November 30, 2023

Health News

Fast Health News And Good For You

Merck’s Covid Drug Not Effective At Preventing Household Transmission

Merck and Co’s late-stage trials failed to show that its oral antiviral Lagevrio, also known as molnupiravir, cut the risk of preventing covid from spreading to others living in the same house. Merck had hoped to build a case for use of the medication as prophylactic treatment.

Slump Of Merck’s COVID-19 Pill Continues With Trial Failure

Initially hyped as a game-changing COVID-19 treatment, the shine was off Merck and Ridgeback’s oral antiviral Lagevrio (molnupiravir) even before it was authorized for use in the United States. Nevertheless, the pill generated more than $6.6 billion in sales over its first five quarters on the market, despite mounting evidence of its limited effectiveness. (Dunleavy, 2/21)

From the states —

Des Moines Register:
Tyson Foods’ Petition In COVID Death Cases Dismissed By Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Tyson Foods’ arguments about why federal judges should oversee lawsuits tied to the COVID-19 deaths of workers at its plants, including its nearly 2,800-worker pork processing plant in Waterloo. The court on Tuesday denied Tyson’s petition to review the decision of lower court judges, who ruled in multiple cases that Tyson employees can sue the company in state-level courts. (Jett, 2/21)

USA Today:
Idaho Bill Could Criminalize Anyone Administering MRNA COVID Vaccines

Two Republican Idaho lawmakers last week introduced a new bill that would criminalize the administration of mRNA vaccines across the state. … Under the bill, all mRNA technology would be banned in the state.If passed, the Idaho state code would be amended so that those administering mRNA vaccines to any person or mammal within the state would face misdemeanor charges.  (Nguyen, 2/21)

California Says It Can No Longer Afford Aid For Covid Testing, Vaccinations For Migrants

All day and sometimes into the night, buses and vans pull up to three state-funded medical screening centers near California’s southern border with Mexico. Federal immigration officers unload migrants predominantly from Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, and Peru, most of whom await asylum hearings in the United States. (Thompson, 2/22)

In other covid-related research —

Scientific American:
COVID Poses Severe Risks During Pregnancy, Especially In Unvaccinated People

Millions of people have been pregnant and given birth during the pandemic. When the COVID-causing virus SARS-CoV-2 first emerged, it wasn’t clear what additional risks—if any—it posed to pregnant people and their babies. But accumulating evidence now shows that having COVID during pregnancy increases the likelihood of severe outcomes and death in the parent, as well as the possibility of fetal complications. (Lewis, 2/22)

Los Angeles Times:
Kids Under 5 Being Left Behind With COVID-19 Vaccines

Black and Latino children in Los Angeles County younger than 5 have COVID-19 vaccination rates in the single digits, reflecting a broad trend nationwide that has public health experts concerned and seeking ways to boost those figures. Only 12% of children between 6 months and 4 years old have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and only 7% are fully vaccinated, according to L.A. County data. (Evans, 2/21)

CIDRAP Unveils Roadmap For Advancing Better Coronavirus Vaccines

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the warning signs for newly emerging and deadly coronaviruses were already flashing bright red. Researchers were still working on SARS-CoV studies in 2012 when the even deadlier MERS-CoV arrived on the scene in the Middle East, repeatedly jumping from camels over the years and sparking large healthcare-related outbreaks. (Schnirring, 2/21)

Meanwhile, the pandemic is having unexpected side-effects —

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.