New Initiatives to Help Promote Vaccination Among Young Adults

United States health officials are asking young adults to refrain from swiping left on their COVID-19 vaccinations.

The federal government is promoting vaccination among young adults by teaming up with multiple dating applications. They have teamed up with Tinder, Bumble, Badoo, Match, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Hinge, BLK, and Chispa. All of these will create vaccination awareness for the young singles.

The collaboration will provide those who say that they’re vaccinated with free “Super Likes” and other boosts for users that are vaccinated. They will also add a vaccine awareness badge for their profile picture. The brands will also promote in-app notifications for vaccine information and where to get vaccinated.

These partnerships have started after 42% of adults ages 18 to 24 have said they are not willing to get vaccinated, said an article from CNBC.  The dating apps are supposed to help with this and promote vaccination.

Chispa and BLK have also partnered up with Dallas-based match groups to motivate people of color to get vaccinated. Both are the largest dating apps for Black and Latinx communities. There is currently a racial disparity in the Black and Latinx community about education and access to the vaccine. These dating brands are also supposed to help with that.

Black and Hispanic people are getting the vaccine at lower rates than white people, as reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. These partnerships will allow people to get educated and even convinced of getting the vaccine.

“As a technology company whose mission is building meaningful connections, we’re proud to use our strength in numbers in the Black and Latinx communities to increase vaccinations by teaming up with the White House,” said Hesam Hosseini, CEO of Match and Match Affinity.

After a slowdown in vaccinations, they are expected to rise. President Biden’s administration wants to have 70% of the United States adult population to be vaccinated by July 4th.  

Texas begins screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy in newborns

The Texas Department of State Health Services has added testing for spinal muscular atrophy in every baby born in Texas. This condition affects the cells in the spinal cord that make muscles in the body work.

This condition is normal, as 1 in 10,000 babies are affected by it. This new test can detect 95% of all cases before symptoms occur. The condition affects the muscles, they get weaker throughout time and activities like walking, crawling, sitting, and making head movements more difficult for the baby.

“Screening all Texas babies for spinal muscular atrophy will help identify more than 40 cases a year,” said DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt. “Early detection will enable people with SMA to get life-changing treatment before symptoms develop,” Hellerstedt said.

SMA can lead to early death if is not detected early as it also affects the muscles used for breathing and swallowing. The tests will allow newborns diagnose with this condition to live longer, The Texas Newborn Screening Laboratory tests almost 800.000 newborns each year and allows testing for 55 different disorders in newborns.

Abbott announces additional food benefits

The Texas Health and Human Services Commerce and Governor Abbott have announced that there will be a temporary increase in food. Benefits for those families that participate in it. These additional food benefits only cover the purchase of fruits and vegetables

“This increase in benefits will help Texans who participate in WIC provide more fruits and vegetables for their families this summer,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank Food and Nutrition Service and HHSC for their continued partnership to ensure Texas children and their families have access to nutritious, healthy food, said Abbott.

This act, called the American Rescue Plan Act, was signed into law in March 2021 and it allows Texas WIC to provide foods with nutritional value. The act will provide $35 for vegetables and fruits per adult and child. This way Texans can eat healthier foods.

These benefits will only be from June 2021 through September 2021. Benefits should start this June. The WIC allows for almost 700,000 women and children in Texas to get help every month.

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