July 27, 2021

Around the nation: Tennessee to resume vaccine outreach to adolescents after backlash

Daily Briefing

    The Tennessee Department of Health resumes its vaccine advocacy efforts to children after initially suspending them earlier this month, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arkansas, Colorado, and Tennessee.

    • Arkansas: Walmart Health's primary care provider, MC Medical LLC, has registered to do business in 37 states, suggesting the company is aiming to extend its health care services to more areas. Currently, Walmart Health operates physical medical clinics in Arkansas, Georgia, and Illinois and has plans to expand into Florida. However, according to Insider, a spokesperson said in June that the MC Medical LLC filings were related to the company's interest in expanding its telehealth operations through Walmart's acquisition of MeMD, a virtual care provider, and not physical clinics. (Jercich, Healthcare IT News, 7/23; Livingston, Insider, 7/19)
    • Colorado: USA Golf announced on Saturday that U.S. golfer Bryson DeChambeau tested positive for Covid-19 and will not compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games. "I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA," DeChambeau said. He will be replaced by Patrick Reed, a two-time USA Olympian, on the U.S. men's golfing team. According to NBC News, around 100 of the 613 athletes competing for Team USA have not been vaccinated. Currently, three other U.S. athletes besides DeChambeau, including an alternate, have tested positive for Covid-19 and will not compete at the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee has also reported 13 infections among all athletes in Tokyo for the Games so far. (Gonzalez, Axios, 7/23; Falconer, Axios, 7/25)
    • Tennessee: Lisa Piercey, Tennessee's health commissioner, said last week the state will resume its adolescent vaccine outreach programs after the Tennessee Department of Health suspended the programs earlier this month amid criticism from lawmakers about promoting Covid-19 vaccines to minors. According to Piercey, the state's vaccination efforts were not suspended, only its outreach—which was done so the agency could review its communication and marketing materials for vaccinations to ensure that "they were appropriately directed at parents." Going forward, the agency will continue recommending vaccinations for children and hold vaccination events at schools, but stop distributing social media posts that promote vaccines aimed specifically at children, Axios reports. (Axios, 7/23; Coleman, The Hill, 7/23)

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