Health Care: New CDC Data Supports Potency of Bivalent Booster

If you ever feel like your dog is judging you, it may be. new research found dogs can determine human fitnessand they will look for people who they consider more competent.

In Health today, new data has been published supporting the efficacy of bivalent booster shots, with the doses found to reduce the risk of hospitalization by at least 50 percent.

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CDC: Updated booster prevents most hospitalizations

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine was effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization and emergency room visits in at least 50 percent.

Two separate reports released by the CDC on Friday offer some of the first evidence of the booster’s effectiveness against hospitalizations and medical encounters.

The reports come as infections rise and the Biden administration braces for an expected spike this winter.

  • One study found a bivalent booster dose of COVID-19 reduced risk of hospitalization by 57 percent in adults 18 years and older compared with the unvaccinated, and by 45 percent compared with the unvaccinated.
  • Previous CDC data suggested that bivalent boosters provide a modest degree of protection against symptomatic infection among adults compared with receiving two, three, or four doses of monovalent vaccines alone.
  • The boosters were especially effective in adults older than 65, who are at the highest risk of severe illness associated with COVID-19.

“With the co-circulation of multiple respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), vaccination against respiratory diseases for which vaccines are available is especially important to prevent illness resulting in health care and to reduce pressure on the health care system,” the authors wrote.

Read more here.

Growing Opposition to Measles Vaccine Mandates in Schools

A growing number of parents oppose routine measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination requirements for children to attend school, according to a new survey released Friday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • The survey found that 35 percent of parents of children under 18 oppose school immunization requirements, up from 23 percent in 2019.
  • It also found that 28 percent of all adults said parents should be able to choose not to vaccinate their children, even if it creates a health risk for others, up from 16 percent in 2019.
  • As with COVID-19 vaccines, the growing opposition is coming largely from people who identify as Republican or Republican. According to the survey, 44 percent said parents should be able to opt out of childhood MMR vaccines, up from 20 percent in 2019.

All states and the District of Columbia require that children be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as measles and rubella, in order to attend public schools, although exceptions are allowed in certain circumstances.

The growing opposition comes on the heels of heated partisan fights over COVID-19 vaccine mandates and mistrust of public health authorities.

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.


Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff sought to highlight the 988 mental health hotline before the holidays with a visit Friday to a Community Crisis Service Center.

  • “The holidays are difficult for many of us across the country, and we all saw the tragic news about tWitch,” Emhoff said in downtown Hyattsville, Maryland.
  • Stephen Boss, aka tWitch, committed 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, funds from bipartisan gun control legislation the president signed into law in June.

“I know this job can’t be easy,” Emhoff told crisis center employees. “This is not a red state or a blue state or a political issue. This issue of mental health and suicide affects everyone.”

Read more here.


Nearly half of American teens have experienced some form of online bullying or harassment, new results of the test show, and a vast majority think elected officials and social media sites aren’t doing enough to stop it.

  • Of the 46 percent of teens who were cyberbullied, physical appearance served as a relatively common reason behind the bullying, while older teens were more likely to report being targeted in general and because of their appearance.
  • Offensive name calling was the most frequently reported form of cyberbullying, with 32 percent of teens saying they had experienced this form of bullying.
  • More than 20 percent said false rumors have been spread about them online and
    17 percent say they’ve received explicit images they didn’t ask for.

The findings are based on a Pew Research Center survey conducted from April to May 2022.

Teenagers are some of 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 were more likely to have ever been harassed and face multiple forms of abuse online than their less active peers.

Read more here.

Biden gets personal in victory lap over burned wells law

President Biden took a victory lap Friday over legislation passed by Congress that expands benefits for millions of veterans who were exposed to toxins while in service.

“I made it very clear to the United States Congress that if they didn’t pass this bloody burn pits bill, I was going into a holy war. It’s not a joke,” Biden said. “It is one of the most important 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 Facility in New Castle, Del., named after his late son, Beau Biden.

Close to home: The younger Biden served in the Delaware National Guard, and the president has suggested that his exposure to burn pits in Iraq could have been the cause of the brain cancer from which he died in 2015.

  • He remembered when Beau Biden came home from Iraq and called him to tell him that he had collapsed during a race.
  • “I’m not a doctor, but it’s pretty clear that a lot of men and women get sick,” Biden said.
  • “Many, when they got home, had left as the best trained and fittest warriors in the world and came home with headaches, numbness, dizziness, cancer.”

The Delaware event is one of more than 90 events taking place across the US on Friday to encourage veterans to enroll in health care, get tested for toxic exposure and file a claim if they experience a condition related to toxic exposure, according to White. House.

Read more here.


  • Can a federally funded ‘Netflix Model’ fix the broken market for antibiotics? (The New York Times)
  • Children’s hospitals across the US are tracking increases in serious strep infections (ABC News)
  • Report: Intelligence agencies did not move fast enough to collect Covid data (political)


  • Why Medicaid expansion ballots may hit a dead end after fleeting victory in South Dakota (Kaiser Health News)
  • California’s only HBCU aims to solve the shortage of black doctors (CalMatters)
  • Oklahoma hospitals will receive millions in federal funds (KFOR)

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. I’ll see you Monday.

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