Viewpoints: Worrisome Flu Vaccine Rate Drop; Mailed Abortion Pills Won’t Be Available To Everyone
Editorial writers look into these public health issues.
The CT Mirror:
With Vaccination Rates Flagging, Flu Is On The Rebound. Get Your Shot!
We celebrate the anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccines this winter—and progress in controlling the virus. With vaccines readily available and recommended for everyone age 5 years and older, more people are traveling and including travel in their holiday plans. While we welcome the return of more human connection, one unwelcome consequence is an increase in influenza activity. With COVID-19 prevention measures in place, the 2020–21 influenza season was marked by historically low influenza virus circulation. However, influenza activity is on the rebound for 2021–22. With the return of influenza comes both mild and severe illness in all ages, including infants, pregnant people, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions. (Litjen Tan, PhD, 12/22)
Los Angeles Times:
The FDA's Decision To Allow Abortion Pills To Be Mailed Won't Help If You Live Where It's Banned.
Finally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the long overdue decision last week to drop the requirement that abortion-inducing medication be dispensed in person by a healthcare provider at a medical facility. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, reproductive health experts and abortion rights supporters had urged the FDA for years to lift restrictions on the safe and effective two-drug regimen that has been available in the U.S. since 2000 and is a popular method of abortion during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. (12/22)
Inflexible Methadone Rules Impede Fight Against Overdose Deaths
Imagine if people who needed insulin to control their diabetes had to trek across town each day to receive this lifesaving drug at an insulin clinic — with no accommodations for work or family obligations — an approach justified because they can’t be trusted to administer insulin correctly and avoid life-threatening episodes of low-blood sugar. Not in America you might say. But such paternalism is a reality for hundreds of thousands of Americans using methadone to treat opioid addiction and live a healthy life. (Paul J. Joudrey and Adam J. Gordon, 12/22)
Increasing Diversity In The Nursing Workforce: A Social Determinants Of Learning Framework
Creating a more diverse and inclusive nursing pipeline is a public health priority, and one that requires leadership from schools of nursing. Increasingly, research findings indicate that when healthcare workers are more representative of their patient demographics, communication, access to care and patient satisfaction improves. However, just 1 in 5 nurses come from a racial or ethnic minority group, even as the Census Bureau projects that by 2045 more than half the country will shift in that direction. (Karen Cox, 12/21)
How Nurse Practitioners Can Solve Tennessee's Health Care Desert Issue
The past two years have revealed just how much our communities rely on nurses and nurse practitioners to provide quality care. Amid a COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated clinics, hospitals and other facilities across the country, those of us in the health care industry have rushed to the front lines— doing everything they can to ensure that we stay healthy and safe. Tennessee has many areas that are considered “health care deserts." These are areas, often rural, that are medically underserved with little or no access to health care from hospitals, clinics or doctors. (Kimberly K. Estep and Jan Jones-Schenk, 12/20)
The Star Tribune:
Health Care CEOs, Thank You Is Not Enough
Last weekend, nine of Minnesota's health care CEOs released a joint statement warning that hospital operations are strained, and many health care workers are feeling "demoralized." They warned that individuals suffering from car accidents, strokes and heart attacks could experience life-threatening delays in care. "Your access to health care is being seriously threatened by COVID-19," they said, imploring the public to take COVID-19 more seriously, to get vaccinated, boosted and to wear a mask. They paid tens of thousands of dollars to print a full-page advertisement in Minnesota's largest newspapers. (Jamie Gulley, 12/21)
The CT Mirror:
Connecticut Must End The Ignorance Surrounding Endometriosis
Years of excruciating pain, gaslighting, misdiagnosis, missed work, and depression. Endometriosis affects far too many women to be so misunderstood. Endometriosis impacts one in 10 people born with a uterus in the United States and yet, on average, takes 10 years to diagnose. It occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus in preparation for implantation of a fertilized egg is found in other parts of the body. This tissue responds to the hormones that trigger menstruation, bleeding and attempting to shed each month. The result is pain, inflammation, and the formation of nodules, cysts, and scar tissue. (Jillian Gilchrest, 12/22)
The Washington Post:
Elizabeth Holmes And A Theranos Blood Test Remind Me: Silicon Valley Was Her Co-Conspirator
After 15 weeks of testimony, the fate of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes now rests with a jury. Did she, as the prosecution has alleged, run a greedy scam? Or, as her defense contends, was she the victim — of her own inexperience, of sexual abuse, of overwhelming pressure to deliver? We’ll find out soon. (Meghan Kruger, 12/21)