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A summary of important health news from the past week.

C.D.C. Proposes New Guidelines for Treating Pain, Including Opioid Use

By Jan Hoffman, New York Times

The CDC’s new guidelines on prescribing opioids for pain treatments replaces its old 2016 guidelines, which consisted of rigid regulations that caused a steep decline in prescription rates. The new 2020 recommendations provide a wide range of research and guidelines for both opioid and non-opioid alternative treatments for pain management. Rather than use a one-size-fits-all approach, the new guidelines reflect the priority of individualized healthcare. Experts say this approach may help improve physician-patient relationship that is necessary for accurate treatment and diagnosis.

New App-Based 3-D Anatomy Model May Be a Game Changer for Women’s Health

By Brian Mastroianni, Healthline

Elsevier is releasing a new, app-based, 3-D female anatomy model for medical training. Previously, most anatomy models used in medical training have default male bodies, which affects medical education, medical training, and ultimately how people are treated and diagnosed in the medical world. Elsevier’s new model has the potential to change the experiences of prospective medical doctors studying medicine, and shift the focus from solely the perspective and understanding of the male body. This new model is part of Complete Anatomy, Elsevier’s existing 3-D human anatomy platform.

Covid-19 vaccine booster effectiveness wanes after four months but still offers protection, study finds

By: Jacqueline Howard, CNN

The Covid-19 booster shot, or third shot, offers increased protection against serious illness and hospitalization from Covid-19. Scientists have found that, like immunity from the original sequence of Covid-19 shots, immunity from the booster shot wanes after four months. While it still offers increased protection, it becomes less effective as time wares on. This may provide cause for sequential Covid-19 shots in the future to continue to provide the highest level of immunity. Scientists say that having received a third Covid-19 shot is still the best protection at this time, but new data may lead to changes in vaccine protocol in the future.

In reversal, FDA puts brakes on COVID shots for kids under 5

By: Lauren Neergaard and Matthew Perrone, Associated Press, ABC News

With the increase in COVID-19 infections in young children due to the Omicron variant, the Food and Drug Administration had urged Pfizer to apply for approval of a lower-dose vaccine for children under 5. However, on Friday, the FDA determined that they would need data on a third shot’s efficacy before giving approval for this age group. Pfizer has announced that they expect this data to be available in early April, so parents anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their young children will now have to wait until then before the FDA makes a decision.

For These Doulas, Death is a Way of Life

By: Melissa Chan, Time Magazine

Most known for their advocacy work during pregnancy and childbirth, the unraveling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. has demanded an unprecedented shift in the role of doulas, one involving a stage in the lifespan that starkly contrasts birth and life: end-of-life care. With the early months of the COVID-19 crisis marked by high death tolls and isolation of the sick, many have enlisted the help of once-rare death doulas to provide support and healing to patients and loved ones alike.

Items contributed by: Sarah Du, India Stevenson, Lexi Rosmarin, Annika Urban, Zainab Molumo