An advisory panel for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Wednesday that people ages 65 years and older choose higher-dose flu shots or ones that include an ingredient to boost immune response. The CDC commonly adopts the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, but in the past it has not advised older adults to get a particular flu shot. The CDC says older people are both at a higher risk for more serious illness from the flu and tend to have a lower protective immune response. The advisory committee said that while its preference is for the higher-dose shots or adjuvanted flu vaccines, if one of those options is not available, people age 65 and older should still be vaccinated with a standard flu vaccine. Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.
The United States is expanding its capacity to test for monkeypox by shipping tests to five commercial labs. The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday the effort will “dramatically expand testing capacity nationwide and make testing more convenient and accessible for patients and health care providers.” Health care providers will be able to start using the labs to test for monkeypox by early July, the agency said. As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been 142 reported monkeypox infections in the United States since the first in mid-May. More than 30 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported cases. Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters
The U.S. mission to the United Nations said Wednesday that Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield tested positive for COVID-19. Spokesperson Melissa Quartell said in a statement that Thomas-Greenfield is fully vaccinated and received a booster vaccination, and that she was “experiencing mild symptoms.” Quartell said the ambassador would be working from home in accordance with guidance from health officials. The statement also said Thomas-Greenfield encouraged all those eligible to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing a limit on the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes with an aim to make it easier for people to quit using them and to prevent young people who experiment with cigarettes from becoming addicted. The proposed limit appeared Tuesday among a number of actions the Biden administration is considering. The FDA said more than half of adults who smoke cigarettes make a serious attempt at quitting each year, but that most fail because of the addictiveness of cigarettes. “The goal of the potential rule would be to reduce youth use, addiction and death,” the agency said. “Nicotine is powerfully addictive,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement. “Making cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products minimally addictive or non-addictive would help save lives.” Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake shook Taiwan on Monday morning. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The quake struck at 9:05 a.m. at a depth of 6.8 kilometers (4.2 miles) in Hualien county, halfway down the east coast of the island, Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said. It was felt across most of the island of 24 million people including to the north in Taipei, the capital. It was also felt across the Taiwan Strait in mainland China’s Fujian province, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said.
Many people are trying to live more eco-friendly lives. But what about more eco-friendly deaths? For VOA, Svitlana Prystynska introduces us to the business of corpse composting. First, a caution: Some may find the subject matter disturbing.
Data from a European space observatory tells the history of our galaxy and may even predict its future. Plus, the full moon was as close to Earth as it will be this year, and a look back at a true space pioneer. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi brings us The Week in Space.
Phil and Kristie Graves are a U.S.couple from Maryland and parents of three biological children and an adopted girl with special needs from Armenia. Recently, they decided to adopt a six-year-old girl with special needs from Ukraine. But that was before the Russian invasion. Anush Avetisyan has the story. Videographer: Dmytri Shakhov
The first cases of Australian baby formula landed Thursday in the U.S. Yet the shortage persists, with women going to extreme measures to feed their babies, including buying breast milk from strangers on social media. Senior Washington Correspondent Carolyn Presutti reports. Camera: Saqib Ul Islam.
For the first time, NASA is looking to launch a research rocket from a commercial port not in the United States. Plus, we remember a legendary cosmonaut who died this week, and Blue Origin returns to the skies. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi brings us The Week in Space.
One of NASA’s robots on Mars chops its way through the record books. Plus, next-generation spacesuits, and a meteor shower ignites the sky over Brazil. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi brings us The Week in Space
The World Health Organization reported more than 250 attacks on health facilities and health personnel in Ukraine since it was invaded by Russian forces. One U.S. firm is helping fill the gap with mobile laboratories and clinics. For VOA, Genia Dulot has our story from Los Angeles.