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Backbone of Biden’s pandemic response faces high court dissection

An unusual session of arguments is on the horizon as the Supreme Court meets to consider vaccine mandates for large private companies and health care workers, a linchpin of the U.S. strategy for overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed over 800,000 Americans. ... Read more»

Supreme Court refuses to block vaccine mandate for Massachusetts hospital workers

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Monday afternoon refused to grant relief to workers at a Boston-based hospital in the latest challenge to COVID-19 vaccine mandates to come across the high court’s shadow docket. ... Read more»

Over 95% of employees comply with vaccine mandates, Arizona hospitals say

Two days after Monday’s deadline for health care workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the state’s largest hospital systems saw more than 95% of workers meet the requirement, according to numbers reported Wednesday.... Read more»

FactCheck: FEMA staff and contracted medical workers required to follow vaccine mandate

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is deploying contracted medical workers to understaffed hospitals who are required to comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandates, despite false social media posts claiming the workers sent by FEMA are “exempt.”... Read more»

OSHA to Arizona and other states: Protect workers from COVID or forfeit authority

In a rare move, federal labor officials have threatened to take over Arizona, South Carolina and Utah’s workplace safety programs because they failed to adopt emergency COVID-19 rules to protect health care workers. ... Read more»

Biden’s vaccine mandate could further strain rural hospitals

In the broadest sense, President Biden’s vaccine requirement for health care workers will alleviate the strain on health centers by boosting the country’s vaccination rate - but the story may be more complicated in rural America, where resistance to the vaccine remains strongest. ... Read more»

Citizen enforcement of Texas abortion ban could spread to other laws

The Texas anti-abortion law that incentivizes ordinary people to file lawsuits against health care providers has human rights advocates and legal experts worried that the legal maneuver will spread to other states—and other social issues.... Read more»

FDA recommends limiting Pfizer booster shots to Americans 65 and older, and those at high risk

The key scientific advisory council of the Food and Drug Administration has voted to deny use of a “booster” shot of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine to the general public – a move that will likely disappoint some health experts pushing for a third dose to help slow the spread of COVID-19.... Read more»

States embrace vaccine mandates despite potential worker exodus

Before Pres. Biden’s announcement requiring millions of workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly, 18 states and the District of Columbia already had told public sector workers to get their jabs or risk losing their jobs.... Read more»

California to require all healthcare workers to get vaccinated

As COVID-19’s Delta variant picks up steam across the state, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that in addition to mandating state workers get vaccinated or receive weekly testing, the state will now require all healthcare workers be vaccinated by Sept. 30. ... Read more»

FactCheck: Exploring the legality of COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Generally, employers, colleges and universities may require immunizations, but there is some uncertainty about the legality of mandating vaccines authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.... Read more»

The gender vaccine gap: More women than men are getting COVID shots

More women than men are getting COVID vaccines, even as more men are dying of the disease. KHN examined vaccination dashboards for all 50 states and the District of Columbia in early April and found that each of the 38 that listed gender breakdowns showed more women had received shots than men. Public health experts cited many reasons for the difference, including that women make up three-quarters of the workforce in health care and education, sectors prioritized for initial vaccines. Also, women of all age groups, races and ethnicities generally use health services more than men — which is one reason they live longer.... Read more»

Lost on the front lines: Health care workers in Southwest who died fighting COVID-19

Health care workers across the country have risked their lives to care for COVID-19 patients, and Cronkite News reporters teamed up with the Guardian and Kaiser Health News to tell some of the stories of those who died because of exposure to the novel coronavirus that causes the deadly disease. The overall project was awarded the Batten Medal for Coverage of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Monday. ... Read more»

12 months of trauma: More than 3,600 U.S. health workers died in COVID’s first year

More than 3,600 U.S. health care workers perished in the first year of the pandemic, according to “Lost on the Frontline,” a 12-month investigation by The Guardian and KHN to track such deaths, who died and why.... Read more»

Analysis

Did CDC’s misguided mask advice drive up COVID death toll for health workers?

A new wave of research now shows that several of the “aerosol-generating” procedures considered the riskiest were not the most hazardous to health care workers. Recent studies have determined that a basic cough produces about 20 times more particles than intubation, a procedure one doctor likened to the risk of being next to a nuclear reactor, and patients with COVID simply talking or breathing, even in a well-ventilated room, could make workers sick in the CDC-sanctioned surgical masks. ... Read more»