What Happened, What You Missed: April 25-29


Moderna Requests Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine in Children under 6

Moderna announced on Thursday that it has begun the application process for emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine in children six months to six years of age.  Moderna also released revised clinical trial data on Thursday that showed its two-shot regimen is 51% effective at preventing symptoms in children ages 6 months to under 2 years.  However, Moderna’s application process is ongoing, and the company is not expected to submit all of its clinical trial data to the FDA until the first week of May.  According to a tentative schedule by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), kids under age six maybe be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna as soon as this June.

Administration Finalizes the 2023 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on the 2023 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, which includes updates to the nondiscrimination policy for Affordable Care Act essential health benefits, standardized health plan options, and other changes.  The rule also refined prospective network adequacy reviews to focus on time and distance as well as appointment waiting times starting in plan year 2024.

New CDC Data Shows Most Americans Have Had COVID-19

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that at least 60% of adults and 75% percent of children have been infected with COVID-19.  The latest figures show a considerable jump from December 2021 data which estimated that 35% of adults at the time had contracted the virus at some point.  According to a CDC report, the higher percentage of Americans having COVID-19 over the past several months can be contributed to the more transmissible Omicron variant.  The CDC gathered the data by analyzing blood specimens.

Former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) dies at 88

On April 23, former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the longest-serving Republican senator, died in his home in Salt Lake City at age 88.  First elected to the Senate in 1977, Hatch was an ardent conservative who helped advance the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 while serving as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.  Hatch also made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 but lost to George W. Bush.  In contrast to other members of Congress who recently passed away – including Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) – Hatch will not lie in state at the US Capitol.  Instead, Hatch will lie in state at the Utah State Capitol due to the late senator’s strong connections to the state.

ICYMI: Wild Turkey Attacks People in DC Parks

If you’re visiting Washington, DC anytime soon, you may want to take extra caution when visiting Anacostia Park and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.  That’s where a wild male turkey has been aggressively attacking cyclists, runners, pedestrians, and nature enthusiasts for at least the past five months.  The National Park Service says they’re aware of the turkey and have been attempting to catch it for weeks.  Until the turkey is captured, park rangers are advising people to “appear bigger and louder” if they come across the animal.

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