Tag: coronavirus

US life expectancy falls for 2nd year in a row

Despite the availability of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, so many people died in the second year of the pandemic in the U.S. that the nation's life expectancy dropped for a second year in a row last year, according to a new analysis.
a person administers a vaccine to another person

Second boosters available as BA.2 omicron variant spreads

People over 50 and immunocompromised people can receive a second booster four months after their first booster. Pfizer and Moderna boosters are available for those who received a Johnson and Johnson first dose or booster.
A woman on a bridge

Alaska’s top doctor on living with COVID in the post-restriction era

KTOO’s Claire Stremple spoke with Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink about this moment of living with COVID while many are ready to move on.
A pair of gloved hands holding a box labeled "Ivermectin"

Ivermectin does not prevent COVID-19 hospitalization, a new study says

In the large study, researchers in Brazil studied more than 1,300 patients, half of which received ivermectin and the other half a placebo.
a nurse administers a vaccine to a patient

Line One: Depolarizing vaccine conversations

Across our community, Alaskans are trying to navigate the new realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Conversations about masking, vaccines, and whether to return to work and school can trigger strong feelings and in some cases have resulted in strained friendships and divided families. These conversations mimic the political divide and frequently devolve into defensiveness, contempt, criticism, and hurt feelings. These high conflict conversations do nothing to improve public health and are tearing at the foundations of our community and the sense of unity we take pride in as Alaskans.

The more contagious BA.2 version of omicron is now the most common in the US

The CDC estimates that the BA.2 strain now accounts for more than half — 54.9% — of coronavirus infections nationwide.

Free COVID tests and treatments no longer free for uninsured, as funding runs out

Some clinics have already started to turn away people without insurance who come to get tested and can't afford to pay for it.

The FDA is expected to authorize 2nd boosters for people 50 and up

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the additional booster shots without holding a meeting of its independent vaccine advisors.
People wearing masks wait in an airport terminal

US airline CEOs call on President Biden to end the federal mask mandate on planes

The group argues that the restrictions no longer reflect the "realities of the current epidemiological environment."

Evidence grows that vaccines lower the risk of getting long COVID

Being fully vaccinated seems to substantially cut the risk of later developing the persistent symptoms that characterize long COVID.

Moderna wants the FDA to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 6

Moderna is hoping to get the green light to administer a pediatric, low-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to under 6 years of age.
A woman walking with a cooler slung over her shoulder

The goal: Vaccinate 70% of the world against COVID. Scientists are proposing a reboot.

As the world enters the pandemic's 3rd year, some ask whether the 70% vaccination goal set by WHO and the Biden administration could in fact be detrimental.

Nic Petit taps Jeff King for last-minute takeover of his Iditarod team after positive COVID test

Four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King says he took 30 minutes to think about it and then said yes.
A health care worker holding a syringe

Pfizer vaccine’s protection against COVID wanes quickly in kids ages 5-11, study says

In all cases, the vaccine proved to provide strong protection against becoming seriously ill.
Five people walking through a train station, four of them wearing masks

It’s safe to unmask in many places, says the CDC. These experts aren’t quite ready

Infectious disease specialists surveyed by NPR say they're not ditching their masks just yet.
A woman in a mask standing on a landing, seen looking down through the stairwell from the landing below

Mask and COVID-19 test requirements are dropped for Alaska State Capitol

The rules will continue to require those who test positive for the virus to isolate. 
a nurse administers a vaccine to a patient

As COVID numbers drop, state health officials continue to urge vaccination

State epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin shared data that shows COVID infections carry much greater risk for heart problems than vaccinations.
A girl flexes her muscle with bandaid

Alaska kids’ COVID vaccination rates remain low. Pediatricians say misinformation is the challenge.

“A lot of people like to consult Dr. Google,” said an Anchorage pediatrician. “That can cause a lot of problems.”
Vials of testing fluid and packages of nose swabs in boxes on a table

More contagious version of omicron spreads in US, fueling worries

The virus, known as BA.2, is a strain of the highly contagious omicron variant that appears to spread even more easily — about 30% more easily.
A bulletin board in teacher Katie McDaniel’s kindergarten classroom at Huffman Elementary School. The signs remind students to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and stay home if they’re sick.

Anchorage School District to make masking optional on Feb. 28

Superintendent Deena Bishop said the change follows a rapid drop in COVID cases in the state and the widespread availability of vaccines.