If you ever feel like your dog is judging, they might be. New research has shown that dogs can determine human aptitude, and they will reach out to people they deem more competent.
New data was released today in the health sector supporting the effectiveness of the bivalent booster vaccines, with doses found to reduce the risk of hospitalization by at least 50 percent.
Welcome to overnight health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news affecting your health. For The Hill we are Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Subscribe here.
CDC: Updated booster shot prevents most hospital admissions
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the COVID-19 bivalent booster shot reduced the risk of hospitalizations and emergency room visits by at least 50 percent.
Two separate reports released by the CDC on Friday offer some of the first evidence of the booster’s effectiveness in hospitalizations and medical encounters.
The reports come as infections rise and the Biden administration braces for an expected spike this winter.
- One study found that a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose reduced the risk of hospitalization in adults over the age of 18 by 57 percent compared to unvaccinated and 45 percent compared to unvaccinated.
- Previous data from the CDC suggested that bivalent booster shots in adults provide modest protection against symptomatic infections compared to administration of just two, three, or four doses of monovalent vaccines.
- The booster shots were particularly effective in adults over the age of 65, who are at highest risk for severe COVID-19-related illness.
“With multiple respiratory viruses circulating simultaneously, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), vaccination against respiratory diseases for which vaccines are available is particularly important to reduce health-care contact illnesses prevent and reduce burdens on the healthcare system,” the authors write.
Read more here.
Growing opposition to school measles vax mandates
A growing number of parents are defying requirements for routine measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccinations so children can attend school, according to a new poll released Friday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- The survey found that 35 percent of parents of children under 18 oppose school vaccination requirements, up from 23 percent in 2019.
- Also, 28 percent of all adults said parents should have the option not to vaccinate their children even if it poses a health risk to others, up from 16 percent in 2019.
- Much like COVID-19 vaccines, the growing opposition is stemming largely from people who identify as Republicans or slim Republicans. According to the survey, 44 percent said parents should be able to opt-out of children’s MMR vaccines, up from 20 percent in 2019.
All states and the District of Columbia require children to be vaccinated against certain diseases, including measles and rubella, in order to attend public schools, although exceptions are permitted in certain circumstances.
Rising opposition is followed by heated partisan fighting over COVID-19 vaccine mandates and distrust of health officials.
The survey was based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,259 adults and was conducted from November 29 to December 8 with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Read more here.
EMHOFF VISITS 988 CALL CENTERS TO Highlight Mental Health
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff attempted to highlight the 988 mental health hotline ahead of the holidays with a Friday visit to a Community Crisis Services Center.
- “The holidays are hard for many of us across the country, and we’ve all seen the tragic news about tWitch,” Emhoff said at the center in Hyattsville, Maryland.
- Stephen Boss, also known as Twitch, died by suicide on Tuesday at the age of 40. He was a former DJ and co-executive producer of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and a well-known dancer.
The Biden administration announced $130 million in grants for the 988 hotline, funded from the bipartisan gun control bill the president signed into law in June.
“I know that this work cannot be easy,” Emhoff said to the crisis center staff. “This is not a red or blue state or a political issue. This issue of mental health and suicide affects everyone.”
Read more here.
ALMOST HALF OF TEENS IN THE US WAS CYBERBULLYING: REPORT
Almost half of American teens have experienced some form of bullying or harassment online, new poll results show, and a large majority think elected officials and social media sites aren’t doing enough to stop it.
- Of the 46 percent of teens who experienced cyberbullying, physical appearance was a relatively common reason for the harassment, while older teenage girls were more likely to report being attacked overall and because of their appearance.
- Offensive attribution was the most commonly reported form of cyberbullying, with 32 percent of teens reporting having experienced this form of harassment.
- Over 20 percent said false rumors were spread about them online and
17 percent say they received explicit images they didn’t ask for.
Findings are based on a Pew Research Center survey conducted April-May 2022.
Teens are among the most avid social media users, with YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram among the most popular apps in this age group.
However, the new data shows that those who are online almost constantly are more likely to have ever been harassed and faced multiple forms of online abuse than their less-active peers.
Read more here.
Biden gets personal on lap of honor over cremation pit law
President Biden on Friday rode a victory lap for Congress-approved legislation expanding benefits for millions of veterans who were exposed to toxins while on duty.
“I made it very clear to the United States Congress that if they didn’t pass this damn burn pit law, I would be going to holy war. No joke,” Biden said. “It’s one of the most significant laws in our history to help millions of veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service.”
Biden made the remarks during a town hall at a National Guard/Reserve center in New Castle, Del. named for his late son, Beau Biden.
Near home: The younger Biden served in the Delaware National Guard, and the president has suggested his exposure to cremation pits in Iraq may have been the cause of the brain cancer that killed him in 2015.
- He recalled when Beau Biden came home from Iraq and called him and said he had collapsed during a run.
- “I’m not a doctor, but it’s pretty clear that a lot of men and women get sick,” Biden said.
- “Many, when they came home, were the best trained, fittest warriors in the world and came home with headaches, numbness, dizziness and cancer.”
The Delaware event is one of more than 90 events held across the United States Friday to encourage veterans to sign up for health care, get tested for toxic exposure and file a claim if they suffer from toxic exposure , according to White House.
Read more here.
WHAT WE READ
- Can a federally funded ‘Netflix model’ fix the broken antibiotics market? (The New York Times)
- US children’s hospitals track increases in severe strep infections (ABC News)
- Report: Intelligence agencies didn’t act fast enough to collect Covid data (Politico)
STATE BY STATE
- Why Medicaid expansion ballots could hit a dead end after a fleeting victory in South Dakota (Kaiser Health News)
- California’s only HBCU aims to solve black doctor shortage (CalMatters)
- Oklahoma Hospitals Receive Millions of Dollars in Federal Funding (KFOR)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s Health Care page for the latest news and reports. Until Monday.