Sunday, January 23, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

OR Officials Urge Booster Shots as COVID Cases Skyrocket

Play

Tuesday, January 11, 2022   

Oregon is in the midst of its biggest spike in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Health officials are urging the public to get vaccinated or, if they're already vaccinated, to get a booster shot, as the Omicron variant drives cases up across the country.

Dr. Leona O'Keefe, public health officer for Jackson County Public Health, said people who are vaccinated need to consider a booster, noting those with the first series of vaccine are 30% to 40% protected against infection from Omicron.

"If you've been boosted, you're about 70% to 75% protected," O'Keefe explained. "So obviously, there's quite a big difference in your level of protection once you're boosted."

O'Keefe noted even people with boosters might still feel ill, but their chances of spreading COVID-19, being hospitalized or dying are cut down massively. Guidelines for when to get a booster recently changed, with people who received Moderna or Pfizer vaccines eligible for a booster after five months. Boosters are suggested after two months for people who received the Johnson and Johnson shot.

Saleem Noorani, a small-business owner in the Willamette Valley and AARP Oregon executive council member, said one of his employees was exposed during the December rush, which meant he lost a quarter of his full-time workforce, underscoring the importance of protecting people with the vaccine.

"So for small business owners where you're trying to give everybody enough hours, so you're not overstaffed, but once you're hit with something like this, you know, it has a huge impact," Noorani pointed out.

Older Oregonians are the most likely to be vaccinated and boosted. O'Keefe stressed it is also important for young people to get vaccinated, to ensure the virus does not have the opportunity to spread to vulnerable people.

"Please protect yourself and take care of those around you," O'Keefe urged. "And to those of you who are already taking these steps, I would say thank you. We appreciate it. It's helping your community."

Gov. Kate Brown is spearheading a campaign to get boosters to a million Oregonians by the end of January. To date, the state has reached about a quarter of the goal.

Some health risks have stopped people from getting the vaccine, including reports of myocarditis in young men, which has occurred in a small number of cases.

Disclosure: AARP Oregon contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …


Pennsylvania has over 300 million square feet of big-box building rooftops, which new research suggests could provide almost half the electricity that these buildings consume if they were outfitted with solar panels. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, and groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021