Pfizer and BioNTech have asked the FDA to extend the emergency use authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents ages 12 to 15, and acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said the request would be reviewed "as expeditiously as possible." The companies announced last month that clinical trial results showed the vaccine was safe and effective, and that it generated strong antibody responses in the age group.
A US Census Bureau survey found about 4.2 million adults do not have jobs because they are fearful of getting or spreading COVID-19 at the workplace, which may help explain a labor shortage at a time when unemployment is at 6%. Data from job marketplace ZipRecruiter showed "work from home" is the most frequent search term, but while 60% of applicants want to work remotely, only 9% of vacancies on the site offer that option.
A study of hourly and salaried workers, CEOs and human resources professionals found that employers may not be aware of the financial stresses their workers are feeling. Among the findings: Eighty-seven percent of employers stated that their employees' financial wellness was good or excellent, but most workers said it was only average or good.
Congress should quickly repeal a rule finalized without public input that would raise insurance premiums for America's Medicare beneficiaries, writes Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO JC Scott. The Biden administration suspended the rule, but unless Congress repeals the rule, it will disrupt pharmacy benefit managers' ability to negotiate low drug prices on behalf of seniors in Part D, Scott writes.
The Government Accountability Office says HHS' information security practices and procedures do not meet Federal Information Security Modernization Act standards. Auditors found HHS is strengthening its enterprisewide cybersecurity program, but they also identified areas that need improvement.
Chinese CDC Director Gao Fu said the five COVID-19 vaccines developed in China do not offer robust protection, and using the Chinese vaccines in combination with other COVID-19 vaccines may improve efficacy.
A study by University of California-Riverside researchers suggests that physical activity and proper diet during childhood may improve brain health in adulthood. The study examined mice in four groups -- those that were physically active, not physically active, fed a healthy diet, and fed a diet high in sugar and fat -- and found that individuals with healthier activity and diet showed less anxious behavior and larger brain mass later in life.
A health system in Georgia is working with the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy to help put middle- and high-school students on the path to health care careers, including nursing. The program includes paid internship opportunities.
The Biden administration needs to rethink its decision that would allow the Next Generation ACO model to expire by year-end, and should instead make it a permanent option for health care providers to sustain the movement to value-based care, according to a Health Affairs blog. ACOs under the Next Gen model improved health care quality and delivered gross savings for the Medicare Trust Fund, and the model is the only Medicare ACO model permitting participants to assume full upside or downward risk, experts wrote.
Bradley Fly from Germantown, Tenn., was sentenced for violating the Anti-Kickback Statute in a scheme involving compounded prescriptions. According to the plea, Fly paid kickbacks to two Tricare beneficiaries in exchange for receiving expensive compounded prescription drugs, which resulted in over $500,000 worth of improper payments from the program and more than $180,000 in commissions for Fly.
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