Health Highlights: Oct. 5, 2021

Dr. Francis Collins announces retirement as head of NIH. The 71-year-old ushered in such milestones as the mapping of the human genome and is the longest-serving director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Read more

Study finds Pfizer vaccine prevents severe COVID over 6 months. A major study of 3.4 million American recipients of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine finds it remains 90% effective in preventing severe COVID at least 6 months after administration. Read more

Two meds may beat one for tough-to-control blood pressure. If the blood pressure drug you’re already on isn’t doing the trick, should your doctor up the dose or prescribe a second medicine? A new study might help settle that question. Read more

Minorities hit hardest by fatal COVID cases. Looking at 2020 data, a new analysis finds that Black, Hispanic and Native Americans had double the amount of tragic losses of life from COVID-19 compared to white Americans. Read more

Johnson & Johnson asks FDA for approval of Its COVID vaccine booster. There’s been some worrying data that the 15 million Americans who got the one-dose J & J COVID vaccine may have waning immunity, especially as the Delta vaccine rages. On Tuesday, the company formally applied for approval of a booster shot to help bolster immunity. Read more