For Monday, Aug. 14, WGN’s Dina Bair has new medical information, including:

New Covid vaccines are expected to roll out late next month, aimed at subvariants of the omicron form, which has been dominant since last year. 

More than 240 million Americans have gotten at least one Covid-19 shot. 

Last year, demand fell to about 50 million doses. But health experts hope people start viewing the dosage as an annual prevention, like a flu shot, which is tweaked to match the variant expected to circulate in the fall.

Hospitalizations have ticked up from low levels in June as the Eris variant of omicron spreads. 

Antibiotics could help prevent STIs

Doctors are prescribing an antibiotic to prevent certain sexually transmitted infections in gay, bisexual and transgender women. 

Doxycycline is already used to treat chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis after the person becomes infected. 

Recent research suggests that one 200-milligram dose can be effective in preventing infection if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex. 

The use of the drug comes as rates of STIs skyrocket across the US.

The CDC is expected to draft guidance for public comment in the next several weeks. 

Some health departments already have their own guidance on using antibiotics for STI prevention. The CDC would help streamline the treatment. 

Pot smoke not safer than tobacco, doctors say

An increasing number of adults believe marijuana smoke is less harmful than tobacco. That conclusion, doctors say, is simply untrue. 

In three surveys of more than 5,000 people conducted between 2017 and 2021, the number of adults who thought cannabis was somewhat or much safer rose from 25% to more than 44%.

Doctors say burning tobacco or pot releases toxins and tar that can hurt the lungs and cause cancer. 

And a study last year found higher rates of emphysema among marijuana smokers than cigarette smokers.