Weekend update

Thanks to Alexandr Hovhannisyan for sharing their work on Unsplash.

Happy Juneteenth and Fathers’ Day!

Following the observance of Juneteenth tomorrow, the Senate and the House of Representatives will be in session for floor voting and Committee business this week.

The Washington Post reports “A congressional deal for billions of dollars in additional coronavirus funding appeared all but dead Thursday [June 16] after Senate Republicans accused the White House of being dishonest about the nation’s pandemic funding needs.” The FEHBlog expects we have not heard the end of this issue.

From the Omnicron and siblings front —

The Wall Street Journal reports

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that children as young as 6 months receive newly authorized Covid-19 shots, the final step to making the vaccines available.

The CDC said Saturday that the young children should receive either the two-dose series from Moderna Inc. or the three-dose series made by Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE.

As soon as Monday, children under 5 years, who haven’t been able to get vaccinated during the pandemic, could start getting inoculated.

The Journal also offers articles about what parents with younger kids should know about the new Covid vaccines and — what everybody wants to know — whether researchers can develop a Covid vaccine that “lasts.” On the latter point, “New variants have weakened the protection of the current shots, which require unpopular boosters. Scientists and the White House are exploring options for more durable protection, but success could take years.”

On a related note, Precision Vaccinations tells us

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today the number of pneumonia-related fatalities continues to outpace both COVID-19 and Influenza. * * *

In the USA, common causes of viral pneumonia are influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. A common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae.

The good news is pneumonia is a vaccine-preventable disease, and the U.S. FDA has approved two types of pneumococcal vaccines, PCV13, and PPSV23. * * *

Unfortunately, the CDC’s data shows that in 2020, the percentage of adults who received a pneumococcal vaccination was just 25.5%.

FEHB plans may want to focus on this issue given the Program’s demographics.

From the U.S. healthcare front, the American Medical Association provides background on its freshly inaugurated President, Dr. Jack Resneck, Jr., and gives an account of Dr. Resneck’s inaugural address. Good luck, Dr. Resneck.