White House Orders 6-Point Plan to Improve Vaccination Rates, Increase Testing & Incentivize Masking
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
Last week President Biden announced that his executive branch agencies are implementing a several-pronged strategy to 1) improve vaccination rates; 2) better protect folks that have already been vaccinated; 3) keep schools safer and improve chances for in-person learning; 4) increase testing and masking; and 5) improve care for the people that do get infected. I won’t go into the details of the entire plan here, but you can read the various elements on the White House website. Perhaps the most significant initiative is an upcoming OSHA regulation that will require all employers with more ..read more
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Judge to Hear Lawsuit Challenging Ducey’s Harmful Prohibition of School Mask Requirements Heard Monday
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
Judge Katherine Cooper from the Maricopa County Superior Court heard oral arguments in the lawsuit filed by a coalition of organizations including the Arizona School Boards Association, the Children’s Action Alliance, the Arizona Education Association, and the Arizona Advocacy Network filed a legal complaint in Superior Court yesterday. The suit asks the court for Injunctive Relief on the portions of the health and K-12 budget bills that prohibit school districts from implementing universal masking policies. The action rightly points out that the legislature passed, and the governor ..read more
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Dr. Gerald's Latest Epi Report: Evidence Emerging that the Delta/Ducey Wave May Be Stabilizing
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
View the Full Report Arizona continues to experience high levels of community transmission but, in a recent reversal, case rates are now modestly declining. The age distribution of transmission continues to be profoundly shifted towards infections among children <19 years of age. In-person instruction in K -12 schools and universities is continuing to generate school-associated outbreaks and contribute to community transmission. A layered approach with multiple non-pharmacologic interventions is necessary to return students safely to the classroom (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372 ..read more
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Arizona Likely Voters Give Ducey Poor/Failing Marks for his Pandemic Response, Most Disagree with his Decisions on School Masking
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
57% of Arizona likely voters agree that students, staff, and teachers should be required to wear a mask at school 59% disagree with the Governor’s decision to make it illegal for schools to require students, teachers, and staff to wear masks beginning 9/29 Nearly 62% disagree with Governor Ducey’s decision to offer more grant funding schools ONLY to schools that DON’T require masks Contact:      Will Humble, Executive Director                    willhumble@azpha.org   ..read more
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Evidence Is Emerging Suggesting that the Moderna Vaccine Provides More Robust Protection than Pfizer
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide very good protection against becoming infected with the SARS CoV2 virus and terrific protection against becoming hospitalized or dying from an infection. That said, in the last few weeks, a couple of studies have been released showing that the Moderna vaccine elicits a more robust antibody response when compared with the Pfizer vaccine. It’s still unclear whether this will be validated by future research and/or whether any differences in immunity that the vaccines elicit and/or whether if there is a difference, whether it will turn out to be clinica ..read more
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Voters Support Mask and Proof of Vaccine Requirements
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
Statewide survey shows that 57% of likely voters support mask requirements 52% would support proof of vaccine requirements for in local government, schools, or charter schools  PHOENIX (September 7, 2021) – A newly released statewide survey funded by the Arizona Public Health Association and the Arizona School Boards Association reveals that likely Arizona voters support proven strategies for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in in local government, schools, and charter school facilities.  Not only do voters support mask requirements and allowing entities to choose their own mask rul ..read more
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Ducey Allocates $60M In Federal Funds to Patch a Nursing Shortage He Largely Created
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
Last week the governor allocated $60M in federal funding to go toward contracts for a total of 750 nurses that will be available to work at qualifying hospitals for an 8 weeks period. To qualify, hospitals need to establish that they have a protocol for using a particular brand-name monoclonal antibody treatment called Rogeneron and that they offer “vaccination at discharge”. Rogeneron is a product that is under EUA for treatment of the persons at highest risk of progressing to severe COVID. That list includes older age, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The product can be useful if used e ..read more
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More Evidence that Universal K-12 Masking is Important for Keeping Kids Safe 
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
Outbreak Associated with SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant in an Elementary School | MMWR (cdc.gov) Conclusion: Vaccines are effective against the Delta variant, but transmission risk remains elevated among unvaccinated persons in schools. In addition to vaccination, strict adherence to multiple nonpharmaceutical prevention strategies, including masking, are important to ensure safe school instruction. Governor Ducey will have absolutely no interest in these new findings, as the results don't support his pre-existing belligerence toward mitigation measures in schools. _______ ..read more
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Congress Should Seize the Day and Finally Pass Popular Drug Pricing Reform 
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
It’s no secret that we’re living through a particularly heated period in American politics, and Arizona is a perfect example of the partisan divide facing the nation. In the 2020 presidential election, the Grand Canyon State was decided by a mere 10,475 votes, or 0.3 of a point, transforming political spectators across the country into Arizona election law experts and avid consumers of Maricopa County polling data. However, drug pricing reform has cut through the thick partisan atmosphere and emerged as a rare subject of agreement between Republicans and Democrats. Voters across the country ar ..read more
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Finally, A President Decides to Tackle Unreasonable Prescription Drug Prices
Public Health Today
by Will Humble
1y ago
It's no secret that prescription drug prices in the U.S. are far higher than in other countries and that the current system costs taxpayers, insurance plans and people far more than it should. A huge barrier has been language in the Medicare law that prevents HHS from directly negotiating drug prices under the Medicare Part D drug benefit program.  Achieving prescription drug pricing reform (allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices) has been out of reach for decades because the drug company lobby is so powerful that meaningful reform has been impossible. That may be changing. A few week ..read more
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