Sunday, April 18, 2021
CDC Tells Fully Vaccinated People What They Can Do, Vaccine Town Hall in Works
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St. Luke’s recently received a number of thank you notes from children for the care doctors and nurses have provided during the pandemic.
   
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

GRAPH BY PAUL RIES

Have you been hankering to show off all the DIY projects you did while sheltering at home these past 12 months?

Have at it, if you’re fully vaccinated. As long as you invite other fully vaccinated friends.

 
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Idaho reported 378 new cases of coronavirus on Monday for a total of 173,309. Eleven more Idahoans have died of COVID, raising the known death toll to 1,890. Blaine County reported two new cases on Monday for a total of 2,193.
 

The Centers for Disease Control issued a few guidelines Monday for what fully vaccinated Americans can do with the promise that it will offer more can-do's as it gets more data on how the vaccines do with the variants. Pfizer announced Monday that its vaccine is able to neutralize the Brazilian variant in a lab study.

Those who are fully vaccinated can:

  • Gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.
  • Visit healthy children and grandchildren. (And, yes, Dr. Fauci says you can hug).
  • Skip quarantine if you have contact with someone with a confirmed infection.

However, the CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people continue to wear face masks to protect unvaccinated Americans, as researchers don’t yet know if vaccines can prevent asymptomatic infection that could infect others.

The CDC also is advising the fully vaccinated to continue to avoid large gatherings and physically distance themselves from others when in public for the time being.

And it’s recommending that fully vaccinated people should still avoid travel because, officials say, so many surges have occurred following heavy travel periods.

That has already precipitated pushback from the Airlines for America industry group, which says plane travel poses a low risk of infection because of filtered air and mask wearing.

CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen has likened COVID-19 vaccines to a life jacket that keeps people from drowning.

So far 30 million Americans—or 9 percent of the U.S. population—have been fully vaccinated. The nation vaccinated nearly 3 million people in a single day over the weekend.

To date 284,655 Idahoans have received at least one dose of vaccine with 166,769 fully vaccinated. Blaine County has seen 6,189 people get at least one dose.

People can let providers know they are interested in a vaccine by signing up at covidvaccine.idaho.govor going to St. Luke’s myChart.

It takes five weeks from the first dose of Pfizer to be fully vaccinated and six from the time the first Moderna shot is injected. It takes just two weeks for immunity to develop after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only one shot because initial testing showed it delivered impressive levels of immunity after one shot while others required a booster, Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California-San Francisco told the New York Times.

Johnson & Johnson plans to test its COVID vaccine, which stimulates an immune response with an inactivated cold virus, in infants and even newborns. It also plans to test the vaccine in pregnant women and in those with compromised immune systems.

Pfizer and Moderna are now testing their vaccines in children 12 and older.

Right now, there is no information about whether one vaccine is better for a certain age group or those with underlying medical conditions.

With no statewide mask mandate Idaho leads the Pacific Northwest in COVID-19 cases and death count per 100,000 residents. Idahoans are dying at nearly twice the rate of Oregonians, according to Johnson Hopkins University data.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

An hour-long virtual town hall on COVID-19 vaccines will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 10.

Logan Hudson of South Central Public Health District and Dr. Joshua Kern of St. Luke’s will discuss vaccines and field questions in a panel discussion facilitated by Shawn Barigar, president and CEO of the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

People can connect to the town hall online at https://event.webinarjam.com/channel/VirtualTownHall2[event.webinarjam.com]

 

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