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What We’re Reading: Abortion Ballot Measures Win; SD to Expand Medicaid; Moderna Vaccine and Inflammation


Abortion rights measures on the ballot saw victories in all 5 states; South Dakota voted to expand access to Medicaid; rates of inflammatory heart conditions were increased in people with the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Abortion Access Ballot Measures Win in 5 States

Abortion access was on the ballot in 5 states on November 8, with all 5 voting in favor of maintaining access to the procedure, according to The Hill. Voters in Montana and Kentucky rejected measures to restrict access to reproductive care and California, Vermont, and Michigan enshrined abortion rights into their state constitutions. Voters in Kansas had previously rejected a ballot measure in August that would give the state legislature the ability to restrict abortion access. All ballot measures concerning access to reproductive care passed with at least 52% of voters in favor of maintaining access to abortions.

Expansion of Medicaid in South Dakota

Voters in South Dakota voted to expand the Medicaid program in the state under the Affordable Care Act, according to Politico. The program is expected to cover 40,000 people and take effect in July. South Dakota is the seventh state in the last 5 years to expand Medicaid at the ballot box. The Republican-controlled government had resisted Medicaid expansion; opponents of expansion had initially tried to make the ballot measure more difficult by raising the voter approval threshold to above 60%, but this was overwhelmingly rejected.

Moderna Vaccine Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Inflammation

A new study has found that the rate of inflammatory heart conditions were 2- to 3-fold higher in people who had received the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine compared with the Pfizer vaccine, according to CIDRAP, but researchers stressed that the events are still rare. Rates of myocarditis and pericarditis in people with the Moderna vaccine were 35.6 per million (31 cases) and 22.9 per million (28 cases) respectively, compared with the Pfizer vaccine (12.6 per million, or 28 cases, and 9.4 per million, or 21 cases respectively).

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