Officials: New COVID-19 cases shifting toward younger Mississippians; vaccines on the way

As newly reported cases of the coronavirus continue to remain at high levels, Mississippi officials said Monday that the demographics of those most affected is starting to shift toward younger people. During a news conference at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Medicine, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Clinical Affairs Alan Jones said people in their 20s and 30s are starting to make up a large part of new cases, though specific data wasn’t provided.The Clarion Ledger, Read More.

Coronavirus in Mississippi exposes ‘underbelly of poverty and inequality’

The first plague hit long before the second one struck this year. “The COVID-19 pandemic is pulling the lid off conditions that we have not addressed for generations,” said Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Credit Union, which serves low-income communities in Mississippi. “These rural and high-poverty areas are being hit harder, because they’re so much more fragile.” Data analysis by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting shows that coronavirus deaths are twice as high per capita in Mississippi’s poorest counties. The Clarion Ledger, Read More.

CMS: More than 800K signed up for ACA plans on on first week of open enrollment

The first week of 2021 open enrollment on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges saw 818,365 people sign up on The robust start to open enrollment, which began on Nov. 1, comes even during a presidential election. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which reported the numbers late Thursday, said that there were 173,344 new consumers and 645,021 who renewed their coverage for 2021. Fierce Healthcare, Read More.

20 million Americans could receive Covid-19 vaccine in December

Roughly 20 million people could be vaccinated against the coronavirus in December, the head of the Trump administration’s vaccine and drug accelerator said Friday. Americans can expect that about 25 to 30 million people could be vaccinated each month afterward, said Moncef Slaoui, co-lead of Operation Warp Speed, during a Rose Garden event with President Donald Trump and other top health officials.Politico, Read More.

Health experts want to prioritize people of color for a Covid-19 vaccine. But how should it be done?

November 9, 2020, STAT, Nicholas St. Fleur – “An equity lens has to make sure even within those categories that we’re focused on the types of workers that oftentimes are neglected and fall through the cracks in our system,” said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was a reviewer for the report. “Those workers are disproportionately low-wage workers. They’re disproportionately workers from communities of color.” Bibbins-Domingo said taking an equitable approach to that first phase would mean making sure it’s not just doctors who receive the vaccine. “It’s the health care worker, the public health aide, the home health aide who’s going to come in to take care of my mother and then go work in a nursing home and then go work somewhere else who I worry about won’t get prioritized for the vaccination and absolutely should be,” she said. The report said 27.8% of nursing home workers are Black, while among home health aides, 29.7% are Black and 17.5% are Latino. View Story.

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine is looking 90% effective

November 9, 2020, AP, Linda A. Johnson and Lauran Neergaard – Pfizer Inc. said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine may be a remarkable 90% effective, based on early and incomplete test results that nevertheless brought a big burst of optimism to a world desperate for the means to finally bring the catastrophic outbreak under control. The announcement came less than a week after an election seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s handling of the scourge, which has killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide, including almost a quarter-million in the United States alone. “We’re in a position potentially to be able to offer some hope,” Dr. Bill Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of clinical development, told The Associated Press. “We’re very encouraged.”

View Story.

State health department in ‘planing stages’ of developing medical marijuana program

November 8, 2020, USA Today, Karen Weintraub and Elizabeth Weise – 
The day President Donald Trump turns the White House over to Joe Biden, COVID-19 will remain just as big a threat to Americans. But the strategy for tackling it will change dramatically. Public health experts expect a major reset, including a renewed emphasis on science, better communication and efforts to simultaneously boost the economy and public health rather than pitting the two against each other. The shift is expected to be swift once Biden takes office.”The public will immediately notice a vast change in science messaging from the White House,” said Lawrence Gostin, director of Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. “The Biden administration will both convey pro-science messages and model the best behavior from among all White House and Cabinet staff.”  View Story.

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