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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccine Approval Moves the Needle on Covid



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The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval this week to the covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which will henceforth be known as “Comirnaty.” It is not clear how many vaccine-hesitant Americans will now be willing to get a jab, but the approval has prompted many public and private employers to implement mandates for their workers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House, back early from its summer break, overcame a brief rebellion by some Democratic moderates to pass a budget resolution that starts the process for a giant social-spending measure addressing many new health benefits.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too:


Julie Rovner: The Washington Post’s “Long-Term-Care Facilities Are Using the Pandemic as a Shield, Even in Lawsuits Unrelated to Covid-19,” by Christopher Rowland

Joanne Kenen: Politico’s “Sadness and Death: Inside the VA’s State Nursing-Home Disaster,” by Joanne Kenen, Allan James Vestal and Darius Tahir

Tami Luhby: CNN’s “My Son Was Lucky to Get a Pediatric ICU Bed When He Needed One. He Shouldn’t Have Needed Luck,” by Ben Tinker

Sarah Karlin-Smith: The New Yorker’s “Costa Ricans Live Longer Than Us. What’s the Secret?” by Atul Gawande

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And subscribe to KHN’s What the Health? on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.



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