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.
Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration overwhelmingly voted to recommend that it authorize Novavax's two-dose vaccine against COVID-19.
The vaccines now in use are based on the form of the virus that circulated at the beginning of the pandemic and are less effective against the omicron variant. New options are in the works.
The authorization comes in the midst of an explosion of COVID-19 cases nationwide driven by the omicron variant — a surge that has brought a spike in pediatric hospitalizations.
The agency implemented experts' advice because of a rare and sometimes fatal blood-clotting problem known as TTS. More than 16 million people in the U.S. have received a shot of the J&J vaccine.
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.
The Food and Drug Administration also gave an OK to boosters that differ from the vaccine originally used to immunize people against COVID-19. A mix-and-match approach could ease the booster rollout.
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 approval replaces the emergency use authorizations granted last December and could make it easier for employers, the military and universities to mandate vaccination.
This is the first new drug approved for Alzheimer's disease since 2003. It's the first to show significant progress against the sticky brain plaques that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.