What We're Reading: Supreme Court Vaccine Mandate Hearings; Rise in Pediatric COVID-19 Hospitalizations; Exercise and Dementia Risk

President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for large businesses was met with skepticism from the conservative-majority Supreme Court; COVID-19 hospitalization rates are rising for young children not yet eligible for vaccination; exercise is shown to lower risk of dementia even in those already presenting with symptoms.

Supreme Court Skeptical of Biden COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

According to POLITICO, the COVID-19 vaccine mandate proposed by the Biden administration for large businesses was met with skepticism during the Supreme Court hearing last Friday in which the conservative-majority court sounded likely to block the rule for workers not in the health care field. With COVID-19 infection rates soaring to approximately 700,000 per day, the court’s 3 liberal justices were seemingly against the move to halt the requirements amid the Omicron surge and advocated for the federal government to have authority in regulating the danger of the virus posed in the workplace.

Pediatric COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rising

Hospitalization rates in young children who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 were approaching their highest levels so far during the pandemic, noted CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD. CDC data on hospitalization rates in the week ending January 1 was shown to be 4.3 per 100,000 children 4 years old and younger, compared with 1.1 in vaccine-eligible children aged 5 to 17 years, reported USA Today. As the Winter season is typically met with rising pediatric hospitalizations due to other respiratory diseases, Walensky said the agency is investigating whether admissions are related specific to COVID-19 or for other reasons where patients then test positive for the virus.

Study Shows Impact of Exercise on Lowering Dementia Risk

CNN reported that a recent study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia found that exercise boosts levels of a protective protein that may lower the risk of dementia in older adults aged 70 to 80 years old. Strengthening communication between brain cells via synapses, the protective effects provided by exercise were shown even in adults who presented with signs of plaques, tangles, and other hallmarks of Alzheimer disease and other cognitive conditions. Authors recommended for people to adhere to 150 minutes per week of physical activity to reduce risk of cognitive decline.