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November 15, 2021

Around the nation: A $626M settlement for 'one of the worst public health disasters in the United States'

Daily Briefing

    A district judge approved a multimillion-dollar settlement for lawsuits filed over lead-contaminated water in Flint, Mich., in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Michigan, and Virginia.

    • California: Los Angeles County on Wednesday reported its first influenza-related death for the 2021-2022 flu season. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the middle-aged man had not received his flu shot and had more than one underlying condition. "Although most people recover from influenza without complications, this death is a reminder that influenza can be a serious illness," the public health department said. (Yee, Los Angeles Times, 11/10)
    • Michigan: District Judge Judith Levy last week approved a $626 million settlement—paid mostly by the state of Michigan—for lawsuits filed by residents of Flint, Mich., over lead-contaminated water in the area. This ruling comes after a multiyear legal battle over what has been considered one of the worst public health disasters in the United States, according to the Washington Post. The ruling stands to benefit children who were exposed to contaminated drinking water. "The settlement reached here is a remarkable achievement for many reasons, not the least of which is that it sets forth a comprehensive compensation program and timeline that is consistent for every qualifying participant," Levy said. (Suliman, Washington Post, 11/11)
    • Virginia: The Virginia Department of Health on Wednesday announced that Ted Pharmacy in Aldie, Va., was removed from federal and state Covid-19 vaccine programs because it administered the wrong dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 112 children. According to the health department, the pharmacy diluted doses of the vaccine intended for individuals ages 12 and older and administered them to an estimated 112 children ages 5-11 on Nov. 3 and 4. Pfizer-BioNTech's dose for children ages 5-11 is 10 micrograms and the dose for people 12 and over is 30 micrograms—but the dose for children 5-11 also has a different formulation than the dose for adults. As a result, the health department said the diluted doses were "potentially lower than recommended," and recommended parents of affected children to consult with their health care providers to determine the best way to get their children fully vaccinated. (Adams, Becker's Hospital Review, 11/11)

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