What We're Reading: Pfizer Booster Lowers Infection Risk; Biden Plan Could Reduce Uninsurance; Texas Abortion Law

Recipients of Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot had a 95.6% lower risk of infection than fully vaccinated individuals who received placebo; analysis finds Biden’s social spending and climate change bill would significantly reduce rates of uninsurance; Texas urges Supreme Court to let its abortion law stand.

Pfizer Booster Shot Drastically Lowers Risk of Infection

As reported by USA Today, findings of a large trial showed that the COVID-19 booster shot developed by Pfizer resulted a significant 95.6% lower risk of infection than fully vaccinated individuals who received placebo. Coming a day after the FDA authorized booster shots by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, the study of more than 10,000 people 16 years and older showed an incidence of infection in 5 patients in the intervention group, compared with 109 in the control group. In other vaccine-related news, the director of the CDC signed off on new recommendations for the COVID-19 booster shots yesterday, with shots potentially available as soon as today.

Analysis Finds Biden Bill Would Markedly Reduce Uninsurance Rates

According to an analysis by the Urban Institute and the Commonwealth Fund, the proposed social spending and climate change bill from the Biden administration would be associated with a significant reduction in rates of uninsurance, with 4 million to 7 million estimated to gain health coverage. As reported by the Associated Press, the expansion in health coverage would include one-third of uninsured Black Americans and reduce the number of uninsured people under age 65 from about 28 million to less than 24 million in a decade.

Texas Urges Supreme Court to Let Abortion Law Stand

Following a recent request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to block the Texas abortion law from going into effect after it was granted a temporary reinstatement, Texas responded back this week by urging the Supreme Court to uphold the law. According to POLITICO, the law allows for private citizens to sue those who perform or aid abortions that occur after a fetal heartbeat can be detected—typically at around 6 weeks of pregnancy. Additionally, Texas asked justices yesterday to not take up the challenge filed by abortion clinics until December, when the appeals court rules on whether the clinics have standing to sue.