Poll: Millions of Americans lack booster knowledge
More than 1,200 prescription drugs rose in price faster than the rate of inflation between 2021 and 2022, according to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Friday.
Context: The report highlights the potential impact of the drug pricing provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. The law requires drug companies to pay a rebate to the government if drug prices rise faster than inflation for Medicare.
House passes bill addressing mental health concerns
The House passed a bill on Thursday that seeks to address mental health concerns among students, families and educators aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which lawmakers say had a “severe impact” on those three groups.
The bill, titled the Mental Health Matters Act, passed in a largely party-line 220-205 vote. One Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), joined all Democrats present in supporting it.
Included in the bill:
The legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed into law, would provide grants to establish a pipeline for school-based mental health service professionals. Additionally, it would grow the number of mental health experts at elementary and secondary schools that are based in high-need locations.
The Department of Education would also be ordered to administer grants to state educational agencies to go towards recruiting and maintaining school-based mental-health-service providers at public elementary and secondary schools that are considered high need.
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), the sponsor of the bill, said his legislation is needed to address the ripple-effect student mental health concerns are having on schools and educators.
“Educators have been forced to play an outsized role in supporting and responding to students’ mental health needs, leading to increased depression and trauma among educators, their students, and the families and the community. However, our schools do not have the specialized staff necessary to respond to the increased prevalence and complexity of students’ mental health needs,” he said.
SECOND BOOSTER EFFECTIVE AT AVERTING HOSPITALIZATIONS, DEATHS
A new study published this week found that the second COVID-19 booster that was made available to U.S. adults over the age of 50 this year was highly effective at protecting nursing home residents from hospitalizations and deaths, though its ability to prevent infections was not as potent.
The analysis, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, compared nursing home residents who received a second original mRNA booster dose to those who did not get the additional shot.
According to the study, the second shot was 90 percent effective at preventing coronavirus-related deaths and 74 percent effective at preventing severe cases that lead to either hospitalizations or deaths.
The shot was about 26 percent effective at preventing infection, however. This study looked at cases between March 29 and July 25. It was within this period that the BA.5 omicron subvariant grew to become dominant in the U.S.
“These findings suggest that among nursing home residents, second mRNA