What We’re Reading: Flu Season Warnings; Equity in Monkeypox Vaccine; Climate Change and Health Care Services

Health experts warn that all should brace for a flu season that could be worse than the past 2 years; the CDC is opening applications to a vaccine equity program that will help those who may have limited access to the monkeypox vaccine; a new report found that health care services will be greatly affected by climate change.

Flu Season Could Be Worst in 2 Years

Health experts warned that this year’s flu season could be more severe as more people are returning to their regular routines, The Hill reported. The increased mingling could spell an increased case load in individuals who have decreased immunity to the flu compared with the past 2 years. A normal flu season will see between 10% and 30% of people attain immunity, but this number had decreased in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts are looking at the flu seasons in Australia and the rest of the southern hemisphere to prepare for the upcoming flu season for higher flu hospitalizations and deaths to be avoided.

CDC Stresses Equity in Monkeypox Vaccine Program

The CDC announced that local, state, and territorial health departments can start applying for the Monkeypox Vaccine Equity Pilot Program to access the monkeypox vaccine. The program is meant for places in which there are barriers to vaccine availability, including differences in language, location of vaccination sites, vaccine hesitancy, mistrust of government, lack of access to on-line scheduling technology, accessibility/disability issues, immigration status, and stigma. There have been 50,000 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine allocated for this program. Groups with risk factors, have an increased representation in monkeypox cases, and whose barriers to vaccination could be addressed with this program will be prioritized for acceptance.

Climate Change Affecting Health Care Delivery

A report from the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives said that medical centers around the country are seeing jeopardized medical services due to fires, flooding, heat waves, and other extreme weather damaging health care facilities, reported The Associated Press. In the report, which featured 63 hospital systems’ and community health centers’ participation, a majority said that they had experience at least 1 extreme weather event in the last 5 years, with many claiming that they had experienced more than 1. These extreme weather events did not come without price, as centers said that repairs could cost between $28,000 and $22 million. The report also said that medical facilities are investing in ways to prepare for emergency weather-related events.