Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | Kaiser Health News

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Despite New Rule, Most States Won’t Let Pharmacists Inoculate Toddlers

When the Trump administration issued the declaration in August, 30 states did not allow pharmacists to vaccinate children ages 3 and up. Even though the federal rule supersedes those state laws, most of those states did not let pharmacies know about the new rule, CNN reports.


CNN:
Despite The Trump Administration’s New Policy, Many Pharmacies Still Won’t Vaccinate Children Against Flu 


As a dark winter approaches with “twindemics” of Covid-19 and the flu, an effort by the Trump administration to increase the number of children receiving flu shots is not working, according to a CNN investigation. In August, the administration issued a declaration authorizing pharmacists nationwide to give flu shots to children ages 3 and older, which most states have not allowed. (Cohen, Bonifield and Jenkins, 10/26)


Scientific American:
A Flu Shot Might Reduce Coronavirus Infections, Early Research Suggests  


A new study suggests that there could be another key reason to get a flu jab this year: it might reduce your risk of COVID-19. The research, released as a preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed, indicates that a flu vaccine against the influenza virus also may trigger the body to produce broad infection-fighting molecules that combat the pandemic-causing coronavirus. The paper is in line with some other recent studies published in peer-reviewed journals that point to similar effects. But researchers caution the research is preliminary and needs to be bolstered by more rigorous experiments. (Wenner Moyer, 10/27)


New York Post:
Drop In Flu Deaths May Indicate That Most At Risk Died From COVID-19


Flu deaths are down two-thirds from the five-year average, a drop that could indicate the most vulnerable Americans died in the first wave of COVID-19. New federal estimates show no flu deaths for the week ending Oct. 17. The federal five-year average for the same week is 17 fatalities. The state and the city recorded no flu deaths, which is also that week’s five-year average for each. (Gray, 10/24)


Bloomberg:
Pharmacies See Record Flu Shot Demand In First Season With Covid


While the world awaits a vaccine for Covid-19, Americans are rushing to pharmacies in record numbers for seasonal flu shots. Public health officials say that may help avoid a “twindemic.” CVS Health Corp. has already surpassed the 9 million flu shots it gave during the entire previous season and expects to double that number by the end of this cycle, a spokesman said. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. has administered 60% more doses in its U.S. stores than at this point last year, said Rina Shah, group vice president of pharmacy operations. (LaVito and Court, 10/26)


More Bad News For Diet Drinks

Previous studies have already tied artificially-sweetened drinks to an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, premature death, dementia, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome in certain people. The newest study finds that diet drinks may be as bad for your heart as the sugary kind.


Fox News:
Listeria Outbreak In Deli Meats Linked To Hospitalizations, 1 Death


A recent rash of illnesses involving contaminated deli meats has resulted in at least 10 hospitalizations and one death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The health agency said that 10 infected adults had been hospitalized as of Oct. 22 after ingesting listeria bacteria in New York, Florida and Massachusetts. The death involved a patient in Florida. (Rivas, 10/26)


Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Women Turning To Cannabis To Manage Menopause Symptoms


Recent studies have shown more older adults using cannabis to treat ailments, and it seems they aren’t the only ones. A study presented at the virtual annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society in September showed more women are turning to cannabis to manage hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and other menopause symptoms. (Clanton, 10/26)


AP:
New Guidelines Address Rise In Opioid Use During Pregnancy


Opioid use in pregnancy has prompted new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, aimed at improving care for women and newborns affected by their mothers’ drug use. The number of affected women and infants has increased in recent years but they often don’t get effective treatment, and the pandemic may be worsening that problem, said Dr. Stephen Patrick, lead author of the academy report released Monday. (Tanner, 10/26)


GMA:
For People With Down Syndrome, The Best Medical Information Is Now Automated 


At 28 years old, Cristina Sanchez is living the life. She shares an apartment with her best friend Gracie and has a job she loves at the local Panera Bread. She’s adored by her two sisters and her parents. She lives in a safe, walkable community in Austin, Texas, where people with disabilities live independently among the typically developing population. Sanchez told “Good Morning America” her independence is “a good thing.” (Shaw Brown, 10/27)

In pediatric news —


CNN:
Halloween Safety During Covid-19: Q&A With Dr. Leana Wen 


Dr. Leana Wen and her husband have their hands full this Halloween in a time of pandemic. Wen spends a lot of her time talking about social distancing, wearing masks and socializing outside to reduce the risk of catching the virus… Wen hasn’t given up on Halloween and doesn’t think you should either. Here are her recommendations for reducing your risk while still having a fun Halloween season. (Hetter, 10/26)


CNN:
YouTube Influencers Are Marketing Junk Food To Kids 


Kid influencers on YouTube are marketing junk food and sugary beverages to their fellow kids, and they’re racking up billions of page views, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The study demonstrates how advertisers are seeking to take advantage of new avenues to market their wares to children. (Prior, 10/26)

Also —


The Wall Street Journal:
Why The Time Change Is Trickier When Working From Home 


After clocks turn back an hour Nov. 1, David K. Welsh, who works from home, plans a few changes. “I will make more of an effort to see daylight in the morning,” says Dr. Welsh, who studies the body’s internal clock as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Center for Circadian Biology at the University of California, San Diego. His reasoning? Going outside to take advantage of the extra hour of sunlight earlier in the morning can boost alertness and help synchronize circadian rhythms. The first clock shift since the pandemic’s arrival in earnest in the U.S. is coming at 2 a.m. Nov. 1—and for those no longer working in offices, the effects could be more intense than usual. (Smith, 10/26)


USA Today:
Los Angeles Lakers Title Run May Have Contributed To COVID-19 Surge


The Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Finals coincided with a spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County, and it’s “highly likely” watch parties held by Lakers fans and the victory celebration outside of Staples Center contributed to the spike, the L.A. County Department of Public Health said.  That has fueled concerns of another potential spike in COVID-19 transmission rates because the Los Angeles Dodgers are one victory away from winning their first World Series title in 32 years. (Peter, 10/26)


Detroit Free Press:
Herd Immunity And COVID-19: Why It’s Not A Viable Option


As COVID-19 case numbers continue to go up and up and up — in Michigan and nationally — a debate is brewing about whether it’s time to abandon efforts to contain the spread of the virus and instead embrace a strategy of trying to reach herd immunity through infection. With other diseases, such as smallpox, polio and measles, vaccines helped the U.S. reach herd immunity, which occurs when the vast majority of a population is immune to a disease, making the likelihood of its spread to vulnerable people less likely. (Shamus, 10/27)


The Wall Street Journal:
How Covid-Safe Is Dining In A Restaurant’s Outdoor Tent? 


As restaurants try to keep business afloat, many are putting up exterior structures for patrons. But dining tents and other temporary outdoor setups offer a false sense of security and pose just as many risks as indoor eating, professors say. Poor air circulation, proximity to other unmasked diners and time in a poorly ventilated enclosed outdoor space can heighten Covid risks. On the other hand, the transmission risk is higher inside a restaurant than in outdoor structures that are heated yet partially open, or in separate igloos for patrons. (Dizik, 10/26)



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