This week’s review will be more roundup than blog post, pointing you to new studies, analysis, and essays from the past week:
- Third Vaccine Approved – FDA issues Emergency Use Authorization for Johnson & Johnson vaccine – All of them are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death from Covid-19. As Dr. Fauci states, “I would take whatever vaccine would be available to me.”
- Employer Vaccine Mandates – Prof. Dorit Reiss interprets federal law to allow employers to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations. That said, both she and I are quoted in this piece from Pew’s Stateline advising that while employers should retain the authority to mandate, voluntary signups should be the preferred approach for most employers. From the article, “The best way to keep workplaces safe from COVID-19 and other diseases is to encourage workers to get vaccinated and make it easy for them to do so, such as by hosting vaccine clinics, said Silverman of Indiana University. He said employers should also think holistically about safety, such as by providing protective equipment.”
- Vaccine Signup Accessibility – An investigative report from Kaiser Health News found many states’ vaccine websites to be inaccessible for those with vision impairments, limiting such residents’ ability to independently register for appointments.
Health Equity & Structural Racism
- How Structural Racism Works — Racist Policies as a Root Cause of U.S. Racial Health Inequities – important new article in the New England Journal of Medicine
- COVID-19, Structural Racism, and Mental Health Inequities: Policy Implications for an Emerging Syndemic
- Telemedicine and Medical Licensure – Potential Paths for Reform
- National Conference of State Legislatures roundup of state telehealth coverage and reimbursement policies
- Kaiser Family Foundation brief: Key Issues to Watch for Justice-Involved Populations: COVID-19, Vaccines, & Medicaid
- Eviction Moratorium – a Federal judge in Texas has issued a widely-criticized decision declaring that the federal eviction moratorium violates the Commerce Clause. As one analyst wrote: “in order to affirm Barker’s opinion, an appeals court would need to conclude that all the evictions that take place in the United States do not have a substantial impact on the American housing market. Again, to describe Barker’s opinion is to refute it.” Furthermore, the judge did not impose an injunction in this case, which makes what happens next unclear.
- Late Friday night, the Supreme Court issued another unsigned “shadow docket” 6-3 decision striking down a California county’s ban on indoor religious services, even though the ban treated both secular and religious gatherings equally (only allowing facilities to operate at 20% capacity for purposes other than gatherings). The bottom line message from the Court appears to be: states should shy away from regulating religious gatherings as a possible vector for infectious disease spread, even in emergencies and even when science clearly raises concerns about the public health impact of such activities.
Worth a read
- The Hastings Center new report: Civic Learning and the Reconstruction of Common Purpose