White House embraces a manage-not-contain Omicron game plan

When President Joe Biden took office last January amid a winter Covid-19 surge, he vowed an all-out federal assault aimed at vanquishing the virus. A year later, with the country facing unprecedented levels of disease once again, his administration is now hoping to fight it to a draw. Politico, Read More.

Walmart, Kroger Raise At-Home Covid Test Price as Deal With Biden Expires

Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co. are boosting the price of a popular at-home Covid-19 test after a deal with the White House to sell the kits at cost expired. The price of BinaxNOW tests at Walmart is rising to $19.88 this week from $14, the company said in an email Tuesday. Kroger said it reinstated “retail pricing” after completing the three-month commitment to President Joe Biden’s administration. The grocer now lists a price of $23.99 on its website. Each pack includes two tests. Walmart said it retained the lower price during the holidays even after the expiration of the deal with the White House. That agreement also extended to Inc., which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Bloomberg, Read More.

The FDA authorizes a Pfizer booster shot for children ages 12 to 15

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of a Pfizer-BioNTech booster in adolescents 12 to 15 years old. The agency on Monday also shortened the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose to five months from six.Finally, the FDA allowed for a third dose of vaccine in immunocompromised children 5 to 11 years of age. NPR, Read More.

Thousands could be impacted by end of Medicaid pandemic public health relief

Thousands more Mississippians were added to the Medicaid rolls since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Healthcare advocates say there are nearly 800,000 enrolled in the program. But they’re concerned people who are eligible will loss their insurance coverage when the pandemic public health relief ends, which may happen in June of next year. Dr. Erica Thompson with Magnolia Medical Foundation, speaking with advocates discusses the challenges of outreach.“Many of the recipients may have moved, lost their housing or contact information may not be the same,” Thompson said.MPB, Read More.

See how many rural hospitals in Mississippi have closed since 2005

Rural hospitals have long struggled financially and the situation is getting worse. In the mid-1940s, Congress provided funding to build hospitals in rural areas, leading to a rise in their numbers, especially in the South. By the 1980s and 1990s, those hospitals began closing, partly a result of Medicare spending.Since 2005, 181 rural hospitals have shut their doors. Magnolia State Live, Read More.

© 2016 Mississippi Health Advocacy Program