What We’re Reading: Organ Transplant System Overhaul; More COVID-19 Boosters; Hormonal Birth Control and Cancer

The US organ transplant system might face an overhaul in a proposal to be announced on Wednesday after years of criticism; the FDA may decide whether to approve additional COVID-19 booster vaccinations for vulnerable populations; a new study finds the same, small breast cancer risk in multiple forms of hormonal birth control.

US Seeks Revamp of Organ Transplant System

Plans to revamp the rickety US organ transplant system will be announced Wednesday, and will include a dismantlement of the monopoly power of the nonprofit that has run it for the last 37 years, reported The Washington Post. If it’s successful, the proposal would change almost everything about the expansive, multibillion dollar network, which has been criticized as inadequate, with almost 104,000 people on the waiting list for organs and 22 people dying each day waiting for transplants. The new proposal wants to spread out responsibility for some of the functions performed by its manager, the United Network for Organ Sharing, and would create a competitive environment in the transplant system.

FDA Might Clear Additional COVID-19 Boosters

The FDA may authorize a second round of the Omicron-targeted booster shots for seniors and other high-risk populations who are susceptible to severe COVID-19 infection, reported The Wall Street Journal. Some high-risk individuals have asked their providers to administer a second round of the updated booster, even though the FDA hasn’t approved that use.

Small Rise in Breast Cancer Risk Found in Analysis of Hormonal Birth Control

A study published in PLOS Medicine suggests that most delivery systems of hormonal birth control seem to have the same, slight increase in breast cancer risk no matter what form it comes in, reported STAT News. Researchers analyzed a UK primary care database to examine modern forms of hormonal birth control, containing estrogen and progestin, or just progestin, from 1996 to 2017. The risk was found to be very small, about 20% to 30%, which translates to an absolute increase of around half a percent for women under age 50 for the time they were on birth control, and the risk faded over time after they stopped using it.

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