Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

CDC: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pandemic-Related Stress

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that Hispanic adults reported a higher prevalence of symptoms of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Estimates of self-reported suicidal thoughts/ideation among Hispanic persons (22.9%) were four times those among non-Hispanic Black (Black) persons (5.2%) and White persons (5.3%) and approximately twice those of multiracial and non-Hispanic persons of other races/ethnicities (8.9%).

Extended Public Comment Period for FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues to seek public comment on the metrics that should be used to evaluate applications for Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program and how the FCC should treat applications filed during initial funding rounds.  In January, the FCC announced an additional $250 million for the program that was established in April 2020 and set a deadline of January 19 for comments.  That deadline has been lifted and the FCC will continue to accept comments at any time.

CDC National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine – February 22-24

Beginning Monday, February 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will hold a virtual event over three days to promote the most effective strategies for building confidence and increasing access to the vaccine nationwide.  Community health stakeholders including pharmacies, labor associations, faith-based organizations, and academic institutions are encouraged to attend and hear from leaders at every level of government and across sectors.

2021 Recommended Immunization Schedules Now Online

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2021 Recommended Immunization Schedules have been updated and are available online. You can view online, download PDFs to print, or find code to embed a schedule into your website. NOTE: if you currently display CDC schedules on your web page, you do not need to make any changes; the 2021 coding is automatically updated.

For Healthcare Professionals:

For Everyone, in Easy-to-Read Formats:

Why Do Women Physicians Leave Practice?

Research shows that almost 40 percent of women physicians go part-time or leave medicine altogether within six years of completing their residencies. This is of particular concern in primary care, which has a higher percentage of female physicians. How can you address this problem? This article from the American Association of Medical Colleges looks at what is behind the early exodus and what pioneering institutions are doing to address it.

Study Finds 40% of U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Could Have Been Prevented

A new study by the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era concludes that about 40 percent of the nation’s coronavirus deaths could have been prevented if the average death rate in the U.S. matched other industrialized nations. While the report faulted former President Trump’s “inept and insufficient” response to COVID-19, it said the roots of the nation’s poor health outcomes are much deeper. Read more.

Doctors and Nurses Join Forces to Stop Social Media Anti-Vaccine Efforts

Doctors and nurses trying to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines on social media are mounting coordinated campaigns to combat anti-vaccination forces prevalent on those platforms. At the same time, public health groups are mobilizing a global network of vaccine advocates to come to their aid when they are attacked online by activists, who closely monitor certain hashtags and keywords. One group, Shots Heard Round The World, has 900 vetted global physician and other volunteers who it taps to post supportive messages when vaccine advocates’ posts are targeted. Healthcare workers can report anti-vaccine activity through a link on the group’s homepage, which is monitored at all hours. The group, part of a nonprofit that is helping Kaiser Permanente and other health systems encourage COVID-19 vaccination, has shared a detailed playbook for handling anti-vaccination activists that it’s developed after years of promoting vaccines for HPV, flu and diseases. Read more.

Could Pfizer and Moderna End the Pandemic by Sharing Their Vaccine Designs?

Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna earned praise for creating highly effective COVID-19 vaccines in record time. But a post circulating on social media claims they are hurting the public by not sharing their technology with other pharmaceutical companies to help speed up vaccine manufacturing and distribution. According to the CDC, nearly 66 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines had been distributed and roughly 45 million administered by the second week in February. The post claims the COVID-19 vaccine shortage does not need to exist because Pfizer and Moderna can share their vaccine designs with “dozens” of other pharmaceutical companies that are ready to produce the vaccines and end the pandemic. However, there is much more complexity to the issue. Read more.