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A summary of important health news from the past week.

Georgia Schools Mandate Vaccines Even as State Sues Feds

By: Associated Press

A few Georgian public universities are mandating its federal employees to receive the vaccine as the state government sued the Joe Biden administration on Friday to block the requirement. The requirement, which mandates all federal university employees including student workers to receive the vaccine by Dec. 8, wear masks, and practice social distancing, is still currently being implemented. As Attorney General Chris Carr sues the Biden administration, universities are also working with him to implement the rules of the mandate, bringing a series of mixed messages and potentially placing many federal contracts in jeopardy.

Healthcare workers quit, go on strike amid staff shortages, burnout

By: Sarah Al-Arshani

Across the country, healthcare professionals, from nurses to assisted living caregivers, are leaving work by the thousands. As of October 23rd, over 35 healthcare-related strikes nationwide have been reported, and the number threatens to grow. It is no secret that the pressure felt by the healthcare sector has mounted considerably since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many serving on the front lines, the burnout from staff shortages and innavigable working conditions has proven too much. Individual hospitals and even healthcare giants, like Kaiser Permanente, are seeing more and more of their employees walk out the door as they demand more resources, higher wages, better working conditions, and more manageable workloads. Only then will the stand-offs cease.

Supply Chain Crunch Is Causing Drug Shortages for Cancer, COVID-19, and Other Diseases

By: Jamie Reno

The global supply chain is experiencing disruptions that are causing shortages of crucial medications in the United States. Drug shortages are ongoing issues that have been going on for years. Many patients are currently forced to confront unavailable treatments for their diagnosed illnesses, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now lists more than 100 medications that are currently in short supply. Three of the top five drug shortages are the drugs used for chemotherapy, heart conditions, and antibiotics. Another medication facing shortage is tocilizumab, which is a drug used to treat both COVID-19 and cancer. This has left healthcare workers with the difficult decision of whether to allocate the limited tocilizumab supply to people with cancer or to people with COVID-19. Solving this problem requires that the government keep a list of drugs that are in shortage or at risk of shortage, and come up with a plan to encourage the manufacturing of those drugs.