HHS Announces Actions in Response to Texas Law Banning Abortions After 6 Weeks

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced several actions Friday aimed at protecting reproductive rights in Texas following passage of a bill that outlaws all abortions in the state after 6 weeks’ gestation. “Every American deserves access to health care no matter where they live – including access to safe and…

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FDA Panel Backs Pfizer Booster for Select Groups

An FDA advisory panel recommended emergency use authorization (EUA) of a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) for individuals 65 and older, and those judged to be at high risk of severe COVID-19. On Friday, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted 18-0 that the known and potential benefits…

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One COVID Vaccine Held Up Best Over Time, CDC Study Suggests

In terms of preventing COVID-related hospitalizations, the two-dose mRNA vaccines from Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Moderna offered the best protection upfront and over time, a case-control analysis involving data from 21 U.S. hospitals showed. From March to August 2021, the vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19 hospitalizations landed at 93% for the Moderna vaccine, 88% for Pfizer’s,…

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Masks Limited COVID Transmission in Unvaxxed College Kids

Masking worked, along with fewer exposure encounters, to help limit the incidence of COVID-19 infection among largely unvaccinated university students in Missouri, researchers found. Among nearly 400 close contacts of students who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the likelihood of a positive test result was more than five times higher in situations where at least one…

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Biden administration targets 20% drop in aviation emissions

The Biden administration aims to reduce emissions from aviation fuel by 20 percent by shifting production away from conventional jet fuel. US President Joe Biden’s adminstration on Thursday unveiled measures that aim to reduce aviation emissions by 20 percent by 2030 in its latest initiative to combat climate change. Aviation accounts for 11 percent of…

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This year’s flu season could be a rager. Shots can help.

As summer winds down and gives way to cooler weather, people are once again bracing themselves for an uptick in COVID-19 cases—viruses like SARS-CoV-2 prefer colder seasons. But there’s another virus looming that’s all-too-familiar: influenza.  Now, two new study preprints, neither yet peer-reviewed, suggest that last year’s drop in flu cases could lead to a…

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Fact-checking works across the globe to correct misinformation

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Fact-checking works to reduce false beliefs across the globe, according to a new study conducted in four countries. Researchers found that fact-checking worked with little variation in Argentina, Nigeria, South Africa and the U.K., and the positive effects were still detectable two weeks later. Even more encouraging, there was no evidence…

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Fauci: ‘Dramatic Data’ From Israel Support COVID-19 Boosters

WASHINGTON — COVID booster shots are showing good efficacy in Israel, Anthony Fauci, MD, chief medical advisor to President Biden, said Thursday at a briefing held by the White House COVID-19 Response Team. Researchers have found that, even with the country’s very high vaccination rate, “we see new PCR-positive infections and new severe COVID cases…

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Study reveals extreme winter weather is related to Arctic change

Credit: CC0 Public Domain A new study shows that the frequency of polar vortex disruptions that is most favorable for extreme winter weather in the United States is increasing, and that Arctic change is likely contributing to the increasing trend. Led by Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), University Massachusetts Lowell and the Hebrew University of…

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2020 had 102 tropical storms, well above world average, NOAA report says

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Tropical storms in 2020 didn’t just break records in the northern Atlantic. It happened everywhere. Storm totals exceeded records all over the world, according to an international study from 60 countries detailed in the “State of the Climate in 2020″ report released Wednesday. The annual report is compiled by the National…

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Hydropower Withers in Drought, Boosting Fossil-Fuel Generation

A drought worsened by climate change has caused hydropower supplies in California to reach their second-lowest level since 2001, leading electricity prices in the state to soar 150% in three months’ time. Yet some of the biggest beneficiaries of the price surge, according to a credit ratings agency report yesterday, are fossil fuel-fired power producers…

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