Week in Review: October 29

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

Biden administration moves to make at-home COVID-19 tests more available

The Biden administration announced on Monday its plan to make rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests cheaper and more available through an accelerated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization process. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to commit $70 million from the American Rescue Plan to boost the number of over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 tests on the market. Via The Hill

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ERs are now swamped with seriously ill patients — but many don't even have COVID

Months of treatment delays have exacerbated chronic conditions and worsened symptoms. Doctors and nurses say the severity of illness ranges widely and includes abdominal pain, respiratory problems, blood clots, heart conditions and suicide attempts, among others. But there's nowhere to put them all. Emergency departments are ideally meant to be brief ports in a storm, with patients staying just long enough to be sent home with instructions to follow up with their primary care physician or being sufficiently stabilized to be transferred "upstairs" to inpatient units or the intensive care unit. Via NPR

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U.S. Releases Updated Vaccination, Testing Rules For Foreign Travelers

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday. Via Axios

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Mayo Clinic News

What you need to know about COVID boosters

As you sort through the maze of information (ideally in coordination with your doctor), remember that even without a booster, the vaccines available in the U.S are very effective. "People who have gotten a primary series of immunization — whatever it was — need to understand they have very high levels of protection against death, hospitalization and severe disease," says Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.alth: Mayo Clinic guide to treating and preventing back and neck pain.” “Times of stress are times of increased pain.” Via NPR

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Kids under 12 could soon get COVID-19 vaccinations — 5 key questions parents should ask

The finish line for children ages 5 to 11 to get vaccinated is likely just steps away following the Food and Drug Administration’s independent advisory committee’s stamp of approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Tuesday. Though their vote was not binding, it could help persuade the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA to give their final green light…“This is one of the best ways to protect your child and family from COVID-19,” said Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. Via Marketwatch

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Great tips to keep your kids safe this Halloween

"This year, we’re looking toward a Halloween that hopefully brings back some of the activities that kids really enjoy this time of year,” said Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases physician with Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. “That includes some activities like trick-or-treating. I think one of the big things that we’ve learned about how the COVID-19 virus is spread is that it really doesn’t spread well outdoors. And trick-or-treating is an activity that happens outdoors. We think that with some precautions, we can trick-or-treat safely this Halloween.” Via Boston Herald

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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.