Healthcare – White House says COVID boosters will be annual

Happy memory of one of the greatest moments in baseball history: 27 years ago today, Cal Ripken Jr. smash Play Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games.

In health news, the White House is planning for COVID-19 boosters to be an annual event, like flu shots.

Welcome to Overnight Health Care, where we keep track of the latest political moves and news affecting your health. For The Hill, we’re Nathaniel Wexel and Joseph Choi. Someone sending you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

White House: The public will need annual boosters

Top White House health officials indicated Tuesday that the public will likely need annual COVID-19 boosters, making this year’s updated booster similar to the annual flu shot.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that given the COVID-19 pandemic, in the absence of a completely different variable, we are likely to move toward a vaccine path similar to the annual flu vaccine cadence, with an annual COVID update,” said Anthony Fauci, chief infectious disease physician. In the country, during a briefing, 19 shots are identical to the strains currently circulating in most of the population.

Selling point: The messages from the White House are an attempt to publicize the benefits of the variable specific booster dose approved last week.

Barring any “changing curves,” the White House coronavirus response coordinator, Ashish Jha, said he expects the new boosters to provide “better protection against infection, better protection against transmission, and better ongoing protection against critical illness.”

Mixed signals? Administration officials say new vaccines will be key to controlling the potential spike in falls, but they will need to convince an increasingly screened public to get the shots. The demand for vaccines diminished with each subsequent promotion campaign.

The White House meanwhile anticipates that COVID-19 is now a disease that is part of everyday life while also urging people to get vaccinated.

Read more here.

Feds stress need for new COVID funding

The boosters will be free, but there is no money for more.

  • White House officials on Tuesday reiterated their calls for a new COVID-19 response to be funded for congressional approval as the fall vaccination campaign begins, with officials warning that there are currently insufficient resources to respond should a new surge emerge.
  • White House officials such as COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra have warned of the consequences of Congress’ failure to allocate more money.

“Congress recognizes that if we don’t continue to fund the response, things … could easily go backwards,” Jha said.

However, Becerra remained vague about whether there were enough updated vaccine doses available for anyone who wanted one when asked about the new funding shortfall. The White House previously warned of additional boosters and specific vaccines will not be available For all if Congress does not approve new funding.

Wells dry up: The White House cut money from other areas of the COVID-19 response earlier this year in order to continue funding treatments and vaccines.

Besera said the prospect of going into fall and winter without vaccinations for Americans is “unacceptable.”

“We will not conduct tests in our Strategic National Stockpile if we see another Omicron-like event,” Becerra said. We promised the American people that we would make sure we didn’t get into it, but we needed Congress to step up. Congress did not intervene.”

Read more here.

Juul to set up investigations into youth e-cigarettes for $438 million

E-cigarette company Juul on Tuesday initially agreed to pay $438.5 million to settle an investigation by 34 states and territories into the company’s marketing and sales practices allegedly fueling the youth e-cigarette crisis.

The investigation found that the company deliberately engaged in an advertising campaign that appealed to young people by launching parties, advertisements using young and fashionable models, social media posts, and free samples.

Settlement will severely limit Juul’s marketing and sales practices. Goal will be prohibited from marketing to youth and from funding education programs in schools.

No one under the age of 35 will be depicted in any of the company’s marketing materials, and the company will be prohibited from misrepresenting the level of nicotine in its products.

Read more here.

To what extent is the virus affecting the nationwide labor shortage

Persistent COVID-19 symptoms could put millions of Americans out of the workforce.

Economists and policymakers have struggled to see why there is a much lower percentage of working-age adults in the workforce than there was before the pandemic.

The number of Americans working or looking for work exceeded the pre-pandemic level in August, according to Labor Department data released Friday. But the labor force participation rate is still one percentage point lower than its level in February 2020, a gap of roughly 1.6 million people.

  • “We don’t know what percentage of people have very debilitating symptoms with a high degree of certainty,” said Julia Raifman, an assistant professor in the Boston University School of Public Health.
  • “But we know that this happens to some people and we know that every injury seems to increase the chances of it happening,” she added.

Nearly 16 million Americans of working age said they have long had COVID in a June Census Bureau survey, but it’s unclear how many of those are still too sick to work.

Read more here.

Biden officials awarded a $20 million contract against monkeypox

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Tuesday that it will award a contract worth approximately $20 million to AmerisourceBergen to expand the distribution of treatments and vaccines to treat the ongoing outbreak of monkeypox.

  • The $19.8 million contract will allow AmerisourceBergen, one of the largest drug distribution companies in the United States, to ship up to
    2,500 shipments of frozen Jynneos vaccine vials plus 2,500 “ambient temperature” shipments of TPOXX antiviral therapy per week.
  • This will also allow more locations where shipments can be received. HHS noted that prior to this decade, the US Strategic National Stockpile was sending products to approximately five locations per jurisdiction.

Throughout the monkeypox outbreak, state and local governments repeatedly said they had struggled to get enough vaccines to immunize vulnerable populations. Soon after the first doses of Jynneos were administered across the country, many cities ended up delaying the second dose in order to meet immediate demand with the hope that more doses of the vaccine would be available soon.

Reply with numbers: HHS said about 800,000 vials of Jynneos and 37,000 TPOXX cycles have been distributed across the country so far. As of last week, more than 352,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered to treat monkeypox.

No deaths from monkeypox have been directly confirmed yet, although one Texas man who was “severely immunocompromised” died recently after being diagnosed with monkeypox.

Read more here.

what we read

  • Pfizer does not share Covid vaccines with researchers for next-generation studies (stat)
  • In a sprint to November, Democrats are taking advantage of a changing landscape on abortion (Washington Post)
  • To Hide or Not to Hide: Theaters and Concert Halls Face a Dilemma (The New York Times)

Country by state

  • When does life begin? As defined by state laws, science, politics and religion collide (Kaiser Health News)
  • New data shows that thousands of transgender Medicaid recipients have sought care in Florida (Politico)
  • Rape and incest exceptions to the South Carolina abortion bill (News agency)

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s health care page For the latest news and coverage. see you tomorrow.

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