Tests can be ordered from COVIDTests.gov; you can order four per household.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are recommending one dose of the updated vaccine for everyone six months and older in the US; some children may be eligible for up to three doses depending on their age and previous vaccination status.
Hospitalisations and deaths rose steadily during the last weeks of summer, and global health authorities are monitoring two new variants, BA.2.86, known as Pirola, and EG.5, known as Eris.
First reported in February, Eris is now responsible for nearly 30 per cent of Covid cases in the US, per CDC estimates.
Some experts are urging Americans to wear a mask when necessary to slow the spread of the virus.
CDC Covid tracker
16,186 hospitalisations from 15 October to 21 October
How to get free Covid tests from the government
You should see a doctor for Covid if you develop these symptoms
Everything we know about the latest round of Covid boosters, including how to book an appointment
Covid exposure guidelines 2023: What to know
Covid vaccination rate grows slightly
14:00 , Maggie O’Neill
More than 15 million people in the US had received the updated Covid vaccine as of 27 October, according to reporting from Reuters.
This accounts for less than five per cent of the US population.
As of 26 October last year, nearly 23 million people had received the new Covid booster.
Researchers discover biomarkers that could help predict long Covid
06:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Scientists have learned more about who is likely to develop long Covid, and their findings could help doctors better treat the condition.
The new research—which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal—discovered certain biomarkers that may predict long Covid.
“These findings suggest that complement biomarkers could facilitate the diagnosis of long COVID and further suggest that currently available inhibitors of complement activation could be used to treat long COVID,” the authors of the new paper wrote.
Moderna shares updated vaccine predictions
00:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Moderna said Thursday it is likely to make close to $6 billion in sales this year, perhaps due to decreased demand for Covid vaccines, according to reporting from Reuters.
The company also said its flu shot will not be available in 2024, as was previously expected. The launch date has now been pushed to 2025.
Denny’s owner in New York State to pay $2 million for making false statements on federal Covid aid program application
Thursday 2 November 2023 19:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The owner of multiple Denny’s restaurants in Central New York will have to pay $2 million for making false statements on an application for a federal Covid aid program, per reporting from Syracuse.com.
The whistleblower who alerted the government will receive $200,000, per reporting from WWNYTV 7 News.
CDC says vaccines are safe for breastfeeding mothers
Thursday 2 November 2023 14:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging pregnant people and new mothers to stay up-to-date on their Covid vaccines.
#COVID19 vaccines are safe for breastfeeding mothers and their infants.
CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Learn more: https://t.co/7zZPUOrRQ7 pic.twitter.com/v8p1L31NzP
— CDC (@CDCgov) November 1, 2023
Vaccine confidence in the US has fallen in the last two years, survey shows
Thursday 2 November 2023 06:00 , Maggie O’Neill
A new survey found that from April 2021 to October 2023, the percetage of Americans who think vaccines approved for use in the US are “safe” fell from 77 per cent to 71 per cent.
The survey, conducted by experts at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) at the University of Pennsylvania, also found the percentage of adults who think vaccines are not safe jumped from nine per cent to 16 per cent during the same time period.
New research suggests masks slow the spread of Covid
Thursday 2 November 2023 00:00 , Maggie O’Neill
A new paper published in JAMA Network Open has found masks “reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2”, the virus that causes illness with Covid-19.
“High-quality studies have shown that use of face masks in the community is associated with reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and is likely to be an important component of an effective response to a future respiratory threat,” the authors of the new paper wrote.
Experts say it may be necessary to mask up in public spaces this fall and winter, if Covid case counts rise.
Millions of lives were saved by the Covid vaccines, research finds
Wednesday 1 November 2023 19:00 , Maggie O’Neill
At least 2.4 million excess deaths were prevented after the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, new research suggests.
However, more lives would have been saved had vaccine access been equitable across the globe.
Experts say staying up-to-date on all vaccines is still the best way to protect yourself from severe disease from Covid.
‘Bedbound’ long Covid patient shares how the illness has made it difficult to celebrate Halloween
Wednesday 1 November 2023 14:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Dianna Cowern says she’s been “bedbound” due to long Covid since January.
I've been bedbound since January with long Covid, but I still love to dress up for Halloween. So my husband made me this costume (posted by Kyle, the husband.) pic.twitter.com/csqKpL3oba
— Dianna Cowern (@thephysicsgirl) October 30, 2023
Parents are suing California for eliminating religious expemtions to school-mandated vaccines
Wednesday 1 November 2023 06:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Parents are suing the state of Califnornia over a law that mandates vaccines for school children—and doesn’t allow for religious exemptions—as Governor Gavin Newsom is reportedly trying to add the Covid vaccine to the list of those that will be required.
Per Fox News, the parents are backed by a conservative group.
Many long Covid patients haven’t recovered 18 months after diagnosis, research shows
Wednesday 1 November 2023 00:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Long Covid will affect many people for more than one-and-a-half years after their diagnosis, new research has shown.
The study, published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, found that “more than 50% of long COVID patients failed to improve using any outcome measure” 18 months after their diagnosis.
New York City offers free at-home tests
Tuesday 31 October 2023 20:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is offering free at-home tests at sites across New York.
Looking for a COVID-19 test near you? All New Yorkers can:
✅ Pick up free at-home rapid testing kits at sites around the city: https://t.co/S0P0tVV8fu
✅ Make an appointment at one of our COVID Express sites: https://t.co/7QYzDW7Trr pic.twitter.com/PCBSyf72We
— nychealthy (@nycHealthy) October 30, 2023
US Covid booster rates are shockingly low
Tuesday 31 October 2023 17:43 , Maggie O’Neill
Very few people have received the updated Covid boosters that were released nationwide in September, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How long Covid changes lives
Tuesday 31 October 2023 14:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The condition can cause debilitating symptoms that affect one’s day-to-day functioning.
Tara Cobham reports:
Experts slam anti-vaxxers for associating Matthew Perry’s death with Covid vaccine
Tuesday 31 October 2023 06:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Prominent anti-vaxxers have publicly speculated on whether Matthew Perry’s death was linked to the Covid vaccine. Now, experts are criticizing the exploitative comments.
Matthew Perry wanted to be remembered for the good he'd done helping others dealing with addiction. I appreciate that he also advocated for vaccines. Of course, the latter has made ghouls suggest his death was from the latter. https://t.co/1cqGm4uyFJ
— Dr. Tara C. Smith (@aetiology) October 29, 2023
Why pregnant people should get vaccinated
Tuesday 31 October 2023 00:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Pregnancy makes a person high-risk from severe disease for Covid-19, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The agency has released a bulletin that states, “Pregnancy causes changes in the body that could make it easier to get very sick from respiraotry viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.”
Severe illness from the virus could result in hospitalisation, admission to an ICU, or even reliance on a ventilator.
Anti-vaxxers falsely blame Matthew Perry’s death on Covid vaccine
Monday 30 October 2023 20:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Prominent anti-vaxxer Kandiss Taylor took to X, formerly Twitter, to falsely associate Friends star Matthew Perry’s death with the Covid vaccine.
What??? Was he vaccinated? https://t.co/sB9Uu8YhDD
— Kandiss Taylor (@KandissTaylor) October 29, 2023
Flu, RSV and Covid starting to circulate in the US amid fears of ‘tripledemic’
Monday 30 October 2023 17:26 , Maggie O’Neill
Experts have been urging Americans to stay up-to-date on their Covid, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines for weeks now, ahead of the worst of cold and flu season.
Now, reports show the viruses are already circulating in the US.
Experts say it’s still safe to get flu and Covid shots together
Monday 30 October 2023 14:00 , Maggie O’Neill
A recent study suggested older adults may have a slightly increased risk of stroke if they get the Covid and flu shots together, but experts say there’s not enough evidence to suggest the risk is so severe people should stop getting these vaccinations at the same time.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF, recently told ABC News, “There is no need for panic, and emphatically no need to stop giving COVID and flu shots at the same time to older adults.”
Covid data collection through wastewater to be enhanced moving forward
Monday 30 October 2023 06:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Biobot Analytics, which develops Covid insights through wastewater, will resume weekly updates. Experts say the added data will help healthcare officials continue to track SARS-CoV-2.
Great news. With many ways to track the pandemic taken away, wastewater and particularly Biobot's updates are one of the best ways to understand how much COVID spread is currently happening in your area. https://t.co/FvLQW6wR10
— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) October 27, 2023
Health authorities say getting vaccinated is ‘essential’ for public health
Monday 30 October 2023 00:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) is encouring vaccination on social media.
Flu season is here! Vaccination for flu, COVID-19, & RSV is essential to protect the public’s health & stop the spread of respiratory illnesses in our communities.
Use the toolkits from OIDP to support your vaccine activities & messages: https://t.co/CvySNXqjnf 🔗 pic.twitter.com/MVaqwapzPt
— HHS_Health (@HHS_Health) October 24, 2023
Private insurers will soon cover the cost of Covid treatment
Sunday 29 October 2023 20:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The Health and Human Services Secreatary issued a letter on Friday explaining that the government will soon stop ordering Paxlovid—the antiviral treatment prescribed to many high-risk people who are infected with Covid—and other treatments in the weeks to come, according to reporting from Stat.
The government is slowly shifting the cost of treatments to insurers.
Pfizer, the company that makes Paxlovid, has priced the treatment—given over the course of five days—at just under $1,400.
Covid deaths are increasing, CDC data show
Sunday 29 October 2023 17:00 , Maggie O’Neill
During late summer, Covid hospitalisations and deaths rose steadily for several weeks. While hospitlisations are now falling, deaths are rising again, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From 15 October to 21 October, deaths increased 12.5 per cent, compared with the previous week. The national test positivity rate and emergency department visits fell during that time frame.
California public health officials urge vaccination
Sunday 29 October 2023 14:00 , Maggie O’Neill
California’s public health officer, Dr Tomas Aragon, urged Califnornians to get vaccinated against Covid during a recent press conference, per CBS Bay Area.
Less than five per cent of Californians are up-to-date on their vaccines, and some racial and ethnic groups have higher vaccination rates than others. About 6.7 per cent of white people in California have been vaccinated, compared with 2.7 per cent of Black people in the state. The vacciation rate among Latinos is 1.5 per cent.
Covid hospitlisations are decreasing, CDC data show
Sunday 29 October 2023 06:00 , Maggie O’Neill
During late summer, Covid hospitalisations and deaths rose steadily for several weeks. But hospitlisations are now falling, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From 15 October to 21 October, hospitalisations decreased 0.2 per cent, compared with the previous week. The national test positivity rate and emergency department visits also fell, though deaths increased during that time frame.
This is how many US children and adults have gotten the new Covid shot so far
Sunday 29 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Despite the fact that the updated Covid vaccine was rolled out nationwide over a month ago—and that health authorities are recommending the vaccine for anyone six months and older in the US to prevent bad outcomes like severe disease and death—very few Amerians have gotten it, according to reporting from the Associated Press.
Roughly seven per cent of adults and two per cent of children have been vaccinated so far.
About 40 per cent of Americans have decided they likely or definitely won’t get the shot.
Experts continue to encourage vaccination—and masking when appropriate—to prevent higher case counts this fall and winter.
Blackstone CEO—worth $32 billion—says Americans ‘didn’t work as hard’ during the pandemic
Saturday 28 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman—whose estimated fortune totals $32 billion—told investors at a conference that people “didn’t work as hard” when working remotely to slow the spread of a SARS-CoV-2, a deadly virus, when it first emerged, per reporting from CNN.
Schwarzman went on to say workers slacked off during the pandemic “no matter what they told you”.
The pandemic took an obvious toll on Americans’ mental health, with a third of US adults reporting they experienced “stress, anxiety, and great sadness that was difficult to cope with by themselves” during the first year of the pandemic, per data from the Commonwealth Fund.
Covid emergency department visits are decreasing, data show
Saturday 28 October 2023 18:00 , Maggie O’Neill
During late summer, Covid hospitalisations and deaths rose steadily for several weeks. But the rate of emergency department visits is now falling, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From 15 October to 21 October, emergency department visits fell 4.6 per cent, compared with the previous week. The national test positivity rate and hospitalisations from the virus also fell, though deaths increased during that time frame.
Florida Surgeon General doubles down on anti-vaccine propaganda
Saturday 28 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, recently posted a tweet reiterating that Florida does not recommend Covid vaccines for people under 65, despite the fact that federal health authorities—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—recommend the vaccine for anyone six months and older.
Florida recommends against mRNA COVID-19 boosters for residents under the age of 65.
The State of Florida prioritizes data and commonsense, not Pharma profits or political ideology!https://t.co/mYHE736pgO pic.twitter.com/qEPEBIyZY7
— Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD (@FLSurgeonGen) October 23, 2023
CDC provides update on where to find a free Covid vaccine
Saturday 28 October 2023 07:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The CDC posted a video to Instagram explaining how to make an appointment for a free Covid vaccine.
New study finds severe Covid could change a person’s immune system
Saturday 28 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Severe disease from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes illness with Covid-19, could cause long-lasting changes in the immune system, according to a small new study supported by the National Institues of Health (NIH).
The study found that severe Covid can alter how genes in certain stem cells behave. This can lead to higher production of white blood cells, which are part of the immune system and can produce inflammatory signals.
The research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that some may experience the effects of Covid long after they’ve recovered from the initial infection.
The Covid test positivity rate is continuing to decrease, data show
Friday 27 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
During late summer, Covid hospitalisations and deaths rose steadily for several weeks. But the national test positivity is now falling, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From 15 October to 21 October, the test positivity rate fell 0.7 per cent, compared with the previous week. Emergency department visits and hospitalisations from the virus also fell, though deaths increased during that time frame.
Covid exacerbated the mental health crisis among healthcare workers, new data show
Friday 27 October 2023 18:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The pandemic’s toll on healthcare workers is shown in new data from a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The data show that almost half of all healthcare workers felt burned out in 2022, up from just 32 per cent in 2018. Additionally, a whopping 44 per cent of workers “intended to look for a new job” last year, compared with just 33 per cent in 2018.
The data show that Covid-19 drastically increased the stress levels of many who work in the healthcare industry.
Texas House approves ban on vaccine mandates instituted by private employers
Friday 27 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The Texas House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a ban on Covid vaccine mandates from private employers, according to reporting from the Texas Tribune.
Those who violate the ban may have to pay a $50,000 fine. The bill’s sponsor, state Representative Jeff Leach, said the bill may be the strongest vaccine ban in the country.
Covid symptoms may take several days to appear, experts say
Friday 27 October 2023 07:00 , Maggie O’Neill
If you were recently exposed to Covid, you may not experience any symptoms for up to two weeks after the exposure.
It can take anywhere from two to 14 days for the signs—like congestion and fatigue—to emerge, per UC Davis Health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing after an exposure, whether or not you develop symptoms.
Covid variant HV.1 becomes more dominant in the US
Friday 27 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Covid variant HV.1, a descendant of Omicron, has become more dominant in October, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The data show that EG.5 is the most dominant, likely causing roughly 23.6 per cent of Covid cases in the US, followed by HV.1, which is likey causing 19.5 per cent of cases.
Experts urge the public to get vaccinated after data show just 12 million people have opted for the shot so far this fall
Thursday 26 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Recent data show that just 3.6 per cent—or roughly 12 million people—in the US have received the latest Covid vaccine.
We really need to make vaccine selfies a thing again because only 3% of people in the US have gotten their COVID booster vaccine so far this season.
— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) October 24, 2023
Pfizer’s combination Covid and flu vaccine moves to final-stage trial
Thursday 26 October 2023 18:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Pfizer’s combination vaccine that could target both Covid-19 and influenza is moving to a final-stage trial, according to reporting from CNBC.
The vaccine has been tested in an early- to mid-stage study, and has received positive results.
Pfizer has previously said it could launch the vaccine as early as 2024.
The Covid test positivity rate is higher than the national average in these states
Thursday 26 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
From 8 October to 14 October the Covid test positivity rate in the US was 9.5 per cent, per the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But the positivity rate is higher—falling anywhere from 10 to 14.9 per cent—in the following US states, the CDC says: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
How simvastatin affects Covid patients
Thursday 26 October 2023 07:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Simvastatin, a statin used to redice risk of stroke and heart attack, could help some people with severe Covid, according to new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The drug may prevent some people with Covid from needing organ support or dying, according to the new analysis.
Simvastatin is sometimes recommended for heart disease patients—in conjunction with weight loss, diet, and exercise—to lower the risk of needing heart surgery.
New study looks at consequences of getting high-dose flu shot and Covid vaccine at the same time
Thursday 26 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
There may be a slight risk associated with getting a high-dose flu shot and the Covid vaccine at the same time, according to new research—that has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal—from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The study found a slight increase in stroke risk among people who got both of these at the same time, though the observed effects “were not consistent”, according to the authors of the new report—meaning little is known about whether this increase is real, or what may be causing it.
High-dose flu vaccines are sometimes given to people 65 and older, per the Mayo Clinic.
Less than four per cent of the US population has received the updated Covid shot
Wednesday 25 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The American public are largely ignoring advice from health authorities to get the latest Covid vaccine ahead of the winter months, according to reporting from Politico.
Just 12 million people—or, roughly 3.6 per cent of the population—have received the shot so far.
It became available nationwide in Septebmer, and is recommended for everyone six months and older in the US.
Carnival Cruise Line found ‘negligent’ for 2020 Covid outbreak
Wednesday 25 October 2023 18:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Passengers aboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship that suffered a Covid outbreak—which resulted in 28 deaths—have won a lawsuit against the company in Australia, according to reporting from Axois.
The case was decided in Australia’s Federal Court, where Justice Angus Stewart decided Carnival should not have let its Ruby Princess ship leave Sydney for New Zealand in March 2020.
The company should have known or “ought to have known about” the “potentially lethal consequences” of Covid, according to a case summary from the court.
NIH leaders get vaccinated against Covid-19
Wednesday 25 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shared photos of themselves getting vaccinated against Covid-19. The latest vaccine is available at pharmacies nationwide; some people without health insurance can get the shot for free through the Bridge Access Program.
New York State Department of Health reminds New Yorkers to get vaccinated against Covid-19
Wednesday 25 October 2023 07:00 , Maggie O’Neill
In the US, everyone six months and older is eligible for the latest Covid vaccine that protects against severe disease from the virus.
It is recommended that everyone 6 months and up get the updated #COVID19 vaccine to protect against serious illness. Schedule a time for your shot today: https://t.co/rV0kSCs6Px pic.twitter.com/3DXQtu5QwB
— NYSDOH (@HealthNYGov) October 19, 2023
New study sheds light on how long kids are contagious with Covid
Wednesday 25 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
A small new study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found that children with Covid may be contagious for a median of three days.
The research could help school administrators or policymakers who help decide how long kids should be out of school after testing positive for Covid-19.
Should you wear a mask in a healthcare setting?
Tuesday 24 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
As government mask mandates have been lifted, many healthcare systems across the country have been left to decide their own mask policies.
Some hospitals and urgent care facilities are now requiring masks as the US prepares for cold and flu season, but that’s not the case everywhere.
Still yet, many experts are urging Americans to wear a mask if they enter a healthcare setting this fall and winter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a statement on masks that says, “Layered prevention strategies—like staying up to date on vaccines and wearing masks—can help prevent severe illness and reduce the potential for strain on the healthcare system.”
Trump’s attorneys tried to halt his fraud trial due to Covid risk
Tuesday 24 October 2023 18:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Attorneys for former president Donald Trump tried to halt his civil fraud trial in New York Tuesday, citing risk of Covid-19 as the reason.
Trump, 77, was not wearing a mask, according to reporting from Business Insider.
The judge declined but explained that N95 masks were available for those concerned about infection.
More than 60 per cent of Los Angeles residents plan to get the updated Covid vaccine
Tuesday 24 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
A new survey looked at how many people in Los Angeles County will likely get the latest Covid-19 vaccine to protect against severe disease from the virus.
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) October 19, 2023
Norway’s king, 86, tests positive for Covid
Tuesday 24 October 2023 07:00 , Maggie O’Neill
King Harald V of Norway, 86, has tested positive for Covid and is experiencing “mild symptoms”, according to reporting from the Associated Press.
He has received at least three Covid shots, but it’s not clear if he received an updated vaccine this year.
More research supports getting the Covid vaccine while pregnant
Tuesday 24 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Health authorities have been encouraging pregnant women to get the Covid-19 vaccine ahead of this year’s cold and flu season since they are more likely to develop severe disease if infected with SARS-CoV-2.
A new study published today in JAMA Pediatrics found that getting vaccinated while pregnant also helps protect the baby.
The study found that the risks of neonatal morbidity, neonatal death, and neonatal intensive care unit admission were lower in cases where pregnant women received an mRNA Covid vaccine.
Gut fungi may exacerbate severe Covid infections, study finds
Monday 23 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Some fungi found in the gut flourish when a person gets severely ill with Covid, and this could contribute to excessive inflammation caused by the disease, a new study from researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian has found.
The authors of the new report analysed blood samples from people with severe Covid for their new report, and learned that one particular species of yeast called Candida albicans increased in the intestines of people with severe Covid.
The findings could eventually be used to better help treat people with severe disease from SARS-CoV-2.
Some uninsured Americans are eligible for free Covid treatment through a program sponsored by the NIH
Monday 23 October 2023 18:04 , Maggie O’Neill
Pfizer recently announced the company’s antiviral Covid treatment, Paxlovid, will now cost nearly $1,400 a course.
But a program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), called Test to Treat, is offering free Covid treatment (and tests) to some people who don’t have employer-sponsored health insurance.
You can check to see if you’re eligible for free treatment at test2treat.org.
How to get the Covid vaccine for free
Monday 23 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
CDC Director Dr Mandy Cohen recently tweeted a video explaining how to get the Covid vaccine for free.
The COVID vaccine is FREE to you this fall. Your questions answered 👇 pic.twitter.com/tjyx1E3ypo
— Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) October 18, 2023
How to find a Covid vaccine near you
Monday 23 October 2023 07:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers information on where you can get a Covid vaccine at Vaccines.gov.
The site allows you to input your zip code and locate pharmacies in your community that offer the vaccine you’re looking for.
The CDC also offers the Covid vaccine for free to people who do not have health insurance, through its Bridge Access Program.
CDC Director and Senator Schumer encourage Covid vaccinations
Monday 23 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
CDC Director Dr Mandy Cohen tweeted a video of herself and New York Senator Chuck Schumer speaking about the importance of staying up-to-date on all vaccines.
“We’re urging everybody to get their flu shot and their updated Covid booster,” Senator Schumer said. “They don’t hurt—these shots don’t hurt anymore like they used to when I was a kid—and they do you a lot of good. Please get your shot. It’ll avoid a lot of pain later.”
— Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) October 19, 2023
Threads will change its policy on Covid information
Sunday 22 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Threads—an app similar to X, formerly known as Twitter, that was launched by Meta in July—will soon allow people to search terms like “Covid” in the app, per reporting from CBS News.
The app currently limits users’ ability to search for information related to SARS-CoV-2, a move that drew criticism from some experts when it was announced.
It is not yet clear when this policy will be changed.
Long Covid symptoms can take a toll on day-to-day life
Sunday 22 October 2023 18:00 , Maggie O’Neill
As the US enters cold and flu season, health authorities are urging Americans to get their Covid vaccine to protect against the potential short- and long-term complications caused by the virus.
Symptoms of long Covid include chest pain, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, sleep problems, headache, depression, anxiety, stomach pain, dizziness, cough, fatigue, and fever, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These six states recently saw high Covid hospitalisation levels, CDC says
Sunday 22 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), counties in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, and South Dakota saw Covid hospitalisation rates at or higher than 20 people per every 100,000 residents.
The data are from the week ending 14 October.
How Covid put the National Institutes of Health at the heart of partisan debates
Sunday 22 October 2023 07:00 , Maggie O’Neill
During the Covid-19 pandemic, issues rooted in science—such as the benefits of vaccines and infection prevention techniques—quickly became partisan issues.
A new comment published by Nature shows how the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 affected the National Institutes of Health (NIH), specifically.
Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy explained, “The NIH became a lightning rod for partisan debates during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that eroded trust between the NIH and the public.”
Hospitalisations from Covid continue to decline, CDC says
Sunday 22 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
From 8 October to 14 October, hospitalisations from Covid decreased 5 per cent, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Emergency department visits from the virus went down during that time, as did the test positivity rate. However, deaths from the virus increased 4.3 per cent during that time.
Study pinpoints why some refuse to get the Covid vaccine
Saturday 21 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Despite the fact that health authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recommended the latest Covid vaccines for everyone six months and up, vaccine hesitancy remains a public health issue in the US.
A new study from JAMA Network Open found that “building trust in health authorities, promoting vaccine confidence, and countering misinformation” are crucial next steps for leaders to take to get more Americans vaccinated.
Emergency department visits from Covid continue to decline, CDC says
Saturday 21 October 2023 18:00 , Maggie O’Neill
From 8 October to 14 October, emergency room visits from Covid decreased 11.9 per cent, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hospitalisations from the virus went down during that time, as did the test positivity rate. However, deaths from the virus increased 4.3 per cent during that time.
A petition to make healthcare workers wear the most protective masks is circulating online
Saturday 21 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Healthcare systems across the country have implemented varying policies on mask mandates, but now some are asking the CDC to require healthcare workers to use N95 masks, which provide more protection than other types of masks.
A petition is circulating, and has been promoted by Project N95 on social media:
Going to doctor or going to work shouldn’t risk your health.
That’s why we've joined public health advocates & healthcare workers in demanding CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Committee #HICPAC take more care w/our lives.
Please sign & reup: https://t.co/pKofc0ppDH pic.twitter.com/EdzAzmbo4h
— Project N95 (@projectn95) October 20, 2023
Experts slam Pfizer’s Paxlovid price
Saturday 21 October 2023 07:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Pfizer said the company’s antiviral treatment Paxlovid will cost $1,390 per course, according to reporting from Reuters.
It is the most commonly prescribed at-home treatment for Covid, and is often recommended for people who test positive who are at high-risk for severe disease from SARS-CoV-2, including people who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised.
Experts have criticised the move, which will likely prevent some who need the lifesaving treatment from getting it.
Pfizer says it will price Covid treatment Paxlovid at $1,390 for a five-day course, which researchers estimate only costs Pfizer $13 to produce.
That's a 10,000%+ markup. Shameful. pic.twitter.com/6VRNNN3XBX
— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) October 20, 2023
Covid test positivity rate continues to decline, CDC says
Saturday 21 October 2023 01:00 , Maggie O’Neill
From 8 October to 14 October, the Covid test positivity rate in the US went down 0.7 per cent, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hospitalisations from the virus went down during that time, as did emergency department visits. Deaths from the virus, however, increased 4.2 per cent.
Barack Obama alters schedule due to ‘Covid-like symptoms’
Friday 20 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Former president Barack Obama, 62, cancelled a trip to Harvard this week after experiencing “Covid-like symptoms”, according to reporting from CBS News Boston.
He was set to visit the Applied Social Media Lab at the university, which issued a statement saying, “Out of an abundance of caution, he is not attending his public events today.”
Deaths from Covid are rising again, CDC says
Friday 20 October 2023 19:25 , Maggie O’Neill
From 8 October to 14 October, deaths from Covid rose 4.2 per cent, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hospitalisations from the virus went down during that time, as did emergency department visits and the test positivity rate.
The cost of long Covid in the US
Friday 20 October 2023 12:52 , Maggie O’Neill
Doctors and scientists are pushing public health authorites to take long Covid seriously, highlighting the financial toll the disease will take alongside the suffering it can render.
According to a new paper published in Nature, “For the United States alone, the economic cost of long COVID is estimated to be $3 trillion over the next five years.”
The authors of the paper argue that the US needs to invest $1 billion into long Covid research annually for the next 10 years to “improve the lives of millions and save trillions in economic costs.”
People with HIV may have a greater risk of Covid re-infection
Friday 20 October 2023 05:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Having HIV may increase a person’s risk of being re-infected with Covid-19, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new data suggest that people with HIV may need to make a plan with their healthcare provider to make sure they’re doing all they can to prevent a Covid-19 infection when case levels spike in their community.
Covid antiviral treatment Paxlovid will cost nearly $1,400, Pfizer says
Friday 20 October 2023 00:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Pfizer said the company’s antiviral treatment Paxlovid will cost $1,390 per course, according to reporting from Reuters.
It is the most commonly prescribed at-home treatment for Covid, and is often recommended for people who test positive who are at high-risk for severe disease from SARS-CoV-2, including people who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised.
Risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome is higher after Covid infection, study finds
Thursday 19 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is higher in the six weeks following a Covid infection, according to a new study from Israel.
The results of the study were published in the journal Neurology.
There is no cure for GBS, which causes one’s immune system to attack their nerves. It causes chronic illness, and symptoms such as weakness, shortness of breath, and abnormal blood pressure.
Stephen Colbert to host ‘The Late Show’ remotely due to Covid
Thursday 19 October 2023 18:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Stephen Colbert recently tested positive for Covid, and, as a result, he will be hosting The Late Show remotely for the rest of the week.
What are the Covid isolation guidelines for 2023?
Thursday 19 October 2023 15:22 , Maggie O’Neill
During the last weeks of summer, the US saw a steady rise in Covid hospitalisations and deaths.
As of right now, numbers have started to decline: From 1 October to 7 October deaths from the virus went down 3.8 per cent and hospitalisations decreased 8.2 per cent, per the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But health authorities are warning that we could see a rise in Covid cases during the coming months, as Americans start gathering indoors and respiratory viruses start to circulate more.
Read more here:
Many teenagers who struggled with depression during the pandemic didn’t get treatment, study finds
Wednesday 18 October 2023 15:00 , Maggie O’Neill
During the first calendar year of the Covid pandemic, about one-fifth of teenagers in the US experienced symptoms of major depressive disorder, according to new research published in JAMA Pediatrics.
But less than half who required treatment received help. The new study adds to a growing body of research on how the pandemic affected Americans’ mental health—and what needs to be done to treat conditions that arose during the pandemic.
How to find a Covid vaccine near you
Wednesday 18 October 2023 10:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a vaccine finder tool that can help you make an appointment for the updated Covid vaccine.
You can now get the updated #COVID19 vaccine. Ask your doctor or local pharmacy about the updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself against serious illness from COVID-19.
Need help finding a COVID-19 #vaccine provider in your area? Visit https://t.co/U6bZ3HQd3P pic.twitter.com/KTtpnSk9ct
— CDC (@CDCgov) October 16, 2023
Pfizer CEO thinks less than one-fifth of Americans will get updated Covid vaccines
Wednesday 18 October 2023 05:00 , Maggie O’Neill
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced Monday he expects nearly 17 per cent of Americans will get an updated Covid vaccine, according to reporting from Reuters.
Pfizer recently released sales predictions that showed the company may make drastically less than expected on Covid vaccines and treatments this year.
Pfizer and partner BioNTech are expected to make $2 billion less than originally expected on Covid vaccines, and Pfizer is expected to make $7 billion less than originally expected on Paxlovid, the company’s Covid antiviral treatment, according to Reuters.
A House of Representatives committee is investigating a Covid policy at the University of Maryland
Wednesday 18 October 2023 00:00 , Maggie O’Neill
The University of Maryland has instituted a policy that says if a student tests positive for Covid, they have to quarantine off campus.
Now, questions have arisen about whether that’s fair for students who can’t return to their parents’ home or book temporary housing, like a hotel.
The US House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is investigating the policy, according to reporting from CBS News.
Long Covid symptoms may be linked to serotonin levels, new study finds
Tuesday 17 October 2023 21:00 , Maggie O’Neill
A new study found that people with long Covid may exhibit lower levels of serotonin. The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, could shed light on what causes debilitating long Covid symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and memory loss.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long Covid affects nearly one-fifth of Americans who get the virus.