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GOP lawmakers, again, convene a COVID hearing chock full of misinformation

BY: - October 20, 2023

For the second time in five months, Republican state lawmakers listened intently and offered no pushback during a day-long special hearing at the Arizona Senate billed as examining the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that was instead rife with conspiracy theories, misinformation and fear-mongering around vaccines and public health. In May, the Novel Coronavirus […]

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With move from pandemic to endemic, AZ changes how it reports COVID data

BY: - October 5, 2023

The Arizona Department of Health Services has updated its COVID-19 dashboard to remove some data and changed up its reporting on the virus to fall more in line with how the agency handles reporting other respiratory illnesses.  More than three years ago, as the state and the nation were in the early stages of the […]

Former COVID-19 czar: The virus ‘new normal’ points to larger public health mission

BY: - September 29, 2023

With COVID-19 still a public health reality but no longer considered a public health emergency, it’s time for policymakers, health care systems and the public to think more broadly about public health, a former White House COVID-19 czar said Thursday. There is a new normal, said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the school of public […]

Food and Drug Administration approves COVID boosters for upcoming season

BY: - September 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the latest round of COVID-19 boosters, as public health officials brace for another cold and flu season. An advisory panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scheduled to vote on recommendations Tuesday, the final step in the process before people will […]

Horne cancels $70 million in COVID-19 funding to set up tutoring program

BY: - September 6, 2023

State schools chief Tom Horne is canceling millions of dollars in contracts funded by COVID-19 aid that his Democratic predecessor awarded to Arizona education programs in order to funnel the money into a new tutoring program for struggling students. But the tutoring will help only about 10% of the students who are falling behind academically. […]

Updated COVID-19 vaccines expected to be available in September, federal officials say

BY: - August 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is gearing up for a fall vaccination campaign that not only includes updated COVID-19 boosters, but the annual flu shot and the newly approved RSV vaccine. “We’re going to be encouraging Americans to get their COVID-19 vaccine in addition to their annual flu shot, as well as the immunizations for […]

Next generation of COVID-19 vaccines and therapies gets a $1.4 billion boost

BY: - August 22, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Tuesday announced a $1.4 billion investment in developing the so-called next generation of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell made the announcement, saying the funding is part of the $5 billion program they hope will […]

Senate COVID hearing light on facts, heavy on misinformation

BY: - May 26, 2023

A two-day special hearing at the Arizona Senate aimed at examining the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was rife with conspiracy theories, misinformation and fear-mongering around vaccines and public health — all endorsed by the Republican state legislators who sat and listened intently and offered no pushback.  The Novel Coronavirus Southwestern Intergovernmental Committee featured […]

The COVID vaccine deniers and QAnon believers coming to speak at the Arizona legislature

BY: - May 23, 2023

A special committee created by the Arizona legislature to examine the state’s response to COVID-19 will feature a litany of speakers who have spread disinformation about the pandemic, vaccines, spoken at QAnon events and have conspiratorial beliefs about the virus, including believing it will usher in the “mark of the beast.”  And the two-day hearing […]

Hobbs vetoes bills punishing businesses for denying vaccine exemptions, public camping

BY: - March 30, 2023

Gov. Katie Hobbs on Thursday vetoed Republican-backed bills that would have fined businesses that didn’t grant their employees religious exemptions from vaccines and made it illegal for the unhoused to camp in public spaces. The vaccine exemption would have required all companies in Arizona to allow employees — including those who work in health care […]

AZ Republicans hope to expand religious exemption protections

BY: - March 24, 2023

Businesses in Arizona would be fined if they deny their employees religious exemptions for the flu vaccine and any vaccine with emergency authorization under a GOP proposal on its way to the governor’s desk.  State law already allows employees to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine based on religious beliefs. But Senate Bill 1250, sponsored by a […]

Moderna plan to hike COVID vaccine price to $130 a dose rebuked at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - March 22, 2023

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Moderna on Wednesday defended the company’s decision to drastically increase the price of its COVID-19 vaccine later this year, arguing that an expected drop in demand, changes to its distribution process and the overall benefit of the vaccine warrant the higher cost.  That decision was met with bipartisan condemnation from […]