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What We’re Reading: Abortion Ban in Oklahoma; Vaccines and Long COVID-19; Tentative WV Opioid Settlement


The governor of Oklahoma signs the nation's most restrictive abortion ban; vaccination against COVID-19 may not prevent long COVID-19; West Virginia reaches tentative settlement with opioid manufacturers.

Oklahoma Bans Abortion From Point of Fertilization

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law a bill that bans most abortions in the state, prohibiting the practice any time after the point of fertilization and entrusting private citizens to carry it out via lawsuits, The New York Times reports. The law was passed by the state’s legislature on May 20 and marks the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. Exceptions are present for cases of rape and incest if they are reported to law enforcement or if an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. After Texas passed its controversial abortion law last year, many sought the procedure in neighboring Oklahoma and saw the state as a sort of refuge.

Vaccines May Not Protect Against Long COVID-19

New research conducted among 34,000 Americans who experienced breakthrough COVID-19 infections revealed vaccines against the disease may not prevent many symptoms of long COVID-19, The Washington Post reports. However, the vaccines did prove to have a slight protective effect in that they reduced the risk of lung and blood clot disorders, researchers found. Findings were published in Nature Medicine and authors concluded relying on vaccines as a sole mitigation strategy against COVID-19 may not optimally reduce the risk of long-term symptoms form COVID-19. The study did confirm vaccination greatly reduces the risk of death or serious COVID-19 illness.

West Virginia, Pharmaceutical Manufactureres May Settle

Attorneys in West Virginia reached a tentative $161.5 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc., AbbVie’s Allergan and their family of companies, The Associated Press reports. The announcement comes as closing arguments were set to begin in a 7-week trial over the companies’ involvement in the opioid epidemic, but the trial will be put on hold to give parties time to work out a full settlement agreement. Similar to many trials seen throughout the country, the lawsuit accused manufacturers of downplaying the addictive nature of opioids and overstating benefits. Should the deal be finalized, West Virginia would receive over $134.5 million in cash and Teva would supply the state with nearly $30 million worth of Narcan.

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