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What We’re Reading: Expanding Free COVID-19 Tests; Breakthrough Alzheimer Vaccines; Growing Support for Abortion Rights


Additional COVID-19 tests can be ordered amid rising cases and insurance challenges; therapies targeting toxic proteins in Alzheimer disease spark renewed interest; new poll indicates 55% approval for legal abortion on any grounds.

Expanding Free COVID-19 Test Program Ahead of Holiday Season

In response to the upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday travel season, the US government is reopening its at-home COVID-19 testing program, allowing households to receive 4 free tests per order, with the option for 2 orders if the household has not requested tests since the program's September reopening, according to Axios. As COVID-19 cases surge and many insurers cease coverage for tests, this initiative addresses the critical need for accessible testing. Amid challenges in delivering booster shots, the Biden administration aims to distribute over 1.6 billion free tests, with the latest round's tests valid until at least March and the FDA extending expiration dates for OTC tests.

Revival of Alzheimer Vaccines Offers Hope for Cheaper and Accessible Treatments

Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are rekindling efforts to develop Alzheimer disease vaccines as breakthrough treatments targeting toxic proteins show promise in clinical trials, according to Reuters. Renewed interest follows a 20-year hiatus since an initial attempt faced safety concerns. With ongoing trials for at least 7 vaccines, including fast-tracked candidates, experts believe these vaccines, aiming to harness the immune system against Alzheimer-related proteins, could provide a cost-effective and easy-to-administer option for the estimated 39 million people globally affected by the disease.

Survey Reveals Growing Support for Abortion Rights, Especially in Cases of Rape, Incest, and Health Risks

A recent Wall Street Journal–NORC poll highlights a significant shift in public opinion on abortion rights, with 55% of respondents supporting the idea that pregnant women should have the legal right to choose an abortion for any reason, according to The Hill. The survey, conducted by the University of Chicago, shows a notable increase in Democratic support, with 77% endorsing unrestricted access compared with 52% in 2016. While only one-third of Republicans back abortion for any reason, most respondents across party lines support access in cases of rape, incest, or when a woman's health is at risk.

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