COVID Vaccine

Updated Covid Vaccines Expected This Fall: As covid vaccines shift into the commercial market and out of the federal government’s distribution program this fall, the Biden administration on Thursday warned vaccine makers against price gouging and called for the shots to be ready “by the latter part of September.” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Children’s Health

inewsource: Lack Of Compliance With CA Lead Law Risks Children’s Health
Despite a California law requiring expanded lead testing for the first time at child care centers, thousands of facilities remain untested, potentially putting the health of children across the state at risk. More than 7,800 facilities — 54% of California’s child care centers — have yet to test for lead and could be out of compliance, according to an inewsource analysis of the state data, including testing results released by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. (Briseño and Niebla, 7/13)

CBS News: Nearly 1 In 10 U.S. Children Have Been Diagnosed With A Developmental Disability, CDC Reports
The share of American children who have ever been diagnosed with a developmental disability increased again in 2021, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and now more than 1 in 10 boys have had an intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder or another developmental delay. Among kids ages 3 to 17 years old, 8.56% have ever been diagnosed with any developmental disability as of 2021, according to the latest results from the agency's ongoing National Health Interview Survey. (Tin, 7/13)

AP: EPA Moves To Reduce Childhood Exposure To Lead-Based Paint Dust
Declaring that “there is no safe level of lead,” the administration estimates that the proposed rule would reduce lead exposure for approximately 250,000 to 500,000 children under the age of six each year. That’s important because health scientists have said for some time there is no safe level of lead in a child’s blood. Lead’s damage to the brain is well known: It takes points off IQ, deprives kids of problem-solving abilities, and can make it harder to learn to read. But it also affects other organs, including the liver and kidneys. (Lobet and Stobbe, 7/12)

USA Today: Racism Has 'Huge' Implications For Childhood Obesity, Study Finds
Racism contributes to childhood obesity, according to a new study that found children as young as 9 were more likely to meet the definition of obesity if they faced racism a year earlier. While the link between racism and obesity has long been assumed, this was a clear confirmation in young children, said co-author Adolfo Cuevas, an expert on racism and health at the NYU School of Global Public Health. (Weintraub, 7/11)

Mental Health

CNN: 988: One Year After Launch, Mental Health Crisis Line Still Building Awareness And Staffing
Sunday marks the first anniversary of 988’s launch, and there have been nearly 5 million calls, texts and online chat messages answered through 988 in the year since its launch, according to data released Thursday by the US Department of Health and Human Services. “That is well over a million, close to 2 million, more than what we saw in previous similar time frames,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra told CNN. “We now have to make sure that we continue to build the end of the pipeline, which means once they’ve called in, we’ve got to make sure they’re getting services as well.” (Howard and Viswanathan, 7/13)

Stat: One Year Into 988 Hotline, Staff Push For Fixes To System
One year after 988 launched as the new number for the national U.S. mental health hotline, the people behind the system say they’re still working out some kinks. In an ideal world, for example, a caller in New York looking to talk would be routed to a New York call center, so that hotline workers could direct them to the most relevant information on local resources. But right now, calls are routed to the system by area code — meaning someone based in New York, but whose phone has a Massachusetts area code, will be routed to a Massachusetts call center. (Gaffney, 7/12)

CIDRAP: More Emergency Visits For Teen Girls' Mental Health Seen During Second Year Of Pandemic
A new study in JAMA Psychiatry shows emergency department (ED) visits and stays for mental health needs soared for adolescent females in the United States in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising by 22% when compared to the year before the pandemic. In general, the authors of the study also found a significant increase (72%) in the percentage of youth in EDs with long onboarding (waiting in an ED or medical inpatient unit) times. (Soucheray, 7/12)

Women’s Health

Stat: FDA Approves First Over-The-Counter Birth Control Pill
In a highly anticipated move, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the first over-the-counter birth control pill, a decision that could transform the way contraception is delivered in the United States. For the first time, people will now be able to readily purchase birth control online and at pharmacies, convenience stores, and grocery stores without a prescription, a requirement that has been seen as a hurdle to greater access to contraception. Called the Opill, it is expected to become available in the first quarter of 2024, but the pricing has not yet been disclosed by Perrigo, the company that manufactures the pill. (Silverman, 7/13)

The Washington Post: U.N.: Black Maternal Health In Crisis Across Hemisphere, Not Just In U.S.
Black women in the Americas bear a heavier burden of maternal mortality than their peers, but according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nations, the gap between who lives and who dies is especially wide in the world’s richest nation — the United States. Of the region’s 35 countries, only four publish comparable maternal mortality data by race, according to the report, which analyzed the maternal health of women and girls of African descent in the Americas: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname and the United States. And while the United States had the lowest overall maternal mortality rate among those four nations, the report said Black women and girls were three times more likely than their U.S. peers to die while giving birth or in the six weeks afterward. (Johnson, 7/12)

Health Care Workers

Axios: California Lawmakers Consider Minimum Wage For Health Workers
Legislation that would establish the nation's first minimum wage for health care workers advanced in the California State Assembly this week over the objections of an unusual alliance of providers, hospitals and a big nurses union. The Labor and Employment Committee on Wednesday approved the bill, sending it next to the Appropriations Committee and giving it momentum headed into the August recess. (Dreher, 7/13)


Cedars-Sinai Faces Federal Civil Rights Investigation: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is being investigated over how the Los Angeles hospital treats Black women who give birth there, an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed. The investigation comes after allegations of racism emerged in the years after the death of Kira Dixon Johnson. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.