HEALTH

In the early weeks of Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, hospital systems in five local health districts requested, and received, tens of thousands of doses — a disproportionately larger share than pharmacies, community health clinics and even the local health departments charged with overseeing the state’s immunization plan.In Chesterfield, for...
By Jacob Ellis and Ishyan VeluppillaiHealth care and health insurance comprise one of the most significant household expenditures for American citizens.Because of its absolute importance and necessity compared to other consumer goods and services, the demand for health care services is considered to be price inelastic, meaning that...
Thirty years ago, HIV was largely considered to be a death sentence.At a time when the disease was little-understood, even within the health care community,  Virginia joined dozens of states in passing laws that criminalized “infected sexual battery” — making it a felony for someone living with HIV, syphilis...
President Joe Biden wants to supercharge the sputtering economy, vaccinate millions of Americans against COVID-19, and help people by issuing another round of stimulus checks. He and members of Congress are grappling with the best way to do that, and Republicans have offered less-expensive alternatives to the president’s $1.9...
After initially declining to provide the Mercury with data on COVID-19 vaccine wastage, the Virginia Department of Health responded to the inquiry on Tuesday morning.Spokeswoman Melissa Gordon wrote that the department did not establish a systematic way to collect reports on wastage until Jan. 29, when VDH posted a...
UPDATE: After declining on Monday to provide vaccine wastage details for this story, the Virginia Department of Health released some information on Tuesday following publication. State officials say they’re confident that no COVID-19 vaccines are going to waste in Virginia.But seven weeks into the state’s vaccine rollout, the Virginia Department...
By Megan Prior, M.D., and Arshia Qaadir, M.D.At a pediatric clinic in Northern Virginia, two sisters were having a hard time sitting still as they waited to be seen for the first time. The youngest proudly exclaimed that she was three. Their parents introduced themselves and proceeded to recount...
Thousands of employees at Virginia Commonwealth University were notified Wednesday that the system was delaying their second-dose appointments for COVID-19 vaccine — a move that would have affected VCU Health workers along with some university staff, faculty and students.Hours later, after the Mercury asked state and university leaders to...
For the last decade, Virginia has banned private plans on the state’s health insurance exchange from covering abortions in all but narrow circumstances.But in an almost entirely party-line vote on Friday, the state Senate passed a bill from Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, that would remove that prohibition in state...
Every Virginian vaccinated by early to mid-summer?Many experts say it’s no longer likely. Gov. Ralph Northam has also readjusted earlier — and more optimistic — estimates from late November, when he spoke to NPR about the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plans.“Phase three will be the general population and hopefully by,...