Week in Review: October 22

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

US expected to authorize mix-and-match COVID booster shots

Federal regulators are expected to authorize the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster shots this week in an effort to provide flexibility for those seeking to maintain protection against the coronavirus. The upcoming announcement by the Food and Drug Administration is likely to come along with authorization for boosters of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots and follows the authorization of a third dose for the Pfizer vaccine for many Americans last month. The move was previewed Tuesday by a U.S. health official familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the announcement. Via AP News

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White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children Age 5-11

Children age 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician’s office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for younger children in a matter of weeks. Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to weigh the benefits of giving shots to kids, after lengthy studies meant to ensure the safety of the vaccines. Via AP News

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Facebook is reportedly changing its name

Facebook is rebranding and changing its company name as soon as next week, according to The Verge. Apparently, the social media giant will have a new name that will reflect its focus on creating a metaverse. It's also possibly connected to its unreleased social virtual reality world called Horizon Worlds. The social network itself will likely retain the Facebook branding and will be under a new parent company, along with Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus. That would be similar to what Google did in 2015 when it put its various projects and divisions, along with itself, under its parent company Alphabet. Via Yahoo! Finance

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Mayo Clinic News

The Mayo Clinic has created a tele-health pilot program that brings hospital care to the home

The Mayo Clinic has created a three year pilot tele-health program that brings acute hospital care to patients in their homes. Proponents say that the program should help patients recover faster, while reducing costs to hospitals, which in turn could lower healthcare costs overall. We learned more from Dr. Chad Nelson, Division Chair at Mayo’s Hospital of Internal Medicine. “Tele-health would be any time you have an interaction with a patient either over phone or through a virtual connection with video, remotely with a patient,” Nelson said. Via PBS Horizon

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University of Minnesota, Mayo win $19.4 million grant to study heart health disparities

The University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic have received a $19.4 million federal grant to start a new research center that will focus on racial disparities in cardiovascular health. Minnesota has some of the largest disparities in health outcomes between its majority white population and communities of color. The heart disease death rate is nearly 50% higher in Native Americans compared with whites in Minnesota, while heart disease fatalities among Black adults 35-64 are about two times the rate of whites of the same age, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Via Star Tribune

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Long COVID impacting mental and physical health

The World Health Organization defines long COVID as symptoms that last three or more months after acute infection, explains Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, medical director of Mayo Clinic’s COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program, noting, “long-haul COVID could be a new chronic infection for some folks and be a new baseline.” It is still being researched how the biochemical changes in the body can affect symptoms, and Vanichkachorn says, “The trouble with long-haul COVID is that it’s so very nebulous, and there are no specific diagnostic criteria yet.” Via La Crosse Tribune

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Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.