Screening for colorectal cancer is an urgent priority for Americans aged 45 and older; low COVID-19 vaccine uptake was observed among US children aged 5 to 11 years in the first weeks of eligibility; WHO warns of increased alcohol consumption risk due to the pandemic.
As the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, screening for colorectal cancer was reported by ABC News as an urgent priority for Americans, particularly those aged 45 and older. Marking colorectal cancer awareness month, about a quarter of people aged 50 to 75 years have never been screened for the cancer type despite routine screening recommendations beginning at age 45 from the US Preventive Services Task Force. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 52,000 Americans are expected to die from colorectal cancer this year, with notable risk factors including family history of colon cancer, smoking, and obesity.
Findings of the CDC's latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) indicated that COVID-19 vaccine uptake was low among young US children aged 5 to 11 years in the first 11 weeks of vaccine eligibility, especially in high social vulnerability (SVI) areas. CIDRAP reported that rates of children who received their first dose at 4 weeks after launch, 11 weeks after launch, and completed their vaccination series were significantly lower among those who lived in high vs low SVI areas. Authors recommended strategies such as education, culturally and linguistically relevant outreach, and engagement of trusted providers as potential ways to improve vaccination coverage in these high SVI communities.
Despite a fall in alcohol consumption observed among European countries in the first year of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the decline could reverse in the near future amid the economic fallout of COVID-19. Reuters reports that the overall drop in drinking rates in 2020 shown in the WHO’s European Health Report was less significant in people with low or average incomes and those experiencing distress, as well as individuals who lost their jobs or had financial hardships. WHO urged countries to prioritize the health sector, particularly mental health to curb the risk of alcohol consumption.