Allison Aubrey

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People with compromised immune systems who already got two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can now get a third shot to boost their protection from COVID-19.

This week's decision by federal health agencies is welcome news to many patients and their doctors who have been calling for this for months.

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Updated July 27, 2021 at 3:09 PM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance on wearing masks Tuesday. In a reversal of its earlier position, the agency is now recommending that some fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they live in areas with significant or high spread.

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Updated August 4, 2021 at 12:50 PM ET

With the highly contagious delta variant surging ferociously, Americans are once again grappling with pandemic anxiety.

The surge has prompted a flurry of new mask mandates, vaccine mandates and other steps to try to get the coronavirus back under control.

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Imagine a sound that travels with you no matter where you go. Whether it's a ring, a whoosh or a crickets-like buzz, you can't escape it.

"Mine was like this high-pitched sonic sound," says Elizabeth Fraser, who developed tinnitus last fall. It came on suddenly at a time when many people delayed doctor visits due to the coronavirus pandemic. "It just felt like an invasion in my head, so I was really distressed," Fraser recalls.

A new study estimates that life expectancy in the U.S. decreased by nearly two years between 2018 and 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the declines were most pronounced among minority groups, including Black and Hispanic people.

In 2018, average life expectancy in the U.S. was about 79 years (78.7). It declined to about 77 years (76.9) by the end of 2020, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

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In the months after she first got sick with COVID-19 in March 2020, Jennifer Minhas developed a cluster of mysterious symptoms.

"I had profound fatigue," she says, along with brain fog, headaches and a rapid heartbeat, especially when she changed positions from lying down to standing up.

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In the early months of the vaccination campaign, Internet access was essential to the search for a vaccination appointment.

But given that more than 14 million people in the U.S. lack reliable access to high speed Internet, technology has been a barrier for some Americans.

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The CDC announced yesterday that if you are fully vaccinated, you may take off your mask in many outdoor settings. As with all mask guidance, the announcement raised plenty of questions. And NPR's Allison Aubrey is here to try to answer them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask when they're outdoors unless they're in a crowd, such as attending a live performance, sporting event or parade. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot.

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A political debate has erupted over the idea of requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry into certain settings. While politicians argue over equity and privacy concerns, some businesses and institutions are moving ahead and developing apps for people to prove their status easily and securely.

When students return to Cornell University for the fall semester, for example, they'll be required to be vaccinated with exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

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We have mixed news on coronavirus as we start the week. More than 61 million Americans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and almost 4 million people are being vaccinated every day at this point. But in more than 20 states, cases keep rising.

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