Overnight Health Care — Presented by EMAA — CDC sets panel meeting for remaining boosters, Pfizer vaccine for kids

Overnight Health Care — Presented by EMAA — CDC sets panel meeting for remaining boosters, Pfizer vaccine for kids
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Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care, where we’re following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

If you have a spare $1.5 million, Sotheby’s is auctioning off a pair of Michael Jordan game shoes from 1984. 

The CDC has scheduled its advisory panel meeting for later this month to discuss whether to back additional shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients. It will also gather to deliberate about vaccines for 5 to 11 year olds in early November.

For The Hill, we’re Peter Sullivan (psullivan@thehill.com), Nathaniel Weixel (nweixel@thehill.com) and Justine Coleman (jcoleman@thehill.com). Write to us with tips and feedback, and follow us on Twitter: @PeterSullivan4, @NateWeixel and @JustineColeman8.

Let’s get started.

CDC sets panel meetings for J&J, Moderna boosters, child vaccines 

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel will meet Oct. 20 and 21 to discuss COVID-19 vaccine boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, respectively.

The meeting announcements suggest the CDC anticipates the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will have authorized the booster shots by that point, following separate FDA advisory panel meetings next Thursday and Friday.

The panel will also discuss the available data on using a booster of a different vaccine than the one used for a person's primary series.   

Additionally, the CDC panel will meet Nov. 2 and 3 to discuss pediatric COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5 to 11.

FDA's panel is meeting Oct. 26 to vote on authorization for Pfizer's vaccine, and it is anticipated that the FDA will grant authorization shortly afterwards.

Once CDC accepts the panel's recommendation, the long-awaited pediatric vaccines could start being administered within days.

Read more here



After 20+ years of use, evidence shows medication abortion care is safe and effective. It’s time for the FDA to follow the science and lift outdated restrictions on medication abortion.


Is COVID-19 to blame for Biden’s lagging poll numbers?  

<span class=President BidenJoe BidenDearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds: report Coronavirus variant raises fresh concerns for economy MORE walks to Marine One prior to departure from the South Lawn of the White House on September 20, 2021, as he travels to New York for the United Nations General Assembly." width="645" height="363" data-delta="3" />

The White House linked Biden’s poll numbers to the pandemic

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table US, Iran return to same negotiating table Federal workers who don't meet vaccine mandate won't face discipline until January MORE on Friday attributed a series of tough poll results for President Biden to the nation's inability to fully overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

"I would say that this is a really tough time in our country," Psaki said when asked about the string of surveys showing Biden's approval dropping, particularly among independent voters.

"We’re still battling COVID, and a lot of people thought we’d be through it, including us," she continued. "And because of the rise of the delta variant, because of the fact that even though it was a vaccine approved under a Republican administration, even though we now have full FDA approval, and even though it’s widely available across the country, we still have … 20 percent of the country who have decided not to get vaccinated.”

"No question that’s having an impact. And of course as the president has said, the buck stops with him," Psaki said. "That’s far and away the biggest issue in the minds of the American people, and it's impacting a lot of issues."

A RealClearPolitics average of polls puts Biden's approval rating at 43 percent, down from 51 percent in early August.

Psaki reasoned the lingering threat of the virus has had a ripple effect on the economy, the labor market and supply chains that have further dampened Americans' outlooks.

She said the White House is focused on the big picture of getting life back to something akin to pre-pandemic normal as opposed to each individual poll result. 

Read more here


A World Health Organization (WHO) report released Friday morning says that the globe is falling short on its mental health investment goals, calling the lack of progress a “worldwide failure.”

The WHO’s Mental Health Atlas, released Friday, concluded that while mental health has received more attention in the past few years, data from 171 countries show the quality of services has not kept up with growing needs. 

“It is extremely concerning that, despite the evident and increasing need for mental health services, which has become even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, good intentions are not being met with investment,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. 

“We must heed and act on this wake-up call and dramatically accelerate the scale-up of investment in mental health, because there is no health without mental health,” he added.

Although WHO in 2019 extended its mental health action plan until 2030, countries didn't reach several of the initial targets for last year.

The report, released every three years, found that 51 percent of WHO’s 194 members had a mental health policy or plan aligned with international regional human rights agreements last year, far below the 80 percent goal. 

Read more here


A new case of Ebola has been discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an internal report from the national biomedical laboratory said on Friday, Reuters reported.

The positive case came from the city of Beni, which has one of the worst-hit areas from the Ebola outbreak from 2018 to 2020, the lab INRB said in the report.

The case was discovered in a two-year-old child. Three of the child's neighbors showed symptoms of Ebola a month ago and died. However, the report said none of the neighbors tested positive for Ebola, according to Reuters. 

The report of the outbreak comes five months after an outbreak in May that infected 12 people and killed six. 

The country has experienced 11 outbreaks of the disease since it first appeared in 1976.

It will take 42 days of no new cases in this latest outbreak to declare the flare-up over.

Read more here



After 20+ years of use, evidence shows medication abortion care is safe and effective. It’s time for the FDA to follow the science and lift outdated restrictions on medication abortion.


Texas asks panel to reinstate abortion ban

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) on Friday asked a federal appeals court to suspend an order blocking the state's six-week abortion ban while the ruling is appealed.

Paxton asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay of the ruling from Judge Robert Pitman, which earlier this week prevented Texas from enacting the nation's strictest abortion ban.

The move was expected, and comes after Pitman failed to grant Paxton's request for a stay in the event he ruled against the state. The appeal asks the court to grant an emergency stay by 

Tuesday morning and to temporarily suspend Pitman’s injunction “as soon as possible.”

The request adds to the legal uncertainty facing abortion providers. Some doctors decided to begin restoring access to the procedure for everyone, while others have been waiting. The Texas law allows enforcement actions to be brought for abortions conducted while a court order blocking the law is in effect, if the court order is later reversed by a higher court.  

While six week abortion bans have been overturned in court before, the Texas law is unique,and was written to make individuals in charge of enforcement, rather than the state. 

In that sense, Paxton said the state was an improper plaintiff and couldn't be sued, because private citizens were taking action to enforce the law, not state officials. 

"Texas has no legal relationship with the private individuals who may make use of S.B. 8’s  private cause of action," Paxton wrote. The court cannot "hold Texas responsible for the filings  of private citizens that Texas is powerless to prevent."

Read more here.



  • Anger in U.S. Customs and Border Protection as Biden administration’s vaccine mandate looms (Washington Post)
  • Organ centers to transplant patients: Get a Covid shot or move down on waitlist (Kaiser Health News)
  • Nine pandemic words that almost no one gets right (The Atlantic)
  • Boosters, employer mandates drive increase in US vaccines (The Associated Press)




That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. See you Monday.