NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, November 26th, 2021

COVID-19 Update: Young children are now vaccine-eligible, to the relief of many parents

It’s time for anoth­er install­ment of of our spe­cial series COVID-19 Update, bring­ing you the lat­est devel­op­ments on the nov­el coro­n­avirus out­break that pub­lic health author­i­ties here and across the coun­try are work­ing to mitigate.

United States

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 2nd, the CDC rec­om­mend­ed that Pfizer-BioNTech’s low­er-dose COVID vac­cine be made avail­able to chil­dren five to eleven.

(Mod­er­na has a sim­i­lar vac­cine in final testing.)

As of Novem­ber 9th, over 900,000 chil­dren had been vac­ci­nat­ed, with anoth­er 700,000 set with appoint­ments to be vac­ci­nat­ed, out of twen­ty-eight mil­lion eli­gi­ble children.

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 19th, the CDC endorsed new rules regard­ing vac­cines and boost­ers. Under the new rules, any­one 18 or old­er can choose either a Pfiz­er or Mod­er­na boost­er six months after their last dose.

(The CDC had pre­vi­ous­ly autho­rized boost­ers for all recip­i­ents of John­son & John­son’s one-dose vac­cine, two months after their pri­ma­ry dose.)

Peo­ple can mix-and-match boost­ers from any manufacturer.

Most adults were already eli­gi­ble for the boost­ers, but few­er than 18% had received one, accord­ing to CDC data.

Many pub­lic health offi­cials felt the pre­vi­ous eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments were too com­pli­cat­ed, and a hand­ful of states such as New Mex­i­co and Cal­i­for­nia were already mak­ing boost­ers avail­able under what are now the new fed­er­al rules.

As of Mon­day, Novem­ber 22nd, over 90% of all fed­er­al employ­ees will have had at least one vac­ci­na­tion shot, with around 5% request­ing exten­sions or request­ing or hav­ing been giv­en exceptions.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 23rd, the Biden Admin­is­tra­tion request­ed that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Cir­cuit, which was giv­en respon­si­bil­i­ty through a mul­ti-cir­cuit lot­tery, end a stay of its coro­n­avirus “vac­ci­na­tion or test­ing” require­ment for pri­vate busi­ness­es, the result of an ear­li­er rul­ing on Novem­ber 6th by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Cir­cuit, which heard and con­sol­i­dat­ed a num­ber of suits to halt the requirement.

The require­ment is sched­uled to take effect in Jan­u­ary 2022, but even though there is set­tled case law that allows gov­ern­men­tal inter­ven­tion in vac­ci­na­tion require­ments, it will like­ly be resolved by the Fed­er­al Supreme Court.

While over 92% of mil­i­tary per­son­nel have been vac­ci­nat­ed, with 4% hav­ing received exemp­tions, there are con­cerns regard­ing the high­er than aver­age like­ly refusal rate among the Marine Corps. That said, in recent years the mil­i­tary of the Unit­ed States has had an increas­ing issue with vac­cine hes­i­tan­cy.

Wash­ing­ton

On Thurs­day, Novem­ber 4th, two dozen city of Spokane fire­fight­ers who were pre­vi­ous­ly ter­mi­nat­ed for refus­ing to be vac­ci­nat­ed against COVID-19 were denied rein­state­ment to their jobs by a fed­er­al judge.

On Thurs­day, Novem­ber 11th, Repub­li­can State Sen­a­tor Doug Erick­sen of the 42nd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict con­firmed he had con­tract­ed COVID-19 while in El Sal­vador and appealed to his col­leagues for help obtain­ing mon­o­clon­al antibodies.

On Mon­day, Novem­ber 22nd, Insur­ance Com­mis­sion­er Mike Krei­dler extend­ed two pre­vi­ous emer­gency orders. His order requir­ing health insur­ers to waive copays and deductibles for any con­sumer requir­ing test­ing for the coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) and his order pro­tect­ing con­sumers from receiv­ing sur­prise bills for lab fees relat­ed to med­ical­ly nec­es­sary diag­nos­tic test­ing for COVID-19 are both extend­ed until Wednes­day, Decem­ber 29th.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 23rd, a dig­i­tal vac­ci­na­tion pass­port process, WA Ver­i­fy, was offi­cial­ly announced. (It had been imple­ment­ed and avail­able just over two weeks ear­li­er.) It pro­vides peo­ple who have been vac­ci­nat­ed in Wash­ing­ton state a QR code dates of vac­ci­na­tion that can be saved on mobile devices for access.

You need only input your name and date of birth, which are then run through the state’s record sys­tem. You’ll also need to cre­ate a four-dig­it PIN dur­ing the appli­ca­tion process, which you’ll need to retrieve your dig­i­tal vac­cine ver­i­fi­ca­tion. You can access your record via email or mobile phone.

(NOTE: If you cre­ate your dig­i­tal vac­ci­na­tion pass­port before you have received your boost­er, you will need to repeat the process for the new date to appear.)

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 24th, it was announced that King Coun­ty’s vac­ci­na­tion man­date, in place since Octo­ber for larg­er busi­ness­es, which are required to ver­i­fy that their cus­tomers have either been vac­ci­nat­ed against COVID-19 or who can present proof of a neg­a­tive COVID test with­in the last sev­en­ty-two hours, will be extend­ed to small restau­rant and bar own­ers as of Decem­ber 6th.

On that same day, it was announced that the lat­est in a series of COVID out­breaks at the Yaki­ma Coun­ty Jail had infect­ed over fifty pris­on­ers and staff.

Also on the same day, like­ly in response to the severe weath­er occur­ring peri­od­i­cal­ly of late with­in the Puget Sound region, Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee amend­ed vac­ci­na­tion require­ment procla­ma­tion 21–14 to address poten­tial life-threat­en­ing cir­cum­stances in 247 facil­i­ties by allow­ing use of the ser­vices of con­trac­tors whose full vac­ci­na­tion sta­tus has not been ver­i­fied in in the event that con­trac­tors with ver­i­fied vac­ci­na­tion sta­tus aren’t available.

Those cir­cum­stances are emer­gent events or con­di­tions that are unan­tic­i­pat­ed, dis­crete, tem­po­rary, and like­ly to result in death or seri­ous bod­i­ly harm if the con­trac­tors’ prompt actions are not taken.

Here is a recent update of eli­gi­bil­i­ty for vac­cines and boost­ers in Wash­ing­ton state, and here is the best site to keep track of where you and your loved ones can be test­ed if necessary.

Oregon

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 3rd, it was announced that one hun­dred and six­ty-three employ­ees at Asante Hos­pi­tal in Med­ford had resigned or been fired from their jobs, in order to be in com­pli­ance with the state vac­cine man­date that all med­ical work­ers with­in a health facil­i­ty be vac­ci­nat­ed by Mon­day, Octo­ber 18th.

On Mon­day, Novem­ber 8th, a Dou­glas Coun­ty man who near­ly lost his life from COVID-19 pub­licly urged those still unvac­ci­nat­ed to get the shot.

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 12th, the Adri­an School Dis­trict in East­ern Ore­gon was fined for fail­ing to uphold the state indoor mask man­date and relat­ed vio­la­tions. In August, their Super­in­ten­dent was fired for refus­ing to vio­late the mandate.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 23rd, the Ore­gon Health Author­i­ty lift­ed the require­ment for out­door mask wear­ing in crowd­ed set­tings, which had been imposed in August of this year amid the surge in more con­ta­gious delta vari­ant cases.

On that same day, the Ore­gon Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion announced its imple­men­ta­tion of a “test to stay” pol­i­cy, which would allow stu­dents, vac­ci­nat­ed or not, to stay in class­es and not have to be quar­an­tined at home, thanks to the avail­abil­i­ty of free COVID-19 test­ing kids at schools across the state.

On that same day, famous sad­dle­mak­er and for­mer mem­ber of the Pen­del­ton Round Up’s board of direc­tors, Randy Severe, died of COVID-19, like­ly the vic­tim of an out­break dur­ing this year’s Round Up.

If you or your loved ones need to be test­ed for COVID, here is were to check for test loca­tions with­in the state near­est where you live.

Idaho

The lead­er­ship of the Domin­ion­ist Christ Church in Moscow, Ida­ho, while rail­ing against var­i­ous COVID mit­i­ga­tion man­dates and vac­cines, has applied for and received access to loans designed to com­pen­sate busi­ness­es for the impact of coro­n­avirus restric­tions through the pandemic.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 16th, Ida­ho leg­is­la­tors passed sev­en bills regard­ing COVID-19, one of which would pro­vide worker’s com­pen­sa­tion for employ­ees who have side effects after being vac­ci­nat­ed, and anoth­er of which would pro­hib­it employ­ers from ques­tion­ing the sin­cer­i­ty of those seek­ing reli­gious exemp­tions for the vaccine.

On Mon­day, Novem­ber 22nd, Cri­sis Stan­dards of Care were deac­ti­vat­ed for all parts of Ida­ho except the north­ern Pan­han­dle area, which has over sev­en thou­sand surg­eries in lim­bo due to the num­ber of peo­ple fill­ing local hos­pi­tals on account of COVID infections.

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 23rd, Gov­er­nor Brad Lit­tle held what is like­ly to be his last pan­dem­ic-relat­ed town hall this year, urg­ing cit­i­zens to be vaccinated.

Ear­li­er that same day, the Ida­ho Supreme Court declared that jury tri­als may resume start­ing the week of Decem­ber 6th under spe­cif­ic con­di­tions over­seen by the state’s sev­en local judi­cial districts.

There isn’t, unfor­tu­nate­ly, a state-spe­cif­ic site for where test­ing for COVID-19 is avail­able. This site appears to be what is rec­om­mend­ed by the state of Idaho.

British Colum­bia

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 5th, in order to elim­i­nate inter-trans­mis­sion with humans and poten­tial fur­ther muta­tion of the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus, provin­cial health offi­cer Dr. Bon­nie Hen­ry and B.C. Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Lana Popham announced Fri­day a per­ma­nent ban on breed­ing mink, with all oper­a­tions closed by 2025.

In the after­math of dev­as­tat­ing storms over the week­end of Novem­ber 14th, the fed­er­al Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment grant­ed an exemp­tion for Cana­di­ans trav­el­ing to get gas and food in the Unit­ed States to the cur­rent law requir­ing a neg­a­tive mol­e­c­u­lar COVID-19 test for re-entry into Canada.

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 19th, provin­cial health offi­cials approved use of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s low­er-dose COVID-19 vac­cine be avail­able to chil­dren 5 to 11.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 22nd, they con­firmed that the provin­cial gov­ern­ment will begin con­tact­ing fam­i­lies to make appoint­ments next week for chil­dren reg­is­tered into a data­base to be eli­gi­ble for the vaccine.

About one in four chil­dren have been already entered into the sys­tem, and this num­ber is expect­ed to rise with the avail­abil­i­ty of the chil­dren’s vaccine.

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 24th, through a series of tweets, health author­i­ties declared that there was no truth to social media rumors that more than a dozen still­births had occurred with­in the last twen­ty-four hours among vac­ci­nat­ed preg­nant moth­ers at Lions Gate Hos­pi­tal in North Van­cou­ver, B.C.

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 17th, North­ern Health Med­ical extend­ed indef­i­nite­ly COVID-19 health orders that were due to expire on Fri­day, Novem­ber 19th. The orders restrict indoor and out­door per­son­al gath­er­ings to no more than twen­ty-five ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple over most of North­ern Health’s juris­dic­tion, with some exceptions.

Here is a focal point for test­ing pro­vid­ed by the provin­cial government.

The hard, cold numbers (plus vaccinations)

Wash­ing­ton has had 771,525 cas­es and 9,261 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the forty-fifth worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

The state has the forty-fifth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

9,842,443 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 13,841,085
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 111,192,709 (80.87%)

Ore­gon has had 387,485 cas­es and 5,116 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the forty-sixth worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

The state has the forty-sixth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

7,999,746 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 7,921,355
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 6,083,982 (76.8%)

Ida­ho has had 305,133 cas­es and 3,891 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the sev­en­teenth worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

The state has the thir­ty-fourth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

2,252,817 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 2,732,430
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 1,854,048 (67.85%)

British Colum­bia has had 216,758 cas­es and 2,316 attrib­ut­able deaths.

4,607,884 tests have been recorded.

British Colum­bia has the sixth worst infec­tion rate and the sixth worst death rate among the thir­teen Cana­di­an provinces and ter­ri­to­ries per hun­dred thou­sand pop­u­la­tion. (If it were an Amer­i­can state, it would be fifty-third and fifty-third, respec­tive­ly, out of fifty-three.)

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the province: 9,005,050
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 8,609,643 (95.61%)

That does it for this install­ment of COVID-19 Update. Stay safe and well!

Adjacent posts

  • Enjoyed what you just read? Make a donation


    Thank you for read­ing The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s jour­nal of world, nation­al, and local politics.

    Found­ed in March of 2004, The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate has been help­ing peo­ple through­out the Pacif­ic North­west and beyond make sense of cur­rent events with rig­or­ous analy­sis and thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary for more than fif­teen years. The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate is fund­ed by read­ers like you and trust­ed spon­sors. We don’t run ads or pub­lish con­tent in exchange for money.

    Help us keep The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate edi­to­ri­al­ly inde­pen­dent and freely avail­able to all by becom­ing a mem­ber of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute today. Or make a dona­tion to sus­tain our essen­tial research and advo­ca­cy journalism.

    Your con­tri­bu­tion will allow us to con­tin­ue bring­ing you fea­tures like Last Week In Con­gress, live cov­er­age of events like Net­roots Nation or the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, and reviews of books and doc­u­men­tary films.

    Become an NPI mem­ber Make a one-time donation

  • NPI’s essential research and advocacy is sponsored by: