What We’re Reading: TX Abortion Law Challenge Allowed; Booster Authorization Widened; Emergency Nurse Shortage

The Supreme Court will allow a challenge to Texas' controversial abortion law; the FDA broadens booster eligibility for teens; Kentucky declares an emergency over nurse shortages.

Challenge Against Texas Abortion Law Permitted

Although the law must remain in place throughout the duration, the Supreme Court announced it will permit a challenge against Texas' controversial abortion law, known as S.B.8., The New York Times reports. The law, which bans most abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy and has no exceptions for rape or incest, has stoked controversy since it was put into effect in September. Specifically, the Supreme Court will allow abortion providers in the state to sue some state officials in federal court. S.B.8. permits private individuals to sue anyone in the state who performs an abortion or aids or abets the procedure.

More Teens Eligible for COVID-19 Boosters

The FDA has endorsed providing Pfizer/BioNTech booster shots to those aged 16 and 17, USAToday reports. Hours after the FDA authorized the move, the CDC recommended these teens receive the boosters as soon as 6 months have passed following their initial shots. The third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is identical to the previous 2 in the regimen. Booster doses are already encouraged for those aged 18 and older who received any of the 3 approved vaccines. All booster doses will be free of charge to those who qualify.

Kentucky in Nurse Shortage Emergency

Kentucky has declared an emergency due to a chronic lack of nurses, according to The Associated Press. As a result, Governor Andrew Beshear took executive actions to boost enrollment in nurse training programs throughout the state. By 2024, the state is projected to need over 16,000 additional nurses to help fill gaps resulting from retirement or individuals leaving the profession. The COVID-19 pandemic also has exacerbated nursing shortages across the country, as many leave because of exhaustion or the demoralizing nature of the job, or take more lucrative positions with travelling nurse agencies.