October 27, 2021
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An FDA advisory panel voted on Tuesday to recommend emergency use authorization of a reduced dose of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. The FDA could make a decision within days, and the CDC's vaccination advisers are scheduled to meet on Nov. 2 to discuss vaccination of younger children.
Full Story: National Public Radio (10/26),  HealthDay News (10/26) 
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An ensemble forecast from the CDC predicts daily new COVID-19 case totals will continue to drop by about 20% over the next three weeks. As of Oct. 24, the US seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases had fallen by 57% since Sept. 1, and case rates are decreasing in every US region.
Full Story: The New York Times (10/26) 
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Pediatric Health Care
The fetal mortality rate after 20 weeks of gestation in the US fell 3% from 2018 to 2019 to 5.70 per 1,000 live births, representing a historic low, according to CDC's National Vital Statistics Reports. The gains occurred in weeks 20 to 27, researchers said.
Full Story: HealthDay News (10/26) 
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Palliative care consultations before the last 30 days of life and screening for distressing physical symptoms in the last 30 days of life were rated as both highly important and highly feasible for the care of children at the end of life, according to a study in JCO Oncology Practice. Researchers surveyed clinicians who care for pediatric patients with cancer, parents who lost children to cancer and patient advocates to determine the importance and feasibility of quality measures for pediatric end-of-life care.
Full Story: Clinical Advisor (10/25) 
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A study in Cancer found that long-term childhood cancer survivors had an increased risk for suicide. Data showed the suicide rate among adult survivors age 28 and older was twice as high as that of the general public, but additional research is needed to understand the underlying risk factors among older survivors.
Full Story: United Press International (10/25) 
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Trends & Technology
A quarterly report from Moody's outlines the impact of physician and nurse shortages around the country. The report predicts that factors of this kind will continue to negatively impact the financial performance of for-profit and nonprofit hospitals next year.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital CFO Report (10/25) 
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A study at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is looking at what K-12 students with medical complexities need to return to classrooms, including coronavirus-testing strategies. "What we want to learn there is really from the perspective of families. What can schools do or what might be some of the points of focus that will help support families feeling comfortable and having their child in school safely," says Dr. Ryan Woller of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at the university.
Full Story: WBAY-TV (Green Bay, Wis.) (10/24) 
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Health Policy & Regulations
Executives from Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube are scheduled to appear before a Senate subcommittee regarding consumer protection today to address issues of youth safety on the social media platforms. Chairman Richard Blumenthal, D.-Conn, said legislators hope to introduce a bill to increase children's safety online.
Full Story: Reuters (10/25),  The Associated Press (10/26) 
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A ceremonial bill signing was held Monday for a law enacted Oct. 15 in Massachusetts that will expand access to free school meals for students by mandating that schools with a majority of students from low-income households join federal free meal programs. Local food assistance nonprofit Project Bread estimates that about 10,000 students could benefit from the law.
Full Story: WBUR-FM (Boston) (10/25) 
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Two House lawmakers have introduced legislation that would extend a measure in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act allowing free or reduced-cost use of telehealth services through health savings account-eligible high-deductible health plans. The Primary and Virtual Care Affordability Act would extend the flexibility through 2023 and allow HDHPs to waive deductibles for primary care services.
Full Story: mHealth Intelligence (10/25) 
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