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Do you need a second booster shot? An epidemiologist scoured the latest research and has some answers

In late March 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines for vulnerable populations in the U.S., a move that was soon after endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People ages 50 years and older and certain immunocompromised individuals who are at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization and death are eligible four months after receiving the initial booster shot.

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Congress News Top Story

Biden budget plan would levy minimum tax on billionaires, boost national security

President Joe Biden sent a new $5.8 trillion budget request to Congress on Monday that calls on lawmakers to institute a minimum tax on billionaires and boost spending on national security.  The proposal, which lawmakers will undoubtedly change, asks Congress to provide $795 billion in defense funding, a roughly 4% increase, and $915 billion for domestic and foreign aid programs, about 5% more, for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. The rest of the funding would go toward mandatory spending on programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. 

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Environment Top Story

‘I had a panic attack,’ says Forsyth County official about air pollution from Weaver Fertilizer fire

Fertilizer chemicals also stored near other low-income neighborhoods, communities of color Thirty-six hours after a catastrophic fire broke out at the Weaver Fertilizer plant, the air in this Winston-Salem neighborhood was practically unbreathable. Levels of fine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5, peaked at more than 30 times the EPA’s eight-hour average.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

Commemorating an important anniversary for reproductive freedom

National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day provides an opportunity to thank thousands of people who provide essential health care On March 10, 1993, a white supremacist anti-abortion fanatic murdered Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider, in his clinic’s parking lot. Three years later, March 10th was chosen to mark National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, a day to honor Dr. Gunn's legacy and to celebrate...

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COVID-19 Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Increased demand for COVID-19 testing swamps NC pediatricians

The medical team at Goldsboro Pediatrics sees a steady stream of patients from 8 a.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, their appointment schedules swelled by parents seeking COVID-19 tests for their children.   Slots for the walk-in hour of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. are usually filled by 8:30, said Dr. Teague Horton, a partner in the practice.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: UNC pandemic specialist says school is repeating mistakes from 2020

Veteran epidemiologist and ethicist is fearful university leaders have not learned vital lessons from last year As students return for the fall semester at UNC-Chapel Hill Wednesday, Dr. Jim Thomas is having an uneasy sense of déjà vu. “I’m very uneasy about what I’m seeing,” said Thomas, a professor emeritus in the Epidemiology department at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Or what I’m seeing again.”

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Protecting the health of North Carolinians shouldn’t be a game

Durham high school student explains why vaccine lottery could backfire in the long run North Carolina’s vaccine lottery just announced its first two winners. But while the $1 million and $125,000 prizes are going to two very lucky (and admittedly, very deserving) individuals, the lottery itself runs counter to our values as a society and a state.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: Mapping urban heat islands to blunt the health risks of climate change

How hot is it on your block? If you live in am historically Black neighborhood, it's probably hotter than in whiter, more affluent areas. As climate change leads to more extreme temperatures, communities of color are more vulnerable to the health risks of the heat.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Five simple truths to keep in mind about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines

Last summer, the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine still seemed as if it might be a fanciful idea that could be years away. Today, just six or so months later (and less than 60 days after the first vaccine received approval for emergency use from the Food and Drug Administration), not only do we have multiple vaccines being deployed, but nearly one in ten Americans has already received at least one vaccine shot.

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Radio Interviews

Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer for NCDHHS, discusses the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to best protect yourself

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

If you have questions or concerns, call the COVID-19 Helpline toll free at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”

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