Experts are worried about the rise of vaccine skepticism


Welcome to Insider Healthcare. I’m Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer, and this week in healthcare news:

  • We found out that experts largely think AstraZeneca’s vaccine is safe — despite a new side effect warning;
  • An analysis of healthcare CEO compensation found that most made more money in 2020;
  • Investors have poured $169 million into weight loss apps that some experts think are nothing new.

If you’re new to this newsletter, sign up here. Tips, comments? Email me at [email protected] or tweet @lydiaramsey125. Now, let’s get to it…

First, some personal news — I got my first vaccine dose this week! As eligibility expands across the US, I’m excited to keep cheering on everyone who’s getting a dose (or two!). 

As the mRNA started to tell my body how to mount an immune response, I read up on what Dr. Anthony Fauci told Aylin Woodward in an exclusive interview about vaccines.

  • When it comes to variants potentially evading vaccines, he said: “I don’t believe that there’s anything to panic about.”
  • Fauci still won’t frequent indoor restaurants, even while vaccinated — but he’s comfortable having people over.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran receives a dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine.THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

Oh, AstraZeneca…

It was another tough week for the vaccine from AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

European regulators said on Wednesday that they consider rare blood clots that can be fatal a side effect of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. 

Also on Wednesday, UK regulators cited the rare blood clots as a reason why people under 30 should no longer be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Germany and France are recommending that some people who got a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine switch to a different immunization for their second shots.

In the wake of the European regulators’ decision, we talked to experts to find out what they make of the rare side effect. 

Their biggest worry is around the skepticism that’s growing around the vaccine. 

Find out more>>

Getting AstraZeneca’s shot is safer than flying on a plane, experts say — the bigger problem is an ‘explosion of vaccine skepticism’

Joanna Lin Su/BI Graphics

CEOs’ big paydays

Health insurance and health systems CEOs scored major paydays in 2020, despite a tumultuous year. 

HCA’s CEO took home $83.6 million, and Cigna’s CEO made nearly $79 million.

Speaking of health insurers — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday said who it plans to work with in the first year of the direct contracting program. 

It’s a lot of familiar names, like Clover Health, Oak Street Health, and more. 

Also included is Humana, whose CEO is one of the 8 whose compensation we break down for 2020. 

See the full chart>>

How 8 top healthcare execs scored massive paydays despite the pandemic

Sellwell/Getty Images

The state of the digital weight loss industry

This week, Patricia Kelly Yeo took a closer look at the digital weight loss industry.

Investors have put millions into app-based approaches to weight loss. But experts Kelly talked to aren’t convinced it’s anything all that new. 

These apps are hoping to gain popularity at a time when the weight loss market is shrinking. 

Check it out>>

A new wave of digital weight loss companies are raking in millions in funding by relying on decades-old psychology principles, experts say

I’ll leave you with a new spot to find the pitch decks we’ve reported on over the years. 

From seed and Series A to late-stage funding, here are the presentations healthcare startups used to raise millions from top VCs. 

– Lydia

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

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