Features commentary by WWU Associate Professor of Finance & Marketing Nicholas Wonder.
Kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to study details released Friday as the U.S. considers opening vaccinations to that age group.
The shots could begin in early November, with the first children in line fully protected by Christmas, if regulators give the go-ahead. That would represent a major expansion of the nation’s vaccine drive, encompassing roughly 28 million elementary school-age youngsters.
Whatcom County had 70 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported by the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard on Thursday, Oct. 21. The new cases bring the county’s pandemic total to 14,706 confirmed cases. An additional 1,205 probable cases — resulting from a positive antigen test not confirmed by a molecular test — were reported Thursday, which was an increase of six from the previous report.
Influential government advisers are deciding Thursday how best to expand the nation’s COVID-19 booster campaign, including whether and when it’s OK to “mix and match” brands for the extra dose.
The advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are slated to discuss who should get extra doses of the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines — and the bigger question of getting a different brand for the booster than people’s original vaccination.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized both steps Wednesday, as part of a federal push to broaden booster access for the U.S. public. But the CDC, guided by its advisory panel, provides the final blessing.
News of Whatcom County’s smallest reported increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases in more than a month on Wednesday was blunted by another resident’s death being linked to the respiratory illness. Whatcom’s total number of COVID-related deaths grew to 153, according to the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard on Wednesday, Oct. 20. The reported deaths was for a person who first tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 23, according to The Bellingham Herald’s analysis of the state’s epidemiological data — upping the county’s death total in September to 19 after there were 21 deaths epidemiologically linked to August.
Local institutions of higher education are meeting the state requirements that faculty and staff be fully vaccinated, but their responses and protocols for handling the spread of COVID-19 if an outbreak occurs on their campuses vary, and some safety measures are proving to be difficult to enforce.
“I’m in a big lecture hall for my art history class and there are a couple of kids who, two years into this thing, still don’t know how to wear a mask properly,” Western Washington University (WWU) senior Charleigh Nogler said. “But it’s too big, really, for the professor to enforce something like that. I feel like students still have a weird thing where they don’t want to snitch on each other.”
WWU instituted a COVID-19 clearance tracking system through the MyWesternHealth homepage, which color-codes individual students’ COVID-19 status based on their vaccination status or if they have been exposed to the virus.
Art has a way of calming the mind and spirit, as does getting outside in the elements. Sunshine, rain or overcast skies compliment Bellingham’s outdoor sculpture art exhibits. The Western Gallery collection of pieces on the Western Washington University campus is one of the top 10 outdoor sculpture collections in the nation and is highly walkable.
Fists curling and uncurling. People who don't look each other in the eye. Food, and everyone coming together around it. These are the images at the core of Jane Wong's second collection of poems, How To Not Be Afraid Of Everything.
"That turning around when I walk down the street, always feeling like I have to look behind me?" Wong says. "That's the feeling of this book."
Children ages 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician’s office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for elementary school youngsters in a matter of weeks.
Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to weigh the safety and effectiveness of giving low-dose shots to the roughly 28 million children in that age group.
Within hours of formal approval, which is expected after the Food and Drug Administration signs off and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel meets on Nov. 2-3, millions of doses will begin going out to providers across the country, along with the smaller needles needed for injecting young children.
Within days of that, the vaccine will be ready to go into arms on a wide scale.
“We’re completing the operational planning to ensure vaccinations for kids ages 5 to 11 are available, easy and convenient,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said. “We’re going to be ready, pending the FDA and CDC decision.”
Nick Rolovich will reportedly take his dismissal as Washington State football coach to court, with his lawyer alleging he was illegally fired and accusing Athletic Director Pat Chun of “discriminatory and vindictive” behavior.
In perhaps the highest-profile case to date of a public employee being terminated because of a state’s coronavirus vaccine mandate, the school on Monday announced the dismissal of Rolovich after he had not complied with a statewide order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee in August. Rolovich, the state’s highest-paid employee at $3.2 million per year, had remained unvaccinated as the state’s Monday vaccination deadline arrived.
Rolovich had cited his religious beliefs as the reason for not being vaccinated.