Portland, OR

Portland Daily Round Up: Workgroup approves Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11, new law limits mugshot releases

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Wednesday, Nov. 3 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Western states workgroup approves Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds starting Wednesday

The western states workgroup, made up of scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, have signed off on the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11-years-old. The decision comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of the vaccine last Friday for children 5 to 11-years-old and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention certified that decision Tuesday.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, vaccinations for 5 to 11-year-olds can begin in Oregon starting Wednesday.

“This is great news for Oregon children, parents and families,” Gov. Kate Brown said. “Vaccination is the best tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones. With today’s review by leading doctors, pediatricians and health experts, Oregon parents and children can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds.”

2. New Oregon law that limits public release of mugshots goes into effect this week

A new law that goes into effect in Oregon this week prohibits the release of booking photos, except in specific circumstances, to protect the safety and privacy of people who haven’t been convicted of a crime. Supporters of the law say releasing mugshots to the public prior to a conviction can cause serious safety issues.

Representative Janelle Bynum, who sponsored the measure, said many people who were arrested during the 2020 protests in Portland were doxed, meaning they were publicly identified and harassed when their photos were published.

“When law enforcement agencies were releasing booking photos, people were also suffering harm from that,” Bynum said, per OPB. “They were getting threats at their jobs, they were trapped inside of their homes because people were intimidating them.”

The legislation, which was created with the help of law enforcement groups, passed with bipartisan support.

3. Washington County becomes first in state to ban sale of flavored tobacco, vape products

On Tuesday, Washington County’s board of commissioners voted 3 to 2 to pass Ordinance 878, becoming the first county in the state to implement a ban on the sale of any flavored tobacco or synthetic nicotine products in stores. The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days and will begin being enforced on Jan. 1, 2022.

The new ordinance also bans the sale of any tobacco or synthetic nicotine products to anyone under the age of 21 and prohibits bars and stores from offering coupons or discounts on any of those products. Any violations of the ordinance could constitute a Class A civil infraction.

4. Portland Street Response expanding service starting Thursday

Starting Thursday, Portland Street Response’s second team, which will work from 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., will begin taking calls and expand its service to a new boundary that corresponds with PPB’s East Precinct. This increases PSR’s coverage from 13 to 36 square miles. The existing day shift has changed to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

PSR was launched in February as an alternative to police for calls regarding mental health and homelessness. Each team includes a firefighter paramedic, a licensed mental health crisis responder and two peer support specialists.

“I’m so excited that today we are ready to expand Portland Street Response to a larger portion of Portland’s east side with a new shift coming onboard,” Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the program, said, per FOX 12. “This is the next step towards citywide expansion as we continue to thoughtfully grow PSR to provide a compassionate first response to people in crisis on our streets, which will also free up resources for our police.”

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