news Thursday, February 2, 2023 | Kaiser Health News

Study claims Merck’s Covid pill is causing new virus mutation

Bloomberg reported that preprint studies have identified mutations associated with Lagebrio use in viral samples taken from dozens of patients. Merck disputes that its drug, which works by mutating the genome of the novel coronavirus, is causing problematic mutations, with researchers drawing conclusions from “situational relevance.” said to have brought it out.

Bloomberg: Merck Covid drug linked to new virus mutation, study says

Merck’s Covid-19 tablets are causing new mutations in the virus in some patients, according to a study highlighting the risks of intentionally trying to alter the pathogen’s genetic code. , fears the drug could create a more contagious or health-threatening variation of Covid, which has killed more than 6.8 million people worldwide in the past three years. (Lauermann, 2/1)

Reuters: US FDA removes COVID testing requirements for Pfizer, Merck Pill

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday removed the requirement for a positive test for COVID-19 treatment from Pfizer and Merck. Anyone with mild to moderate he has COVID and has tested positive for the virus and with severe he is at risk of progressing to COVID. Still, the FDA said patients should have a current diagnosis of mild to moderate COVID infection.(2/1)

More on the spread of covid —

San Francisco Chronicle: Bay Area’s Largest County Closes Massive COVID-19 Vaccination, Testing Sites

Nearly three years after the nation first declared COVID-19 a public health emergency, Santa Clara County announced Wednesday plans to move out of the emergency phase of the pandemic by the end of February. This includes the closure of all county-run mass vaccination and testing facilities. Residents of the Bay Area’s most populous counties are instead directed to private health care providers, pharmacies, or local clinics. (Vasily, 2/1)

San Francisco Chronicle: State Drops Plan to Make Vaccines Mandatory for School Children

California plans to drop plans to require schoolchildren to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when the state’s pandemic emergency declaration ends on February 28. “The California Department of Public Health said in an email to EdSource, confirming the change. (Vasily, 2/1)

San Francisco Chronicle: California’s COVID: Fauci says ‘anything is possible’ for pandemic

“Anything is possible,” said Fauci. “We cannot predict exactly how likely we are to get another subspecies again that is different enough to escape the protection we have from vaccines and previous infections.” noted that the vaccine and the ability to evade immune responses generated by previous infections appeared to be progressively better.(Vagiri, 2/1)

Reuters: Draft WHO pandemic deal pushes stocks to avoid repeat COVID ‘failure’

According to an early draft of the Global Pandemic Agreement, governments should cut back on the drugs and vaccines distributed by the World Health Organization to poor countries to avoid a repeat of the “catastrophic failure” during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may need to make a reservation. One of the most concrete proposals in the draft agreement reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday includes measures to withhold 20% of tests, vaccines or treatments developed for use in poorer countries. . (Rigby and Tetrault-Farber, 2/2)

After the declaration of a state of emergency――

Axios: The funding cliff for student mental health

Public school districts that have received large amounts of COVID relief funds for mental health services face a new dilemma. How do we sustain counseling, screening, telemedicine, and other programs when funds run out? (Moreno, 2/2)

The Boston Globe: The nationwide COVID-19 public health emergency ends in May, but some of its provisions may persist in bulk.

José Francisco Figueroa, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said: Regarding Medicaid programs that have been allowed to eliminate copays and waive certain requirements, “there is still room to wiggle as to whether states can decide what to keep and what not to keep. ‘ said Figueroa. Massachusetts has long had a generous Medicaid program called MassHealth. (Flyer, 2/1)

KHN: Pandemic Era Medicaid Provisions Expire, Millions Near Coverage Cliff

States are preparing to exclude millions of people from Medicaid as protections put in place early in the covid-19 pandemic expire. It puts low-income Americans at risk of losing health insurance, jeopardizes access to health care, and can expose them to high medical costs. The finances of hospitals, doctors, etc. that rely on Medicaid payments will also be under pressure. (Garevitz, 2/2)

AP: TennCare: Nearly 300,000 Tennessees may lose coverage

About 300,000 Tennesseans who enrolled in Medicaid during the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to lose coverage this year as state officials are again allowed to kick people out of government-funded health insurance programs. . A spokesperson for his TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, said this week that removals won’t take place until April 1, but he said in an email that a “re-determination process” would begin in March. said in (Krusi, 2/1)

The Hill: House passes bill ending coronavirus-era telework policy for government agencies

Amid the pandemic, the number of civil servants teleworking has increased rapidly. The number of government employees working from home will rise from about 483,000 in 2018 to 1 million by 2021, according to data and reports from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) reviewed by CBS News. increased more than Chairman of the House Oversight Committee) said the bill was “a much-needed response to this problem of federal agencies and employees putting their comfort above the needs of voters. provide a solution to the problem.” (Schnell, 2/1)

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