🚗 Jerry Seinfeld revealed in an interview published today that the guest he was most nervous to interview on more than 80 episodes of his show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” was former President Obama.
Today, on health, the White House is making another concerted effort to encourage people to get the updated COVID-19 reminder before the end of this year as vaccination rates stagnate.
Welcome to night health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news concerning your health. For The Hill, we are Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Did someone forward this newsletter to you?
The White House seeks to improve the number of lagging vaxes
The White House launched a six-week sprint on Tuesday aimed at convincing Americans to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year.
The administration said the campaign will focus on the elderly and vulnerable communities hardest hit by the virus.
“Please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible to protect yourself, your family and your community,” the medical adviser for the White House, Anthony Fauci.
Public health officials have repeatedly warned that the United States will likely face another wave of COVID-19 infections as the weather gets colder and people travel and gather for the holidays. White House officials had previously called on the public to get vaccinated in time for Halloween.
- The government has purchased 171 million doses of the updated vaccine. But until November, uptake of the new booster shots was extremely low, frustrating experts and health officials.
- The administration has said it will direct its limited remaining resources to a
$475 million campaign for community health centers and community organizations to accelerate the pace of vaccinations.
About 35 million people in the United States have received the updated vaccines, about 11% of people aged five and older, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Learn more here.
Fauci makes his final appearance in the briefing room
The nation’s top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, made his final appearance in the White House briefing room on Tuesday as he prepares to leave government.
- “I’ll let others judge whether or not my accomplishments are worth it, but what I’d like people to take away from what I’ve done is that every day, for all these years, I’ve given it my all. what I have and I never left anything on the pitch,” Fauci said of his legacy.
- “So if they want to remember me, whether they judge rightly or wrongly what I did, I gave it my all for many decades,” Fauci said.
The longtime health official served under seven presidents, serving 54 years at the National Institutes of Health and 38 years as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. But he has become popular as one of the leaders of the pandemic response under the Trump administration.
Throughout the pandemic, his advice on masks and vaccines has drawn criticism and attacks from lawmakers and conservative officials.
- Fauci lamented the rhetoric that made vaccines and scientific recommendations political.
- “As a doctor, it hurts me because I don’t want to see anyone get infected. I don’t want to see anyone hospitalized and I don’t want to see anyone die from COVID,” Fauci said. “Whether you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, it makes no difference to me.”
A small part of a long career: Fauci said COVID-19 is “really, really, really important,” but called the pandemic a “fragment” of his health work.
Not Retiring: Fauci announced earlier this year that he would leave office by the end of President Biden’s term, but was quick to clarify that he was stepping down from his government role only to “continue the next chapter.” of her career.
Learn more here.
DC STUDENTS, STAFF MUST TEST NEGATIVE TO RETURN AFTER HOLIDAYS
Students and staff returning to Washington, D.C., public schools after the Thanksgiving holiday will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before they can return to class, city officials said.
Schools are handing out test kits in the days leading up to the holidays, and families can take additional tests at one of the District’s COVID Centers, located in each of the city’s eight wards.
The requirement, which DC schools have also used to facilitate returns to in-person learning after other seasonal breaks, is in practice this Thanksgiving “to support a safe return” after the holidays, according to the office. of the mayor.
- Tests must be taken on Sunday, November 27, and results must be uploaded the same day to the DC Public Schools Online Portal to allow the student to attend classes on Monday.
- Students and staff who test positive, regardless of their vaccination status, will not be permitted to resume in-person school activities until they have completed a period of isolation, which is usually 5 days, unless symptoms do not persist, according to DC Health guidelines.
Learn more here.
1 IN 4 WORRIED ABOUT ATTACKING COVID AT WORK: GALLUP
The new poll, released on Tuesday, found that 26% of employed adults surveyed said they were ‘very’ or ‘moderately’ concerned about exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, a decrease of 7 percentage points. compared to 33% of respondents who said the same in a similar survey conducted in July.
- Thirty-three percent of women surveyed said they were worried about catching COVID-19 at their workplace in the new poll, while 21% of men surveyed said they were.
- Democrats surveyed were more likely to express concern than respondents of other political affiliations, with 38% of those identifying as Democrats saying they were worried about exposure to COVID-19 in their workplace, compared to 26% of those who identify as Democrats. independents and 9% of the republicans.
- Smaller differences were found between age groups, with 29% of respondents aged 18 to 34 saying they were worried about catching COVID-19 at their workplace, while 26% of respondents aged 35 to 55 and 22% of those aged 55 or older expressed the same concern.
The poll comes as COVID-19 cases in the United States have fallen since their ascent in the summer, although many have expressed concern about a potential increase in cases during the winter.
Learn more here.
Omicron boosters are more effective at preventing infections: CDC
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters provided better protection against infection compared to multiple doses of the original COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.
- The study, conducted between September and November, analyzed more than 360,000 viral tests for adults. The tests came from nearly 10,000 retail pharmacies and only included adults who showed symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 and did not have immunocompromised conditions.
- The results of the CDC study indicated that bivalent booster shots from Pfizer and Moderna, designed to protect specifically against the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, offered stronger protection when those who received them were compared to people who only received two, three or four doses of the original monoclonal vaccine.
- Of the people in the study who tested positive for COVID-19,
72% had received two, three or four doses of the monoclonal vaccine and 5% declared having received the bivalent booster.
Bivalent booster doses were licensed without human data, and the study results represent some of the earliest reports of vaccine efficacy.
The majority of testing was done at a time when the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were dominant in the United States. The most recent federal data now indicates that BA.5 accounts for about a quarter of cases, along with its viral descendants BQ. 1 and BQ.1.1 each representing approximately the same proportion of the total number of infections.
Learn more here.
WHAT WE READ
- A simple screening question could help millions of women prevent cardiovascular disease. Why don’t we use it? (Statistical)
- Experts fear Thanksgiving gatherings could accelerate a ‘triple epidemic’ (NPR)
- Expect more fungal infections as their geographic range expands, experts warn (NBC News)
STATE BY STATE
- Schools, sheriffs and syringes: State plans vary to spend $26 billion on opioid settlement funds (Kaiser Health News)
- Indy’s doctor received ‘threats’ after Rokita’s Fox News interview; lawyers face off in court (The Indianapolis Star)
- Alabama cervical cancer rates and diagnosis remain among the highest in the United States (AL.com)
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. Until tomorrow.
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