The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting made by Jefferson and Clallam County Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry. Also Willie Bence, Director, Director of Emergency Management, gave a report. The summary was provided by and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.
Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry this morning said Jefferson County is “plateauing” with a COVID-19 case rate of 251 per 100,000, and a positivity rate of 4.6. Three hospitalized COVID patients were discharged over the weekend and only one person is currently hospitalized. No deaths were added; the count remains at 17. Dr. Berry said that 74% of COVID cases are among the unvaccinated. “I think the biggest news of late is that we have seen the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations approved by the FDA for kids 5 to 11,” she reported “We’re very excited about that. We’re very hopeful about seeing this age group vaccinated soon.” She said the vaccine will be reviewed by the CDC and others before distribution can be scheduled. “This is the first time in a while that we actually have a new formulation of a vaccine to be shipped throughout the country,” Dr. Berry said. “If this gets CDC approval, most likely we will see vaccinations in this age range next week.” Pfizer’s pediatric formulation of the COVID-19 vaccine is a third of the dose given to adults or older children. She also addressed misinformation surrounding the vaccine for children. “What we do see is COVID-19 blessedly is less severe in children than it is in adults, but it still can be incredibly severe,” she said. Dr. Berry cited some statistics, reporting that nationwide, approximately 67,000 children have been hospitalized and over 650 have died due to the COVID virus. Among those who are hospitalized, 30% had no underlying conditions at all. And, for the other 70%, the vast majority of them actually had relatively mild underlying conditions, things like asthma. “I really would encourage parents to use this incredible resource to protect their children, especially as we move into the holiday season,” Dr. Berry urged.