Scott Hensley edits stories about health, biomedical research and pharmaceuticals for NPR's Science desk. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has led the desk's reporting on the development of vaccines against the coronavirus.
Hensley has worked on award-winning investigations in collaboration with journalistic partners.
He was the lead NPR editor on an investigation with the Center for Public Integrity in 2018 that exposed drug industry influence on the choices of preferred medicines by Medicaid programs. The work won the 2019 Gerald Loeb Award for audio reporting.
In 2017, Hensley was the lead NPR editor on an investigation with Kaiser Health News that showed how the pharmaceutical industry exploits government incentives intended to encourage the development of treatments for rare diseases. The stories won the 2019 digital award from the National Institute for Health Care Management.
Hensley has been editing in his current role since 2019. He joined NPR in 2009 to launch Shots, a blog that expanded to become a digital destination for NPR health coverage.
Before NPR, Hensley was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal. He was the founding editor of The Wall Street Journal Health Blog, which focused on the intersection of health and business. As a reporter, he covered the drug industry and the Human Genome Project.
Hensley served on the board of the Association of Health Care Journalists from 2012 to 2020.
He has a bachelor's degree in natural sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University.
Before becoming a journalist, Hensley worked in the medical device industry. He remains, now and forever, a lover of Dobermans, lacrosse and Callinectes sapidus.
A committee of experts voted unanimously to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration authorize COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech for children as young as 6-months-old.
"We believe additional information regarding the ongoing evaluation of a third dose should be considered as part of our decision-making for potential authorization," FDA officials said in a statement.
The medicine, called molnupiravir, is taken twice a day for five days and works by preventing the virus from replicating. Merck says it will have 10 million packs available by the end of the month.
The new at-home COVID treatment is currently available in limited quantities to states and territories. Some states will get as few as 120 courses of treatment at first.
The research finds that the medicine, called Paxlovid, was effective in preventing hospitalization and death when taken by people with mild to moderate illness within a few days of symptoms.
A panel of vaccine advisors voted unanimously to expand authorization of boosters for anyone 18 and older. Just hours later CDC director Rochelle Walensky endorsed the recommendation.
Moderna says a study in kids 6 to 11 found two doses of the company's COVID-19 vaccine given 28 days apart produced a strong antibody response.
The companies studied a 10 microgram vaccine dose in children 5 to 11, a third of the dose used for adults, to minimize side effects and because it still prompts a strong immune response.
A panel of experts voted to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration authorize a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine at least two months after the first shot.
The recommendation applies to people 65 years and older, those 18 to 64 who are at high risk of severe COVID and those whose work or institutional exposure puts them at high COVID risk.