Healthcare - Older people in red states not bothered by vaccination policy

Healthcare – Older people in red states not bothered by vaccination policy

Is America still running on Dunkin’? Maybe not anymore.

In health care today, America’s elderly in red states are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, putting their health above politics-fueled vaccine resistance.

Welcome to night health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news concerning your health. For The Hill, we are Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Subscribe here.

Red State Seniors Get Bitten Despite GOP Resistance

When the COVID-19 vaccine was rolled out, Clyde Muchmore was ready to drive across Oklahoma to get it.

“At the very beginning, all we knew was that a lot of people were dying,” recalls Muchmore, 80, from Oklahoma City. He scheduled a vaccine, he said, “absolutely the first day I could.”

Nearly half of Oklahoma’s overall population has refused the COVID-19 vaccine. Still, more than 90 percent of seniors in the state have had at least one round of vaccinations, and nearly two-thirds have received at least one booster. Both figures are close to national averages.

The same pattern is playing out in other states with a Republican majority. Public health data suggests that red-state resistance to the COVID-19 vaccine is largely the domain of young people.

  • In the five reddest states, as measured in the 2020 election, overall COVID-19 vaccination rates are well below the national average of 68%. But seniors in those states are vaccinated at rates ranging from 86% in Wyoming and West Virginia to 91% in Oklahoma.
  • In the United States as a whole, 92% of seniors have completed at least one round of vaccines.
  • Older people in the redder states are being inoculated and boosted at about the same rate as older Americans overall. The trend holds in Wyoming and West Virginia, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Idaho, all states where large majorities of voters voted for former President Trump in 2020.

Prevention rather than policy: Public health experts say older Americans in conservative states have embraced the COVID-19 vaccine as a matter of survival, prioritizing it over partisan politics, libertarian impulses and fears of government overreach. .

Learn more here.

Fauci: Now is not the time to let our guard down

White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci warned on Monday that the United States should not ease its response to COVID-19 as variants continue to circulate and the country heads into flu season. winter.

Appearing on ‘CNN Newsroom,’ Fauci warned of a possible ‘double demic’ with simultaneous outbreaks of COVID-19 and the flu.

  • “We have a long way to go, especially as we enter winter, which will be complicated by the flu season. So we don’t have time, ma’am, to let our guard down right now, that’s for sure,” Fauci told host Pamela Brown.
  • “As we enter the colder months, where any respiratory illness, COVID or otherwise, always presents the risk of a slight increase as you enter the later fall/winter months. … The flu is a problem,” he said, noting that Australia, which has its winter flu season during the American summer months, “has had a particularly bad flu season this year.”

Fauci’s comments come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it would increase its reporting of COVID-19 cases from daily to weekly in a bid to ease reporting burdens on states and governments. local governments.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert said the CDC’s decision does not signal a shift away from the importance of getting Americans vaccinated and rolling out the new bivalent vaccine, which targets the omicron variant.

“We’re not going to eradicate this virus… We probably won’t even eliminate it,” Fauci said. He cited the eradicated smallpox virus, which does not change like COVID-19, as well as eliminated viruses like measles and poliomyelitis, which provide decades-long immunity if infected or vaccinated.

Learn more here.


A European study found that the benefits of regular colonoscopies in helping to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and death may have been overstated due to gaps in evidence.

  • The Nordic-European Colorectal Cancer Initiative (NordICC) conducted a trial involving nearly 85,000 people aged 55 to 64. The study sample included people from countries such as Poland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands and was conducted from 2009 to 2014.
  • Trial participants were randomly assigned to receive invitations to receive colonoscopies or standard care without screening.

Results: An 18% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer over a 10-year period was observed in people invited to undergo a colonoscopy. However, the reduced risk of death from colorectal cancer in this same group was deemed “not significant” by the researchers.

The NordICC trial researchers wrote that the results were “both surprising and disappointing”.

The study noted that these results differ from previous estimates that associated colonoscopies with a 40 to 69 percent drop in the risk of colorectal cancer and a 29 to 88 percent drop in the risk of death.

Learn more here.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections that may be linked to a brand of frozen falafel sold by the chain. grocery store, the agencies said on Friday.

  • Twenty people are believed to have been infected with the E. coli O121 strain in six states, according to the CDC.
  • Five people were hospitalized, including one who developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome, which can cause kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

“Shigatoxin-producing E. coli is an organism that can cause foodborne illness in a person who eats food contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting,” the FDA wrote in a statement.

The majority of people with reported E. coli infections – 11 out of 20 – reside in Michigan, while four others live in Wisconsin, two in Florida and one in Kansas, Iowa and Ohio. The falafel was sold in 38 states and the District of Columbia before being recalled.

Fifteen of 18 people surveyed by the CDC and FDA said they shopped at ALDI, and six of that group said they had eaten Earth Grown frozen falafel in the week before their symptoms appeared.

ALDI recalled Earth Grown brand Traditional Vegan Falafel and Garlic Herb Falafel from stores on Friday due to the possible presence of E. coli in food.

Learn more here.

Monoclonal antibodies sought to fight chronic pain

A group of researchers based at the University of California, Davis recently received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop monoclonal antibodies for use against chronic pain.

Opioid painkillers like oxycodone (OxyContin) can be addictive in some people, and others like fentanyl have played a significant role in opioid abuse and the overdose crisis.

“It’s a challenge to be able to develop safe and effective drugs to treat pain,” said Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy of the University of California Davis School of Medicine.

Monoclonal antibodies are already used as treatments for certain types of cancer. A few types of monoclonal antibodies have also received Emergency Use Authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fight COVID-19.

Along the same lines as chronic pain, the FDA has already approved a monoclonal antibody treatment for migraines. The new therapy targets a specific signaling molecule called CGRP. The antibodies block CGRP, which the researchers believe plays a role in nerves linked to blood vessels in the brain, according to Nature.

Although it only works for a subset of patients, it is a step forward for migraine treatment because of its effectiveness for the people it works for. Additionally, patients on migraine treatment had minimal side effects, and this might also be true for other monoclonal antibody treatments.

Learn more here.


  • ‘The cash monster was insatiable’: How insurers tapped Medicare for billions (New York Times)
  • The spread of Catholic hospitals limits reproductive care in the United States (Washington Post)
  • Artificial intelligence could soon diagnose a disease based on the sound of your voice (NPR)
  • CEO of biotech lobbying group BIO on furlough amid clash over leadership (Wall Street Journal)


  • On the Pennsylvania campaign trail, the doctor will see you now (Politico)
  • Massachusetts Department of Health to lead regional effort to improve outbreak response (Boston Globe)
  • Lawsuit claims Idaho Department of Health discriminates against trans people seeking health care (Idaho Capital Sun)


For Gen Z, 30 is way too late to end hunger

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. Until tomorrow.

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