What We're Reading: Flu Shot Adherence Low; Hepatitis A Tied to Blackberries; Senators Press e-Cig Flavor Ban

Regardless of the government's removal of cost and access obstacles to flu vaccinations, adherence remains stagnant; multistate hepatitis A outbreak linked to blackberries sold in grocery store chain; President Trump's FDA nominee Stephen Hahn avoids talk on the suspended e-cig flavor ban during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Flu Vaccination Rates Stagnent Despite Removal of Barriers to Access

Multistate Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Blackberries

Trump FDA Nominee Avoids Questions on E-Cig Flavor Ban

Despite its extensive availability and being free from charge, most Americans skip the annual flu shot, as shown by the number of lack of change in dispensed vaccines over the past decade. Kaiser Health News reports that the government’s removal of cost and access obstacles has done little to increase public engagement, even though public health officials recommend that nearly all people get the flu shot. One chief reason behind the lack of flu vaccination adherence is that many perceive it does not work. Prior studies have found that vaccination effectiveness is usually 40% to 60% effective, but the CDC and other officials stress its ability to reduce complications that land people in the hospital and cause death.The hepatitis A outbreak across Nebraska, Indiana, and Wisconsin has been traced to blackberries sold in Fresh Thyme grocery stores, according to The Associated Press. Yesterday, federal authorities advocated against consumption of berries in 11 states bought between September 9 and September 30 from that grocery chain. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said that the outbreak began several weeks ago in the state, which has 6 confirmed cases, and 5 others in surrounding states.Stephen Hahn, MD, President Trump’s nominee for FDA commissioner, declined to promise moving forward with an e-cigarette flavor ban during his confirmation hearing yesterday, according to Politico. The ban, which was put on hold this week after the Trump administration cited a need for further research, was advocated against by Trump's advisors as they warned him it would cost him votes and support. Hahn declared during the hearing that “I will use science and data to guide decisions if I’m fortunate to be confirmed, and I won’t back away from that,” but in addressing the ban, he said, “I understand that the final compliance policy is under consideration, I don’t want to prejudge that,” said Hahn.

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