Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes The Missouri Independent. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Shipments of COVID-19 shots for kids 5-11 on the way to states after FDA gives green light

By: - October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a step that means kid-sized doses can begin shipping to health care providers across the country.  Vials of the two-shot vaccine will be headed to pediatricians’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers, so […]

What’s in — and out — of Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s sprawling social spending and climate package has been slimmed down into a still-massive $1.75 trillion plan that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the first […]

FDA panel recommends authorizing Pfizer’s vaccine for kids 5 to 11

By: - October 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal vaccine advisory panel on Tuesday recommended authorizing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a decision that means as soon as next week everyone in the U.S. over age 5 is expected to be eligible for a shot. The vote by the Food & Drug Administration panel, with 17 […]

COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11 could be ready as soon as next week

By: - October 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — The next wave of the massive COVID-19 vaccination campaign could begin as soon as next week, after federal regulators decide if elementary school students across the U.S. should begin rolling up their tiny sleeves. That multistep approval process kicks off Tuesday, when the Food & Drug Administration’s panel of vaccine experts will vote on […]

COVID-19 boosters from Moderna, J&J OK’d along with ‘mix and match’ shots

By: - October 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Tens of millions of additional Americans are now eligible to receive a booster dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines, after federal health officials gave the green light late Thursday to follow-up doses of the shots made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Anyone who received the one-shot J&J vaccine is now eligible for a second […]

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at University Hospital.

Feds OK ‘mix-and-match’ approach for COVID-19 booster shots

By: - October 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given a green light to Americans who want to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by a different company than the one that produced the initial shot they received. The announcement Wednesday on allowing “mix-and-match” shots from different manufacturers will give more flexibility to state […]

Kids age 5 to 11 next in line for COVID-19 vaccines as White House rolls out plans

By: - October 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Smaller needles. Redesigned shipments to ease the storage needs in pediatricians’ offices. And enough vials of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate the 28 million U.S. children between ages 5 and 11. Those are among the plans announced by the White House on Wednesday as federal and state officials prepare for a regulatory decision to be […]

People hold up signs that read "Protect safe, legal abortion."

How a Mississippi court case could pave the way for new abortion bans across the U.S.

By: - October 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — A six-week abortion ban in Texas enacted in September forced those seeking abortion services in the Lone Star State to look across state lines for care. But the timing couldn’t have been worse for Texans living near the state’s eastern border. The law took effect as neighboring Louisiana was reeling from the destruction […]

Misinformation abounds as U.S. House panel questions Arizona’s presidential election ‘audit’

By: - October 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — It didn’t take long for Thursday’s congressional hearing about a controversial ballot review in Arizona to demonstrate the persistent misinformation about the validity of last year’s presidential election. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, asked his colleague, Arizona Republican Andy Biggs, if he accepts the findings of the GOP-led review of ballots in Maricopa […]

Cyber Ninjas CEO refuses to testify at congressional hearing on Arizona ‘audit’

By: - October 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — When the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee holds a hearing Thursday to probe the so-called election “audit” in Arizona, the CEO of the company hired to conduct that controversial review will be absent. Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, was asked to testify but told committee officials ahead of the hearing that he […]

Congress passes bill to prevent government shutdown, Blunt only Missouri Republican in support

By: - September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congress made a last-minute dash to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, with the U.S. Senate and House approving a short-term spending bill just hours ahead of a midnight deadline. Every Democratic and independent senator and 15 Republicans supported the bill in the 65-35 vote. The GOP senators in the “aye” tally included Bill […]

‘Their tank is empty’: Public health officials combat staff burnout, low pay, harassment

By: - September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Eighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local public health departments that were already struggling with too few workers and too little money have been pushed to the brink — and for some, beyond the brink. “My staff is burnt out, overworked and underpaid,” Dr. Mysheika Roberts, health commissioner with the Columbus Public Health […]