Iowa Senate Republicans seek to change mental health funding
Republicans in the Iowa Senate are working on legislation that would shift funding for mental health services from counties to the state. About 200 people listened in on a virtual hearing by a subcommittee Wednesday. Groups like Iowa Mental Health Advocacy want counties to continue covering some of the costs. They say when Iowa has a bad economic year, one of the first things to be cut is usually mental health funding. (KMALand)
Virtual event shared COVID-19 vaccine info with Spanish-speakers
The state’s Commission of Latino Affairs office hosted a virtual information session Wednesday about the COVID-19 vaccine for residents whose primary language is Spanish. The Facebook question-and-answer session was hosted by Dr. Alejandro Commessas Freymond and Dr. Rolando Sanchez, both Spanish-speaking physicians at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. They spoke about the COVID-19 vaccine and answered questions the public had about the shots. (The Gazette)
Iowa City NESTT center aims to address increase in students needing mental health help
NESTT Mental Health Center, which stands for Navigating Emotions and Stress Through Training, helps students work through mental health issues they may be having. They are connected to resources such as journaling and mindfulness exercises, and work on specific goals and skills to use inside and outside of the room. Since opening in January, they’ve had more than 300 contacts with students. If the student needs more help than the school can offer, it connects them with outside resources. It’s the first mental health center of it’s kind in the district. (KCRG)
After a rebuke, AstraZeneca releases new data that shows its vaccine is still highly effective.
AstraZeneca reiterated on Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine was very effective at preventing the disease, based on more recent data than was included when the company announced the interim results of its US clinical trial on Monday. The company said in a news release that its vaccine was 76% effective at preventing COVID-19. That is slightly lower than the number that the company announced earlier this week. (The New York Times)
100 days of doses: How the vaccine rollout overcame chaos to be a point of pride
One hundred days after the US started administering COVID-19 shots, it is in a somewhat surprising place: The vaccination effort is, by most accounts, going well. Many caveats apply. It’s early still, with two-thirds of adults not yet having received a single dose. The distribution has been uneven, including along racial lines. And coronavirus variants threaten to cause fresh outbreaks even as more states and counties move toward relaxing restrictions. But despite the challenges that remain, the rollout of the vaccines has gone far better than many Americans feared it would in late December, when state and local officials seemed unable to get doses off the shelves. (NBC News)
More than 40 states say they will meet or beat Biden’s May 1 deadline for vaccine eligibility for all adults.
The push to get Americans vaccinated has picked up momentum in recent days. Governors and public health officials in more than 40 states have said they will meet or beat President Biden’s goal of making every adult eligible for a vaccine by May 1, and at least 30 states plan to start universal eligibility in March or April. (The New York Times)