North Carolina Senate Republicans are strongly considering legislation that would expand Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of additional low-income adults. Such legislation would mark a key step in an extraordinary turnabout by GOP members in the chamber set against expansion for a decade. A draft bill yet to be formally filed also would include several other medical, health care coverage and insurance reforms, according to a summary of the bill obtained by The Associated Press.
Approval for coronavirus immunizations for children under 5 took a major step forward on Monday with an announcement from Pfizer that its COVID-19 vaccine "was found to elicit a strong immune response," with no significant adverse reactions.
The disease, first found in monkeys, can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact, including sexual intercourse, and is caused by the monkeypox virus.
Three doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine offer strong protection for children younger than 5, the company announced Monday, another step toward shots for the littlest kids possibly beginning in early summer. Pfizer plans to submit the findings to U.S. regulators later this week. The Food and Drug Administration already is evaluating an application by rival Moderna to offer two-dose vaccinations to tots — and set June 15 as a tentative date for its independent scientific advisers to publicly debate the data from one or both companies.
The United States has enough vaccines to deal with a potential outbreak of monkeypox and "extra efforts" are not needed to prevent its spread, President Joe Biden said on Monday.
The Chinese capital extended its work-from-home requirement for many of its 22 million residents to stem a COVID-19 outbreak, while Shanghai deployed more testing and curbs to hold on to its hard-won "zero COVID" status after two months of lockdown. Beijing said 99 new cases were detected on Sunday, up from 61 the previous day - the largest daily tally so far during a month-old outbreak that has consistently seen dozens of new infections every day. Six of the city's 16 districts have told all residents to work from home and avoid gatherings, and said those who have to go to work should have a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours.
Health officials remain perplexed by mysterious cases of severe liver damage in hundreds of young children around the world. The best available evidence points to a fairly common stomach bug that isn't known to cause liver problems in otherwise healthy kids. “There's a lot of things that don't make sense,” said Eric Kremer, a virus researcher at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of Montpellier, in France.
Most Hongkongers under the age of 60 do not need a fourth dose of a Covid-19 vaccine as it will only provide brief protection, a government adviser has said, as infections dropped below 200 for the first time in more than three months. Professor Lau Yu-lung, who chairs the government’s Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases, on Monday said the priority remained convincing the vulnerable elderly to take a third vaccine shot, noting the rate of severe illness or death among residents
The COVID-19 pandemic is “most certainly not over,” the head of the World Health Organization warned Sunday, despite a decline in reported cases since the peak of the omicron wave. The U.N. health agency's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told officials gathered in Geneva for opening of the WHO's annual meeting that “declining testing and sequencing means we are blinding ourselves to the evolution of the virus.”
With Oklahoma only days away from enacting the toughest state ban on abortion in the U.S., providers were preparing to stop terminating pregnancies as questions remained Friday about enforcing the law's limited exceptions. The law allows abortions to save a pregnant patient's life “in a medical emergency” and supporters said doctors still would decide what an emergency is, though that could change later if it becomes perceived as a loophole. There's also an exception for cases of rape, sexual assault or incest that have been reported to law enforcement, but it doesn't help victims who don't report the crimes to police.
A more transmissive Omicron subvariant could have entered the community for the first time, Hong Kong health authorities revealed on Friday, but a top government pandemic adviser said a large outbreak was unlikely as most people had already been vaccinated or previously infected with the coronavirus. Health officials on Friday said a couple were found to be infected with the BA.2.12.1 subvariant at a community testing centre last Saturday, the 12th day after they arrived from San Francisco. They
North Korea said Friday that nearly 10% of its 26 million people have fallen ill and 65 people have died amid its first COVID-19 outbreak, as outside experts question the validity of its reported fatalities and worry about a possible humanitarian crisis. After admitting the omicron outbreak last week following more than two years of claiming to be coronavirus-free, North Korea has said an unidentified fever has been explosively spreading across the country since late April. “It’s true that there has been a hole in its 2 1/2 years of pandemic fighting,” said Kwak Gil Sup, head of One Korea Center, a website specializing in North Korea affairs.
Kids ages 5 to 11 should get a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, advisers to the U.S. government said Thursday. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention quickly adopted the panel’s recommendation, opening a third COVID-19 shot to healthy elementary-age kids — just like what is already recommended for everybody 12 and older. The hope is that an extra shot will shore up protection for kids ages 5 to 11 as infections once again are on the rise.
An overseas clinical trial suggests that Jinhua Qinggan granules, a traditional Chinese medicine, are effective in treating mild cases of Covid-19, according to a study published earlier this week. The paper posted on medRxiv, an online publisher of preliminary medical research findings, said a trial in August involving 300 volunteers at a Pakistani hospital showed it was effective in treating mild presentations of the disease. The study’s participants, all adult Pakistanis with mild symptoms, w
The World Health Organization said Thursday that it has granted an emergency use authorization for the coronavirus vaccine made by China's CanSino Biologics, the 11th such shot to receive the green light. The U.N. health agency said the single-dose CanSino vaccine was found to be about 92% effective against severe COVID-19 and 64% effective in preventing people from getting symptoms of the disease. WHO's expert vaccine group recommended the vaccine for everyone age 18 and over.
Taiwan is battling a spike in Covid-19 cases, with local infections topping 90,000 for the first time, after it abandoned its elimination strategy to live with the virus There were 90,331 new locally transmitted cases, 47 imported infections and 59 deaths reported on Thursday, according to the Central Epidemic Command Centre. The daily case number was a 6 per cent jump from the previous day, and most infections were mild or asymptomatic, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters.Do you have
On a recent nighttime visit to a drugstore, a double-masked Kim Jong Un lamented the slow delivery of medicine. Separately, the North Korean leader's lieutenants have quarantined hundreds of thousands of suspected COVID-19 patients and urged people with mild symptoms to take willow leaf or honeysuckle tea. Despite what the North's propaganda is describing as an all-out effort, the fear is palpable among citizens, according to defectors in South Korea with contacts in the North, and some outside observers worry the outbreak may get much worse, with much of an impoverished, unvaccinated population left without enough hospital care and struggling to afford even simple medicine.
North Korea on Thursday reported 262,270 more suspected COVID-19 cases as its pandemic caseload neared 2 million — a week after the country acknowledged the outbreak and scrambled to slow infections in its unvaccinated population. The country is also trying to prevent its fragile economy from deteriorating further, but the outbreak could be worse than officially reported since the country lacks virus tests and other health care resources and may be underreporting deaths to soften the political impact on authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un. The official Korean Central News Agency said more than 1.98 million people have become sick with fever since late April.
Ashley Biden, the daughter of President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, has COVID-19 and is no longer accompanying her mother on a trip through Latin America, the White House said Wednesday. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it had been “several days” since the president and first lady last saw their daughter. Ashley Biden's positive test result was announced just before Jill Biden's flight Wednesday to Ecuador, the first stop on her six-day Latin America trip.
President Joe Biden’s top health official tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the latest member of his Cabinet to be infected with the virus. U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive while visiting Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said. Becerra, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, was experiencing mild symptoms.
Federal public health officials said on Wednesday that masking should return in parts of the country with rapidly rising rates of coronavirus infection. But local and state leaders have thus far shown little willingness to reimpose mask mandates.
During the White House COVID-19 response team briefing Wednesday, coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said that while cases are rising in the U.S., therapeutics like Paxlovid are helping to keep the death rate from the disease lower than expected.
COVID-19 cases are increasing in the United States — and could get even worse over the coming months, federal health officials warned Wednesday in urging areas hardest hit to consider reissuing calls for indoor masking. Increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are putting more of the country under guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that call for masking and other infection precautions. “Prior increases of infections, in different waves of infection, have demonstrated that this travels across the country,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said at a White House briefing with reporters.
Residents should go about their lives as normal and not worry too much about the Covid-19 pandemic, a senior health official has said, pointing to falling levels of admissions to hospitals and isolation wards in Hong Kong, as well as fewer severe or critical cases. Dr Edwin Tsui Lok-kin, the Centre for Health Protection’s controller, delivered his upbeat assessment on Wednesday, a day before authorities take the next step in easing social-distancing rules, including allowing bars to reopen for t
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the negligence and laziness of state officials worsened the country's Covid outbreak, state media reported Wednesday, as the number of known cases crossed 1.7 million.