The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Covid-19 update

5 new cases this week, bus some cases unreported

 

February 3, 2022

At home test kits for the covid-19 virus are now available. Photo by Rick Nelson.

There were five new reported cases of covid-19 in Wahkiakum County on Monday and two more on Wednesday after The Eagle had gone to press, bringing the cumulative total to 299, with 19 considered potentially active.

That may not be all the cases of covid-19 in the county with the availability of at-home tests.

"Many people who are using home tests don't report on them and don't follow positives up with PCR tests," Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff said. "So we're thinking that there are a lot of unreported cases where people are either ignoring the results of the at home or are just doing their own quarantine without notifying the health department. We don't report or act on the at home tests; we only report confirmed PCR tests."

The number of reported hospitalizations and deaths in the county attributed to the virus remain at 18 and five, respectively.

"It looks like Washington State is finally on the downward side of this wave (omicron variant)," Bischoff said. "Cases in neighboring counties have been mostly declining for a week now."

Moderna vaccine formally approved

Bischoff shared some good news about the Moderna vaccine.

"On January 31, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the second approval of a covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Moderna covid-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Spikevax, for the prevention of covid-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older," according to the CDC website.

"The Pfizer vaccine for those 18 and older already had the EUA (emergency use authorization) removed last year," Bischoff wrote. "For those that have concerns about taking the vaccines because they are new or untested, hopefully this will help. I would also point out that hundreds of millions of doses of these two vaccines have been given over the past 13 months."

[Reference link: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/spikevax-and-moderna-covid-19-vaccine]

Infant to juvenile vaccine

"Currently the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine is available to anyone five years old and up," Bischoff said. "Pfizer is apparently going to be submitting data to the FDA in the next few weeks that will cover from six months to five years old. It is possible that that could get approval in late February or early March."

"I have had many parents of younger children reach out to me that will find this to be good news."

New Novavax coming

According to Bischoff there is another vaccine that is submitting to the FDA for emergency use authorization. The new vaccine uses already formed spike proteins to trigger the body's immune response, a different technology than the other three vaccines approved so far in the United States.

There are no actual covid-19 viruses in this vaccine, just the spike proteins, Bischoff clarified. Approval is expected in February.

Sources listed for at-home tests

Free tests may be obtained from the US Postal Service and the Washington Department of Health.

Following are links for placing orders:

--Wash. DOH: http://www.sayyescovidhometest.org/.

--USPS: https://special.usps.com/testkits.

On Tuesday, the state DOH portal said kits were unavailable because of overwhelming demand.

 

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