Health/Fitness

FDA APPROVES COVID-19 VACCINES FOR KIDS AGES 12-15 ON EMERGENCY BASIS

East County News Service

May 10, 2021 (Washington d.C.) -- Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 through 15, Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was approved only for people age 16 and up.

Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., says the action is “a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” adding, “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic. Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH DURING COVID

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

May 10, 2021 (San Diego) -- The past 13 months have been a rollercoaster of emotion, stress, and anxiety for many folks. As East County and the rest of the state finally move out of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, it’s important to remember that our mental and emotional health may need more time to adjust. The stay-at-home orders and pandemic lifestyle may have made some of us stronger and more resilient, but some may have become more vulnerable. These are important considerations, year-round and when we observe May is Mental Health Month.


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SUBSTANCE USE INCREASES RISK OF SEVERE COVID-19 ILLNESS, CDC REPORTS; USERS ADVISED TO GET VACCINATED

Sources: Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts and Addiction Policy Forum

 

May 10, 2021 (New York and Bethesda) -Health officials have released an update that individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) are at a heightened risk for serious complications from COVID-19 and underscored the importance for individuals with SUD and their caregivers to get vaccinated.   


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HE BOUGHT HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EMERGENCIES, THEN HE FELL INTO A $33,601 TRAP

Since the Trump administration deregulated the health insurance industry, there’s been an explosion of short-term plans that leave patients with surprise bills and providers with huge revenue.

By Jenny Deam, ProPublica

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

Image via Pixabay

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.
 
May 9, 2021 (San Diego) - In the spring of 2019, Cory Dowd suddenly found himself without health insurance for the first time. A self-employed event planner, he had just finished a Peace Corps stint that provided health benefits, but he was still more than a year away from starting a graduate program that would provide coverage through his university.

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HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES IN THE ER

By Ariana Longley, chief operating officer at the Patient Safety Movement Foundation

 

Image via Pixabay

 

May 6, 2021 (San Diego) - The emergency room (ER) can be a stressful place – whether it’s you or a loved one seeking care. While most visits to the ER are unexpected, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.


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GRANT TRIPLES COVID-19 ESSAY AWARDS, 1ST PLACE NOW $1,000

Source: East County Leadership Council

May 6, 2021 (El Cajon) - East County Leadership Council’s grant has allowed it to triple the prize money for its COVID-19 essay contest. ECLC has also extended the deadline for entries to May 29 to allow broader participation.

The goal of the essay contest is to better understand how COVID-19 has affected young people academically, in their college plans, and in their career choices. This contest is open to east county high school juniors, seniors, and college freshman. 

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EVENING COVID-19 VACCINATION CLINICS COMING TO NORTH, EAST, SOUTH COUNTY

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 6, 2021 (San Diego's East County) - Starting, Thurs., May 6, three County COVID-19 vaccination sites in North, East and South County will start offering evening hours for San Diegans.


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COUNTY CONDUCTS FIRST LARVICIDE DROP; REMINDS PUBLIC ABOUT MOSQUITO PREVENTION

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 4, 2021 (San Diego) - With temperatures rising and summer coming, the County’s Vector Control Program is scheduled to conduct its first routine mosquito-fighting aerial larvicide drop this week on dozens of waterways to help stop mosquitoes from potentially spreading diseases like West Nile virus.


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POST-PANDEMIC LIFE FOR SENIORS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. THAT CAN BE A GOOD THING

By Simona Valanciute, President and CEO, San Diego Oasis

May 4, 2021 (San Diego) - Seniors have been hit hard by the pandemic. Highly effective COVID-19 vaccines now offer hope of a return to a more normal life, but many of our institutions might be changed forever.


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ILLINOIS HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVE CHRISTIAN WALLIS SELECTED AS NEW CEO OF THE GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT

East County News Service

May 3, 2021 (La Mesa) -- The Grossmont Healthcare District announced today that Christian Wallis of the Chicago area has been selected as the new Chief Executive Officer for the public agency supporting health related programs and services in East San Diego County.


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HHS LAUNCHES NEW REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM FOR COVID-19 VACCINE ADMINISTRATION FEES NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE

Source:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

May 3, 2021 (San Diego) - Today, the US Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is announcing a new program covering costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing. Since providers cannot bill patients for COVID-19 vaccination fees, this new program, the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF), addresses an outstanding compensation need for providers on the front lines vaccinating underinsured patients.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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ATTORNEY GENERAL BONTA ISSUES CONSUMER ALERT WARNING CALIFORNIANS ABOUT MISLEADING CLAIMS MADE BY HEALTHCARE SHARING MINISTRY PLANS

Source:  Office of the California Attorney General

Photo via Greenwaterbottle1 on Wikipedia

April 30, 2021 (Sacramento) - California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a consumer alert warning Californians about sham health insurance plans offered by some healthcare sharing ministries (HSMs). These HSMs use misinformation to mislead consumers into enrolling under the guise of offering an affordable alternative to health insurance from the Covered California marketplace. However, unlike Covered California plans, healthcare sharing ministries are not obligated to cover preexisting conditions or guarantee coverage for medical costs or services. As a result, consumers have filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office alleging that their healthcare sharing ministry plans have refused to cover treatments and pay their medical bills.


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COUNTY LIFTS MASK REQUIREMENT IN MOST OUTDOOR SETTINGS FOR FULLY VACCINATED PEOPLE

Source: County New Service

Photo: cc via Bing

April 30, 2021 (San Diego) -- Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks outdoors in public unless they’re in crowded places. This is one of many activities the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers safer for people who are fully immunized.

Masks are still necessary in crowded outdoor events, such as concerts or sporting events, as well as for indoor activities, whether you’re vaccinated or not.


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COUNTY COVID-19 CLINICS OFFERING VACCINES WITHOUT APPOINTMENTS, INCLUDING LOCATIONS IN EAST COUNTY

The number of daily shots available for people without appointments is limited at each site. You can see a complete list of locations here.

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 28, 2021 (San Diego) -- San Diegans wishing to get a COVID-19 shot can now show up at a County-hosted clinic and get vaccinated without an appointment.

COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost to anyone 16 and up who lives or works in San Diego County. People under 18 years of age need parental consent to make an appointment or must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to get vaccinated at a no-appointment site. To make sure you get a shot on a particular date and location, you can make an appointment at www.vaccinationsuperstationsd.com.


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COUNTY RESUMES USE OF JOHNSON AND JOHNSON VACCINE

Photo: An employee at the County Psychiatric Hospital gets her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in December

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 28, 2021 (San Diego) -- The County is resuming vaccinations with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after the California Department of Public Health gave the green light to do so over the weekend.


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GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT AWARDS $205,400 IN SCHOLARSHIPS TO EAST COUNTY STUDENTS

Growing demand in the healthcare field is met with local investment in training and education of frontline workers
 
April 22, 2021 (La Mesa) – As the demand for frontline workers surges, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) continues to invest in the future of East County health care students through its annual scholarships.
 
The health care and social assistance sector is estimated to have the most accelerated growth through 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, with a 3.1 percent growth per year. Several areas are experiencing hiring surges, including nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, dentistry, and physician assistance.
 
Since 1999, the district has awarded scholarship grants to East County high school and college students, worth more than $1 million in higher education tuition. This year, a total of $205,400 was awarded to 59 students working or living in East County: 44 high school students and 15 pursuing higher education.

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CONSUMER REPORTS ENDORSES BILL TO PROTECT PUBLIC FROM TOXIC PFAS “FOREVER CHEMICALS”

Consumer Reports Investigation Found PFAS Contamination Widespread in U.S. Tap Water

East County News Service

April 21, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- Consumer Reports (CR) is calling on Congress to pass legislation just introduced by Representatives Debbie Dingell and Fred Upton that aims to protect the public from the growing health threat posed by PFAS “forever chemicals.” PFAS are widely used by manufacturers to make products resistant to stains, grease, and water, and are so pervasive that 95 percent of all Americans have trace amounts of the chemicals in their blood.

The bill mirrors the PFAS Acton Act of 2019, which passed with a bipartisan vote in the House, but did not advance in the Senate before the end of the last session.


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LA MESA CITY COUNCIL SETS EFFORTS ON ACHIEVING VACCINE EQUITY BY JUNETEENTH

By Alexa Oslowski

 

Source: former Councilmember Akilah Weber’s Twitter feed

 

April 20, 2021 (La Mesa) - On April 13 La Mesa City Council passed a resolution proposed by councilmembers Jack Shu and Bill Baber to improve vaccine equity by Juneteenth, or June 19.


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COVID-19 DEATHS REACH 3 MILLION WORLDWIDE

San Diego has among highest vaccine acceptance rate in U.S., survey finds

By Miriam Raftery

April 19, 2021 (San Diego) – More than 3 million people have now died of COVID-19 worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, including over 555,000 deaths in the United States, the most of any nation. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 141 million around the world, including over 37 million U.S. cases.  


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NEARLY HALF OF ALL ADULTS COUNTYWIDE HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE COVID-19 VACCINE

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 17, 2021 (San Diego) — The County of San Diego is well on its way to meeting its goal of vaccinating at least 75% of all residents age 16 and older. Nearly half (46.6%) of those eligible have received at least one vaccine so far, and 29.2% of those 16 and up have received at least one dose. Over 2.23 million doses have been administered to date.

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'PEOPLE ARE DYING AS WE WAIT'; BID TO TIGHTEN CALIFORNIA NURSING HOME OVERSIGHT SPUTTERS

By Jocelyn Wiener, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  CC v ND

April 16, 2021 (Sacramento) - An effort to fix problems with the oversight of California’s nursing homes has stalled, sparking fears that the bill is doomed — and prompting elder care advocates to warn that even a delay jeopardizes residents’ safety.


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COUNTY PAUSES USE OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINES DUE TO RARE BLOOD CLOTTING COMPLICATION

By Miriam Raftery

Creative Commons image by NC via Bing

April 13, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County today announced that it will immediately pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution.”  

The county’s action comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Calif. Dept. of Public Health advised pausing the vaccine after six women between ages 16 and 48 developed a rare, severe type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis which can cause stroke-like illness, NPR reports.  The clots occurred one to two weeks after receiving the vaccine.

Over 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S., so the serious clotting complication appears to have occurred in approximately one in a million cases.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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DEA SAN DIEGO ANNOUNCES 20TH TAKE BACK DAY

On the heels of largest collection to-date, federal, state and local partners prepare for event April 24
 
April 10, 2021 (San Diego) – With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced its 20th Take Back Day scheduled for April 24. At its last Take Back Day in October, DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

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REP. ISSA INTRODUCES BILL TO ASSIST MEDICARE PROVIDERS DURING PANDEMIC RECOVERY; REP. LEVIN CO-SPONSORS MEASURE

East County News Service

April 9, 2021 (Washington, D.C.)  — This week, San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) introduced the Better Way for Providers to Repay Act, which will delay the Medicare Advanced and Accelerated Payment (AAP) loan program repayment start date by three months. Upon introduction, Issa said:


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VACCINE PASSPORTS IN CALIFORNIA? ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

By Barbara Feder Ostrov, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Photo:  Domingo Comin, an employee at Carefield Assisted Living in Castro Valley, holds his vaccination card. Californa health officials say they have no plans to develop a state vaccination passport. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

April 9, 2021 (San Diego) - Now that more than 7.5 million Californians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the Newsom administration has set a goal of reopening the state’s economy by June 15. So what does the state plan to do when it comes to proving that people are vaccinated?


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HHS SECRETARY XAVIER BECERRA ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRAM TO ALL COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

The number of invited community health centers grows from 950 to more than 1,400

Source:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

April 7, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra today announced that all HRSA-funded health centers and Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) will now be invited to participate in the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program. These health centers will have the opportunity to join the program as soon as they are ready, increasing the total number of health centers that have been invited to 1,470 nationwide. This expansion will be made through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


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GOVERNOR SAYS CALIFORNIA CAN FULLY REOPEN JUNE 15; SAN DIEGO ENTERS 'ORANGE' TIER

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks outside a vaccination site in San Francisco on Tuesday. Image from live feed

April 7, 2021 (San Diego) - Marking a major step in a return to normalcy, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, gatherings and recreational activities will be lifted June 15, although a statewide mask mandate will remain in place.


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DOCS STARTING TO SEE CAUSES OF COVID-RELATED HEARING LOSS

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service CA

Photo:  One study from the United Kingdom found one in ten COVID-19 patients reports changes in hearing. Hearing aids can help people improve their listening comprehension. (UnitedHealthcare Hearing)

April 5, 2021 (Sacramento) - If you've noticed some hearing loss after you've had COVID-19, you're not alone.

Experts are starting to see cases pop up, and they advise people with symptoms to ask their doctor to arrange a hearing test right away, because treatments are more effective early on.

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