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A health worker grabs at-home COVID-19 test kits

How to get insurance to pay for at-home COVID tests, according to the White House

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — The Biden administration announced Monday new details on how Americans can get free COVID-19 tests — or get reimbursements from their private insurance. This follows up on an announcement that the White House made last month. Under the new policy announced by the White House, individuals covered by a health insurance… Read More

A nurse practitioner fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

FDA authorizes a Pfizer booster shot for children ages 12 to 15

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Updated January 3, 2022 at 10:41 AM ET WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of a Pfizer-BioNTech booster in adolescents 12 to 15 years old. The agency on Monday also shortened the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose… Read More

The omicron variant under a microscope

A clue as to why omicron is spreading so quickly

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — Omicron is spreading lightning fast. In the U.S., the percentage of cases caused by this new coronavirus variant jumped seven times in just a week, from 0.4% of the total cases sequenced to 2.9%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. And it’s already causing about 13% of cases in… Read More

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins speaks into a podium microphone

The NIH director on why Americans aren’t getting healthier, despite medical advances

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — It’s Dr. Francis Collins’ last few weeks as director of the National Institutes of Health after 12 years, serving under three presidents. Collins made his name doing the kind of biomedical research NIH is famous for, especially running The Human Genome Project, which fully sequenced the human genetic code. The focus… Read More

Molnupiravir, an antiviral drug to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 pills scattered about

New antiviral drugs are coming for COVID. Here’s what you need to know

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — An FDA advisory committee is meeting Tuesday to consider whether to recommend a new antiviral pill for the COVID-19 treatment toolkit. Take-at-home pills could be a game changer for keeping COVID-19 in check, and helping people recover from early stages of the disease. “With omicron [variant] breathing down our necks, we… Read More

An HIV graphic

Advocates push for changes to Ohio’s HIV-related laws, noting coronavirus has changed state policies

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — There are around 25,000 Ohioans living with HIV, and about a thousand people are newly diagnosed each year in Ohio. But advocates say Ohio’s HIV laws need to be changed, as lawmakers have considered measures related to the coronavirus pandemic. Around 30 states require people with HIV to inform partners before… Read More

A pedestrian bridge outside of the Shriners Hospital for Children Medical Center in Lexington.

Ohio Valley childhood obesity rates have increased, putting kids at greater risk of severe COVID-19 illness

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Ohio Valley ReSource · Childhood obesity & covid FRANKFORT, Ky. (OVR) — In October, University of Kentucky Children’s hospital reported a substantial rise in children hospitalized for COVID-19. The escalation began in July. Dr. Sean McTigue, medical director for pediatric infection prevention and control said all hospitalized children had one thing in common. “So our… Read More

An older phone on the table with the receiver off the hook.

Voice-only telehealth may go away with pandemic rules expiring

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — Caswell County, where William Crumpton works, runs along the northern edge of North Carolina and is a rural landscape of mostly former tobacco farms and the occasional fast-food restaurant. “There are wide areas where cellphone signals are just nonexistent,” Crumpton says. “Things like satellite radio are even a challenge.” Crumpton, who… Read More

The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is seen on November 16, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Biden’s plan to stop surprise medical bills faces bipartisan pushback in Congress

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — The detente that allowed Congress to pass a law curbing surprise medical bills has disintegrated. A bipartisan group of 152 lawmakers have been assailing the Biden administration’s plan to regulate the law and medical providers, warning of grim consequences for underserved patients. For years, patients have faced these massive, unexpected bills… Read More

Elderly people sitting on a couch, smiling

New federal funds spur expansion of home care services for the elderly and disabled

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — For older people and people with disabilities, solving everyday practical problems can be the difference between being able to live at home or being forced to move to an institution. Sometimes people need help getting dressed or making meals. Sometimes they need help managing medications or shopping for groceries. Originally, these… Read More

Group of children doing morning exercises hands up yoga sport outdoors in nature in summer camp

Childhood obesity rates in the Ohio Valley are higher than the national average

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RICHMOND, Ky. (OVR) — For the second year in a row, Kentucky has the highest rate of childhood obesity among kids ages 10-to-17 at 23.8%. That’s according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released this week. Senior Program Officer Jamie Bussel said rates are too high across the country. “They’ve been exacerbated by COVID,… Read More

Ohio Department of Health conducting tests for COVID-19 with testing equipment.

The Pandemic Influenced Americans’ Desire To Work In Health Care

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewsHour) — The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare many vulnerabilities in America’s healthcare system, including a worsening shortage of nurses and physicians. But recent data indicates a new surge of interest in nursing, medical and other health-related career programs. NewsHour’s Stephanie Sy has this report for their series “Rethinking College.”

The National Guard and the Athens City-County Health Department administered free pop-up COVID-19 tests at the Athens High School parking lot in August.

Long Into The Pandemic, Ohio Valley Health Departments Aren’t Just Fighting COVID-19

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Ohio Valley ReSource · 092421OVR – F The pandemic has swamped health departments. Since August, Ohio Valley health departments  have been dealing with a massive surge in cases and that means more testing, contact tracing and phone calls. Although disease investigation is a core service of health departments, the pandemic has demanded a continual, robust… Read More

Students at a training program, Cooperative Home Care Associates in New York, practice basic skills like a bed-bath on each other. Home health aides, provide basic, day-to-day support for elderly and disabled people, allowing them to age at home.

There’s A Shortage Of Home Health Aides For The Elderly, And It’s Getting Worse

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — Many Americans hope to spend their old age at home, rather than moving into a care facility. When the time comes, they rely on the more than 2 million home health aides who provide day-to-day support. But there are about 54 million Americans age 65 and older, according to the U.S…. Read More

A healthcare worker administers a dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a child at a pediatrician's office in Bingham Farms, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

Pfizer Submits Favorable Initial Data To The FDA On Kids’ COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — Pfizer and BioNTech are another step closer to seeking authorization for young children to receive the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine, submitting data to the Food and Drug Administration that shows a “robust” antibody response and “favorable” safety outcomes in kids ages 5 to 11 who received the two-dose regimen in clinical trials…. Read More

Remnants of the COVID-19 Pandemic are seen in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

Is The Worst Over? Modelers Predict A Steady Decline In COVID Cases Through March

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — Americans may be able to breathe a tentative sigh of relief soon, according to researchers studying the trajectory of the pandemic. The delta surge appears to be peaking nationally, and cases and deaths will likely decline steadily now through the spring without a significant winter surge, according to a new analysis… Read More

A cartoon shadow casts across a room

What Causes Long COVID Is A Mystery. Here’s How Scientists Are Trying To Crack It

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Updated September 20, 2021 at 11:44 PM ET WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — A year and a half into the pandemic, doctors are getting better at recognizing long COVID — the collection of persistent health problems that some people develop after a coronavirus infection — but research has yet to pinpoint what could be driving the… Read More

a health worker administers a dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa

Pfizer Says COVID Vaccine For Kids Ages 5 To 11 Is Safe And Effective

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Updated September 20, 2021 at 10:31 AM ET WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — The first results from the highly anticipated trial studying the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 showed promising results. The pharmaceutical companies said early results of their trial indicate the vaccine is safe… Read More

A flu season graphic with a syringe

It’s Time For A Flu Shot. Here’s What You Need To Know

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — With all the talk about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, it’s easy to forget that there’s another respiratory virus poised to strike. Yes, it’s that familiar winter nemesis, the flu. And there are vaccines to help ward it off — but also misinformation and fears circulating. “We’ve been concerned about vaccine fatigue… Read More

graphic of a gavel on a blue background

Judge Says Hospital Won’t Be Forced To Treat Patient With Ivermectin

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CINCINNATI (Statehouse News Bureau) — A Cincinnati hospital won’t be forced to continue to treat a COVID patient on a ventilator with an unproven drug. This comes after a judge overruled a previous order from a fellow judge in the same court.Butler County judge Michael Oster Jr. denied a request to order UC Health West Chester… Read More

A sign in front of O'Bleness Hospital in Athens, Ohio

Holzer And O’Bleness Respond To Understaffing And High COVID Numbers With Familiar Pandemic Protocols 

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in Southeast Ohio, causing local health care systems to be stretched thin and re-institute early 2020 pandemic protocols. Holzer Health Systems The number of COVID-19 patients is nearing the highest level from 2020, according to Dr. Mike Canady, the CEO at Holzer Health System. On Monday,… Read More

In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y.

Health Committee Reconvening Early For Bill Banning Vaccine Mandates

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Some members of the Ohio House will be returning to the Statehouse earlier than expected to continue hearings on a bill, HB248, that would ban vaccine mandates for most entities. Republican leadership in the House granted approval for the health committee to reconvene at the request of committee chair… Read More

HAPCAP's Glouster, Ohio

HAPCAP Provides Free Air Conditioners Through Summer Crisis Program

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Some people in the region are struggling to stay cool as temperatures rise this summer. People in need can receive a free air conditioner for their home through the Hocking Athens Perry Community Action’s Summer Crisis Program from July 1 until September 30.  HAPCAP’s public relationship coordinator Claire Gysegem believes access… Read More

A blood donation chair sits unused

National Blood Shortage Could Affect Southeast Ohio Supply

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NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio – Hospitals are dealing with a nationwide blood shortage, stemming from increased elective surgeries and injuries after pandemic restrictions were lifted. The shortage could affect local hospitals and people who live in southeast Ohio. O’Bleness Hospital became more thoughtful about how it uses blood donations shared through the OhioHealth network as a result…. Read More