in his […]

  • A preview of MedCity INVEST 2022: A return to in-person conferences

    INVEST, scheduled for March 28-30, 2022 in Chicago, marks a return to in-person events for MedCity News. The conference, held in partnership with Mid-America Healthcare Investors Network, will spotlight healthcare innovation, investment trends, and share insights from healthcare executives.

  • US signs $1bn order for GSK, Vir’s COVID-19 antibody

    The US has made a sizeable order for GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology’s antibody-based COVID-19 treatment sotrovimab said to be worth approximately $1 billion. The deal does not specify the number of doses of sotrovimab ordered by the federal government, but takes the total number to be supplied globally to around 750,000, according to a Reuters […]

  • Pfizer files oral COVID pill in US, signs access deal for 95 countries

    Armed with impressive new data for its oral antiviral Paxlovid, Pfizer has filed for emergency use authorisation as a COVID-19 treatment in the US – and signed a deal to allow other manufacturers to make it in some lower-income countries. Paxlovid – based on new protease inhibitor PF-07321332 and HIV drug ritonavir – was found […]

  • FDA clears GE Healthcare AI algorithm for patient intubation

    An artificial intelligence algorithm developed by GE Healthcare that helps with the placement of endotracheal tubes (ETTs) has been approved by the FDA. The new tool – part of GE’s Critical Care Suite 2.0 – helps bedside staff and radiologists assess patients before intubation – for example prior to ventilation in patients with critical COVID-19 […]

  • Celltrion’s Regdanvimab Receives the EC’s Approval for the Treatment of COVID-19

    Shots: The EC has granted marketing authorisation for Celltrion’s regdanvimab in adults with COVID-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen & are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 The approval is based on the P-III trial to evaluate the efficacy & safety of regdanvimab in 1315+ patients with COVID-19 across 13 countries including […]

  • Quarantine and Tracing Rules Are All Over the Map for Students

    At this point in the pandemic, most parents are familiar with “covid notification” letters. But the letters’ instruction on whether your kid must quarantine or not varies wildly from school to school. In Minneapolis, students exposed to covid-19 at school are supposed to quarantine for 10 days. In the suburban Anoka-Hennepin school district, a single […]

  • Live Performers Find Red State Rules a Tough Act to Follow

    MISSOULA, Mont. — There was something a little different on stage at a recent performance of the musical “Sister Amnesia’s Country Western Nunsense Jamboree,” the first production for the Missoula Community Theatre since the beginning of the pandemic. All the actors wore clear face masks. That way, the audience could better see the actors’ expressions, […]

  • Journalists Offer Primers on Medicare Open Enrollment and Death Benefits Amid Covid

    KHN contributing writer and former columnist Michelle Andrews discussed on Newsy on Tuesday how unvaccinated workers risk losing the death benefits they would have otherwise received if they die of covid-19. Click here to watch Andrews on Newsy Read Andrews’ “Unvaccinated? Don’t Count on Leaving Your Family Death Benefits“ KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner […]

  • AstraZeneca will make ‘modest’ profit from COVID vaccine

    AstraZeneca has said it plans to start making a small profit from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine Vaxzevria, which brought in just over $1 billion in sales in the third quarter, after selling it at cost since it was first made available. The shift will come in the fourth quarter of the year as part […]

  • AI tool may help doctors select best drugs for COVID patients

    Researchers in the US have developed an artificial intelligence-based tool that is able to predict COVID-19 symptoms and suggest which FDA-approved drugs might be used to treat patients. The MOATAI-VIR algorithm, developed by scientists at Emory University and Georgia Tech, was put through its paces in a study that showed it was able to predict […]

  • COVID antibodies from Roche, Celltrion backed for approval in EU

    The EMA’s human medicines committee has recommended approval of Roche’s Ronapreve and Celltrion’s Regkirona for use in COVID-19, the first antibody-based therapies for coronavirus to be backed for full approval in the EU. Ronapreve (casirivimab and imdevimab) – developed and distributed by Regeneron as REGN-COV in the US – has been recommended by the CHMP […]

  • Readers and Tweeters Find Disadvantages in Medicare Advantage

    Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. I’m a clinicianI have a PhD in policyNavigating this crazy maze for my mom annually leaves me feeling helpless/useless…Seems impossible for the average beneficiary via @khnews — Atul Grover (@AtulGroverMD) October […]

  • With claims of potential Alzheimer’s edge, Vaxxinity squeaks out $88M IPO

    Vaxxinity, a clinical-stage biotech with vaccine technology that gets the body to produce therapeutic or protective antibodies, raised $88 million from an IPO that priced below the targeted price range. In addition to its lead Alzheimer’s disease program, Vaxxinity’s pipeline includes product candidates for Parkinson’s disease, migraine, and Covid-19.

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Why Health Care Is So Expensive, Chapter $22K

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Congress appears to be making progress on its huge social spending bill, but even if it passes the House as planned the week of Nov. 15, it’s […]

  • Valneva gets EU deal for COVID jab, and may sue UK

    Shares in France’s Valneva leaped after it got an EU order to supply 60 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine VLA2001 over the next two years, including 27 million next year. The deal for the adjuvanted, inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine still depends on authorisation of the jab by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which is due […]

  • Moderna squares off with US government over COVID jab patent

    After being hailed as a triumph of public-private drug development, Moderna’s partnership with the US government on its COVID-19 vaccine looks like it may descend into acrimony. That is according to a New York Times report, which says Moderna is now in dispute with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) after it filed a US […]

  • As Workers Struggle With Pandemic’s Impact, Employers Expand Mental Health Benefits

    As the covid-19 pandemic burns through its second year, the path forward for American workers remains unsettled, with many continuing to work from home while policies for maintaining a safe workplace evolve. In its 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey, released Wednesday, KFF found that many employers have ramped up mental health and other benefits to […]

  • Germany says only Pfizer COVID jab should be used in under 30s

    Germany’s vaccination advisory committee has recommended that people aged under 30 should only be offered Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty, saying it seems less likely to cause heart inflammation than Moderna’s rival shot Spikevax. The draft guidance from the Robert Koch Institute’s STIKO committee also says that pregnant women, regardless of their age, should get the […]

  • How One Health Center Is Leading Chicago on Kid Covid Shots

    CHICAGO — As the medical assistant put on rubber gloves and readied the syringe, 5-year-old Victoria Macias, wearing a pink Minnie Mouse mask and white blouse, turned her head away and closed her eyes. “It’s not going to hurt, OK? I’ll hold your hand, I’ll hold your hand,” said her older sister, Alondra, 8. “Deep […]

  • US buys another $1 billion-worth of Merck’s COVID capsule

    The US federal government has ordered another 1.4 million doses of Merck & Co and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’ oral antiviral molnupiravir for COVID-19, adding to an earlier agreement to supply 1.7 million doses. The latest agreement – worth around $1 billion – means that the US has now called dibs on 3.1 million doses of molnupiravir, […]

  • Sales coaching: preparing for the new reality in pharma

    COVID-19 has been a catalyst for a huge amount of change across the pharmaceutical industry, acting as an accelerant for progress in its use of digital technology and prompting a reassessment of how the sales function should work. The pandemic’s first effects on pharma sales were swift and immediate, as lockdowns were put in place […]

  • One dose of Regeneron’s COVID antibody protects for eight months

    A single dose of the COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy developing Regeneron reduced the risk of contracting the virus by around 82% for up to eight months, according to new trial data. The results suggest that the REGEN-COV (casirivimab/imdevimab) antibody could play a key role in protecting people who do not mount a sufficiently strong immune […]

  • As Constituents Clamor for Ivermectin, Republican Politicians Embrace the Cause

    When state senators in South Carolina held two hearings in September about covid-19 treatments, they got an earful on the benefits of ivermectin — which many of the lawmakers echoed, sharing experiences of their own loved ones. The demands for access to the drug were loud and insistent, despite federal regulators’ recent warning against using […]

  • US court halts Biden’s COVID shots plan for companies

    The US Federal Court of Appeals has issued a temporary stay on President Joe Biden’s plan for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for employees of businesses. The mandate says that workers in privately-owned businesses with over 100 employees would have the be fully vaccinated by 4 January, or be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests and wear […]

  • Pfizer’s pill cuts COVID deaths and hospitalisations by 90%

    An oral antiviral drug developed by Pfizer has been shown to dramatically cut the risk of hospitalisation or death from COVID-19 when given in the early stages of infection. The phase 3 trial found that Paxlovid – which combines new protease inhibitor PF-07321332 with already-approved HIV drug ritonavir – reduced the risk of hospitalisation or […]

  • ‘Covid Hit Us Over the Head With a Two-by-Four’: Addressing Ageism With Urgency

    Earlier this year, the World Health Organization announced a global campaign to combat ageism — discrimination against older adults that is pervasive and harmful but often unrecognized. “We must change the narrative around age and ageing” and “adopt strategies to counter” ageist attitudes and behaviors, WHO concluded in a major report accompanying the campaign. Several […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Compromise Is Coming — Maybe

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Democrats on Capitol Hill hope they are nearing the finish line in their months-long quest to enact President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda. After briefly dropping from […]

  • UK first to authorise Merck/Ridgeback’s COVID pill molnupiravir

    Merck & Co and Ridgeback’s oral antiviral molnupiravir has been approved in its first market – the UK – as a treatment for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at increased risk of developing severe disease. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said today that molnupiravir, now given the trade name […]

  • ¿No estás vacunado? Si falleces por covid tu familia se quedará sin beneficios

    En estos días, los trabajadores que se niegan a vacunarse contra covid-19 pueden enfrentar repercusiones financieras, desde primas de planes médicos más altas hasta la pérdida de sus trabajos. Ahora, las consecuencias financieras podrían seguirlos más allá de la tumba. Si mueren de covid y no fueron vacunados, es posible que sus familias no obtengan […]

  • US backs COVID jabs for young kids – should others follow?

    The US is now pressing ahead with plans to extend its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to younger children aged five and over, prompting a debate about the policy in other countries. It follows the decision by Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky to back a widening of vaccination shot from the current […]

  • Montana’s Governor Nixed a Kids’ Vaccine Campaign, So Health Officials Plan Their Own

    Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s administration quashed plans for a public service campaign to promote covid-19 vaccinations for eligible teenagers over the summer, a former state health official said. That has caused public health and medical experts to plan their own ad campaigns in anticipation that the administration won’t publicly back shots for kids as young […]

  • Unvaccinated? Don’t Count on Leaving Your Family Death Benefits

    These days, workers who refuse to get vaccinated against covid-19 may face financial repercussions, from higher health insurance premiums to loss of their jobs. Now, the financial fallout might follow workers beyond the grave. If they die of covid and weren’t vaccinated, their families may not get death benefits they would otherwise have received. New […]

  • Pfizer’s COVID jab sales swell again, with $36bn forecast for 2021

    Rocketing sales of COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty have allowed Pfizer to raise its full-year forecasts for the shot once again to a whopping $36 billion, more than double its predictions just a few months ago. Fuelled by extensions to vaccination programmes to include children and booster shots, the BioNTech-partnered jab made nearly $13 billion in the […]

  • ¿Qué sabemos realmente sobre la eficacia de las vacunas contra covid?

    La politización de las vacunas contra covid –y casi todo lo que tiene que ver con la pandemia– ha causado confusión, y fatiga total. Y algunas publicaciones que circulan en las redes sociales, por ejemplo, esta pieza hábilmente editada en YouTube, parecen aprovecharse de estos sentimientos, intentando sembrar dudas sobre la efectividad de las vacunas. […]

  • COVID jabs much more effective than virus at preventing infection

    A US study has found that the immunity afforded by COVID-19 vaccines is much stronger than that stimulated by infection with SARS-CoV-2 in unvaccinated individuals. The report by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on an analysis of dozens of research studies and its own data, suggests that both vaccination and infection […]

  • Novavax gets first authorisation for its COVID-19 jab

    Novavax has been granted its first emergency use authorisation in Indonesia for COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373, and expects other regulators in India, the Philippines and other countries to follow suit in the coming weeks. The vaccine is the first based on recombinant protein to be approved anywhere in the world, and has the key advantage over […]

  • What Do We Really Know About Vaccine Effectiveness?

    The politicization of covid vaccines — and, well, just about everything else having to do with the pandemic — has led to confusion, if not utter fatigue. And some posts circulating on social media — this slickly edited piece on YouTube, for example — seem to build on these feelings, attempting to cast doubt on […]

  • ‘Not Quite on Board’: Parents Proving a Tough Sell on Covid Vax for Teens

    Even as the U.S. prepares to roll out a covid-19 vaccine to elementary school-aged kids, its efforts to inoculate teenagers — who have been eligible for the shot since May — continue to meet with a lackluster response. So far, about half of kids 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated in the U.S., compared with […]

  • How IQVIA used real-time analytics to generate custom ads that drew thousands of diverse and highly engaged patients to a global vaccine trial

    If you want to accelerate recruiting, go directly to the source: patients. It is a lesson the industry has always known, but recruiting patients during the pandemic underscored just how important an effective direct-to-patient recruiting strategy can be when timelines are critical. Rather than waiting for patients to learn about a trial from their physicians, […]

  • We are Asking Our Physicians to Do Too Much. It’s No Wonder They are Burnt Out.

    By GAIL PEACE We have heard the phrases “physician fatigue” and “burnout” too often in the last year – and for good reason. Covid-19 has placed an incredible burden on our healthcare providers. However, as healthcare professionals, the stats representing physician burnout are not new for us.   We have seen similar trends and stats for […]

  • FDA delays review of Moderna COVD jab in adolescents

    The FDA has said it needs more time to review Moderna’s application for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 in children aged 12 to 17, as it looks at data on heart inflammation in people receiving the shot. The decision leaves Moderna playing catch-up with Pfizer and BioNTech, whose Comirnaty vaccine was approved for […]

  • Nursing Home Residents Overlooked in Scramble for Covid Antibody Treatments

    Of the dozens of patients Dr. Jim Yates has treated for covid-19 at his long-term care center in rural Alabama, this one made him especially nervous. The 60-year-old man, who had been fully vaccinated, was diagnosed with a breakthrough infection in late September. Almost immediately, he required supplemental oxygen, and lung exams showed ominous signs […]

  • Journalists Explore Shadow Pandemics of Hospital Violence and Grieving Children

    KHN Midwest correspondent Bram Sable-Smith discussed how the pandemic has exacerbated violence in hospitals on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show” on Wednesday. Click here to hear Sable-Smith on “The Morning Show“ Read Sable-Smith’s “‘Are You Going to Keep Me Safe?’ Hospital Workers Sound Alarm on Rising Violence” KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed […]

  • ERs Are Swamped With Seriously Ill Patients, Although Many Don’t Have Covid

    Inside the emergency department at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, staff members are struggling to care for patients showing up much sicker than they’ve ever seen. Tiffani Dusang, the ER’s nursing director, practically vibrates with pent-up anxiety, looking at patients lying on a long line of stretchers pushed up against the beige walls of the […]

  • What’s Scarier Than Covid? Halloween Health Haikus

    Boo that we couldn’t treat all the readers participating in our third annual KHN Halloween Haiku Contest to their moment of gory glory. Your entries — like our health care system — ranged from frighteningly complex to haunting. And, based on a review by our panel of never-say-die judges, here’s the winner and a sampling […]

  • Getting a holistic picture of patients with social determinants of health

    This is the fifth in a series of blog posts that will highlight how the patient journey has evolved since the onset of COVID-19. This series will take you through the changes that impacted every step of the patient journey and provide strategic recommendations to move forward. In this post, explore the fifth step—treatment, and […]

  • Vaccine hesitancy in low- and middle-income countries

    While the recently developed COVID-19 vaccines offer the hope of ending the pandemic, ending the pandemic is only feasible if individuals take the vaccine. In the US, a large portion of individuals report being hesitant to receive the vaccine. A key question then is whether individuals living in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) are have […]

  • Generic pill could be alternative to oral antivirals in COVID-19

    A generic pill has been shown to reduce hospitalisation rates in high-risk patients with early COVID-19, potentially offering a low-cost alternative to oral antivirals from Merck & Co and others, according to researchers in Brazil. The antidepressant fluvoxamine given as a twice-daily regimen for 10 days to acutely symptomatic patients with COVID-19 who also had […]

  • The IT work that Covid halted & the hurdles to jumpstarting it again

    Though the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated some aspects of health IT, it slowed others, including EHR replacements and back-office system upgrades. CIOs from some of the nation’s leading health systems shared not only the projects they put on hold, but also how they made those decisions and the challenges they faced when trying to reignite their […]

  • CDC director backs COVID-19 jab for 5 to 11s, plus a fourth shot

    The US looks set to see a big expansion of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, with shots looking likely for children aged five to 11 as well as a fourth dose for adults who are immunocompromised. FDA advisors gave a green light to Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty for children in that younger age […]

  • GSK side-lines COVID drug otilimab to focus on Xevudy

    GlaxoSmithKline said today it would halt further development of its antibody for severe COVID-19 pneumonia – otilimab – in order to focus its resources on Xevudy for mild-to-moderate disease. The drugmaker said in its third-quarter results update this morning that it had decided to invest more in generating data on Vir BioTech-partnered anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody Xevudy […]

  • Merck takes further steps to expand access to oral COVID pill

    Merck & Co has signed a licensing deal with the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) that could pave the way for generic companies to manufacture its much-anticipated oral antiviral for COVID-19. The agreement would provide royalty-free licenses to companies manufacturing molnupiravir – originally developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics – for distribution in 105 low- and middle-income […]

  • Characteristics of neighborhoods with high and low COVID-19 vaccination rates

    What do the vaccination rates look like in the largest U.S. cities? In these cities, how do the characteristics of individuals in neighborhoods with low vs. high vaccination rates differ? To answer this question, a paper by Sacarny and Daw (2021) use data from 9 large US cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, […]

  • Sustained healthcare systems need sustainable pharma business models

    COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of robust supply chains and the dangers of an over reliance on overseas manufacturing. But can the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe help to redress the balance? Only sustainable, robust supply chains and business models will allow innovation to flourish, secure access to medicines, and minimise the industry’s impact on the environment. […]

  • FDA advisors mull use of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 jab in kids

    FDA advisors will meet later today discuss the possibility of authorising Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty in children as young as five years old. If the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) gives the go-ahead, the FDA could approve emergency-use of Comirnaty in five to 11-year-olds in a matter of days, extending […]

  • Understaffed State Psychiatric Facilities Leave Mental Health Patients in Limbo

    Many patients dealing with mental health crises are having to wait several days in an ER until a bed becomes available at one of Georgia’s five state psychiatric hospitals, as public facilities nationwide feel the pinch of the pandemic. “We’re in crisis mode,’’ said Dr. John Sy, an emergency medicine physician in Savannah. “Two weeks […]

  • EU starts review of Merck’s oral COVID drug molnupiravir

    The EMA has started a rolling review of Merck & Co and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’ much-anticipated oral antiviral molnupiravir as a treatment for COVID-19 in adults. Molnupiravir is already filed for approval in the US and Canada – where Merck is known as MSD – amid hopes that the drug could be used to protect vulnerable […]

  • In Maine, Vaccine Mandate for EMTs Stresses Small-Town Ambulance Crews

    On a recent morning, Jerrad Dinsmore and Kevin LeCaptain of Waldoboro EMS in rural Maine drove their ambulance to a secluded house near the ocean, to measure the clotting levels of a woman in her 90s. They told the woman, bundled under blankets to keep warm, they would contact her doctor with the result. “Is […]

  • Fresh Faces, Fewer Tools: Meet the New Bosses Fighting Covid

    VIRGINIA CITY, Mont. — Emilie Sayler’s roots run deep in southwestern Montana. She serves on a nearby town council and the board of the local Little League. She went to college in a neighboring county and regularly volunteers in the schools of her three kids. Just a few months into her new job as public […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Dems Agree to Agree, But Not on What to Agree On

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Negotiations over what to include in — and cut from — the domestic spending package on Capitol Hill are reportedly making progress, but so far all Democrats […]

  • FDA okays Moderna, J&J COVID jab boosters, plus ‘mix and match’

    The FDA has authorised booster shots with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines, a month after giving the go-ahead to a third-dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s shot. It has also authorised the use of different jabs as boosters than those people received for their primary vaccination – the so-called ‘mix and match’ strategy – on the […]

  • The Yelp of Covid: Vigilantes Crowdsource Pandemic Safety Tips for Consumers

    ATHENS, Ga. — Melissa Lee had more to deal with than funeral planning when her husband, Dan Lee, died by suicide in January. She also was faced with continuing Dan’s 1,400-member Facebook group, “Athens, GA Mask Grades 2.0,” designed to help residents of Athens protect themselves from covid-19 by grading local businesses on their safety […]

  • Atea Reports Results of AT-527 in P-II MOONSONG Trial for the Treatment of COVID-19

    Shots: The P-II MOONSONG trial evaluates the antiviral activity, safety & PK of AT-527 (550/1100 mg, bid) vs PBO in adult patients with COVID-19. The therapy is jointly developed in collaboration with Roche The trial did not meet its 1EPs of reduction from baseline in SARS-CoV-2 virus in an overall study population, two-thirds of patients […]

  • Delta variant keeps Roche diagnostics sales sky high

    High demand for COVID-19 diagnostics driven by the delta variant has led to rocketing sales at Roche’s diagnostics division, allowing the company to raise its sales forecast for the year. Diagnostics sales rose 39% to CHF 13.3 billion ($14.4 billion) in the first nine months of the year, with the strong performance of the company’s […]

  • J&J mulls switch from non-profit status for COVID jab

    Johnson & Johnson has been offering its COVID-19 vaccine for sale on a no-profit basis since it became available, but is thinking about a possible switch to a standard commercial model next year or in 2023. That was the position stated by J&J’s executive vice president Ashley McEvoy on the company’s third-quarter results call yesterday, […]

  • Scientists Search for Cause of Mysterious Covid-Related Inflammation in Children

    Like most other kids with covid, Dante and Michael DeMaino seemed to have no serious symptoms. Infected in mid-February, both lost their senses of taste and smell. Dante, 9, had a low-grade fever for a day or so. Michael, 13, had a “tickle in his throat,” said their mother, Michele DeMaino, of Danvers, Massachusetts. At […]

  • Make locally led public health ‘business as usual’, says report

    COVID-19 proved the value of locally led, place-based public health – but teams need long-term funding and support if they are to take their place as an essential cog in the ICS machine. Local public health teams have been acting as “linchpins” during the pandemic, building cross-sector relationships to respond to the immediate crisis, as […]

  • Children With Disabilities Face Special Back-to-School Challenges

    LOS ANGELES — Christopher Manzo, a boy with curly brown hair and bright-blue-and-yellow glasses, has lived a third of his five years at home because of the pandemic. And he is more than ready for kindergarten. Hand in hand with his mother, Martha Manzo, he walks into the Blind Children’s Center, a low-rise building nestled […]

  • COVID-19 has propelled the regulatory industry years ahead

    Janssen’s Saskia De Haes, VP EMEA Regulatory Affairs, looks at how the pandemic response has shaped tomorrow’s regulatory landscape. In my 26 years of industry experience, I’ve often found the regulatory process to have  plenty of opportunities to become more efficient and faster. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it lit a fire under the regulatory […]

  • Watch: Going Beyond the Script of ‘Dopesick’ and America’s Real-Life Opioid Crisis

    KHN and policy colleagues at our parent organization KFF teamed up with Hulu for a discussion of America’s opioid crisis, following the Oct. 13 premiere of the online streaming service’s new series “Dopesick.” The discussion explored how the series’ writers worked with journalist Beth Macy, author of the book “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug […]

  • FDA panel backs booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine

    An FDA advisory committee voted unanimously in favour of a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, as panellists suggested it should have been used as a two-dose regimen from the start. The verdict – which came the day after a third dose of Moderna’s two-shot vaccine was also backed by […]