States need to distribute coronavirus vaccines. But they struggled with past immunization efforts.

with Alexandra Ellerbeck

The United States — poised to embark upon its largest-ever vaccination effort — has a mediocre track record on previous vaccine campaigns.

Roughly 4 in 10 Americans were inoculated against the seasonal flu last year. The vaccination rate for the H1N1 outbreak a decade ago was half that.

Those rates, presented in a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation supporting research on health care issues, are well below the 60 percent to 70 percent threshold needed for “herd immunity” — the point at which enough of the population is immune from a virus to stop it from spreading widely. 

Experts say achieving herd immunity with the coronavirus is crucial for life in the United States to return to normal next year.

States will face big hurdles to vaccinating large swaths of residents against the coronavirus, if history is any guide.

a close up of a bottle with a blue toothbrush: (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

© Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Read More

Double Your Weight Loss Efforts in Just 15 Minutes a Day With This Healthy Habit

a tray of food on a plate: A new study finds food tracking increases weight loss and takes very little time.

© Claudia Totir – Getty Images
A new study finds food tracking increases weight loss and takes very little time.

  • Dietary monitoring, or tracking what you eat, has been proven to help people lose weight, but many shy away from it because it seems too time-consuming.
  • A 2019 study published in the journal Obesity finds that food tracking takes less than 15 minutes a day once you get the hang of it.
  • You don’t need to go overboard on detail, either: Meticulously describing your intake didn’t yield better results—but more frequent check-ins did.

If your goal is to lose weight or eat healthier overall, food tracking—keeping tabs on what you eat and when—is a proven way accomplish those objectives. One study of nearly 1,700 participants back in 2008 found that keeping a food diary can double your weight loss when you’re trying to shed some unwanted pounds.

It works,

Read More