Health News Roundup

As Omicron surges, effort to vaccinate young children stalls, and more in this week’s roundup

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As Omicron surges, effort to vaccinate young children stalls
Rachana Pradhan and Hanna Recht, Kaiser Health News, Jan. 14
Despite efforts to vaccinate children between the ages 5 to 11, vaccination rates vary substantially both across the country and by county. Causes of the slow inoculation rates include staffing shortages among pediatric offices, challenges with school-based clinics, and misinformation among parents.

Medicaid pays millions for patient transportation. Sometimes the ride never comes 
Rebecca Grapevine and Andy Miller, Georgia Health News/Kaiser Health News, Jan. 12
State Medicaid programs pay millions to transportation companies that are supposed to provide free rides to and from medical care. However, some drivers don’t show. Some patients have even been injured during rides because wheelchairs were not properly secured. Advocates say that in many cases problems aren’t reported or complaints are ignored.

Grant supports doulas in CT pushing for state policy changes
Emily Scott, Public News Services, Jan. 13
To combat racial disparities in maternal health, a coalition of doulas will focus on educating legislators about policies to ensure equitable access to doula care. A grant from CT Health will support the doula coalition in ensuring that the voices of doulas are included in policy discussions affecting their workforce services.

CVS Health to offer free rides to eligible Hartford area residents for doctor visits and workforce training programs
Kenneth R. Gosselin, The Hartford Courant, Jan. 19
CVS has partnered with Uber Health, Uber’s health care division, to provide free rides to clients of the Chrysalis Center in Hartford. The pilot program will launch on February 1, and nearly 1,500 residents could be eligible. The initiative is a part of a “Health Zones” initiative that targets areas that affect health including transportation, housing, education, nutrition, and health care.

Opinion: Declaring racism a public health crisis: A symbol that’s more than symbolic
Mary Lihong Peng, CT Viewpoints, Jan. 18
The declaration of racism as a public health crisis provides clear implications for equity-oriented public health reforms. However, in order to be effective, Connecticut must thoroughly implement the actions laid out in the legislation passed last year.