14 new cases reported; total now stands at 191
August 26, 2021
Editor’s note: After this week’s print version went to press on Wednesday, The Eagle received notice of two more covid-19 cases occurring during the week. This brings Wahkiakum to a cumulative total of 191 cases with 20 of those potentially active, and there have been five fatalities.
Covid-19 numbers rose again this week in Wahkiakum County, with 12 new cases reported. There were six on Wednesday, one on Friday, and five more this Tuesday.
The cumulative total of cases comes to 189 with 18 considered active. Five Wahkiakum County residents have died from the virus, and 11 have been hospitalized, according to the Washington Department of Health.
On Aug. 4, the totals stood at three deaths and 170 cases.
Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff took some time to answer a few questions on Tuesday.
Does having covid-19 give you immunity?
“For most people it does, is the short answer,” Bischoff wrote in an email. “There are still a lot of questions around this and for how long it confers that immunity. The immune response from the vaccines gives much better protection than from just having had covid-19.
"We’re still not clear on how long the immunity lasts from having covid-19. Generally we arrive at this sort of information after years or decades of research. The scientific and medical community are trying to provide as much information as they can in real time, but time is a variable that is difficult to overcome for this type of research.”
“There are cases of people getting covid-19 more than once,” he continued. “The antibodies are only consistently present for around 90 days after having covid-19. This does not mean that you lose all immunity after 90 days though, the immune system is very complicated.”
As for people who have had covid-19 and later got the vaccine?
“We do know that if you had covid-19 and then get vaccinated you are more protected than if you don’t get vaccinated,” Bischoff said. “A lot more protected.”
A few people have been coming to WHHS each week to get vaccinated, which means the percentage of vaccinated people in the county remains around 50 percent.
Since last week, about 15 local residents have visited WHHS for their third dose.
Boosters may be on their way in late September, Bischoff said, and WHHS will let the community know when they are here.
“It appears that the booster will be available for folks eight months after they finished the original series but still more information to come,” he said.
In other news, the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control. The EUA or Emergency Use Authorization has been rescinded, and the vaccine has full approval.
Over 200 million doses of Pfizer have been administered in the United States alone, and almost five billion doses of vaccines have been administered worldwide.
“Thousands of scientists, doctors, economists, statisticians, etc., have been pouring over the data worldwide on these vaccines,” Bischoff said. “No medication or vaccine in the history of humans has received as much attention as these vaccines have. The consensus among these professionals is that these vaccines are incredibly safe and effective. You can always find a few people in these various professions who disagree, but they are very few.”
Bischoff said they are seeing a surge of cases in Wahkiakum County right now, and expressed concern with the school year beginning soon.
“Although younger people are less likely to be affected by covid-19, they are still very capable of spreading it,” he said. “Young people are not naturally immune to this virus they just have generally a lower rate of serious symptoms.”
Masks are required indoors again whether you are vaccinated or not, Bischoff said. He asked residents to get vaccinated, mask up, and maintain social distance.
“Local hospitals are at or exceeding capacity with the current covid surge happening,” Bischoff said.