By Emily Scarvie
(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Monday, Nov. 22 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.
Following approval from the Western States Workgroup on Saturday, all Oregonians 18 years and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot. The official recommendation from the group is to expand Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna booster eligibility to all adults who have received their primary vaccine series.
“I want to emphasize again that quite simply vaccines work and save lives. And the data shows that boosters give extra protection. We know that unvaccinated people remain at a higher risk for COVID-19 than those who have received the vaccine. We also know that unvaccinated people are more likely to get infected with the virus and more likely to spread the virus to others,” Rachael Banks, the public health director for the Oregon Health Authority, told KOIN.
Following the Western States Workgroup approval, OHA also recommended that every 18 years and older get a booster shot. The recommendation is for those that received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago, to receive a booster dose.
The Oversight and Accountability Council, the state commission in charge of funding behavioral health care as part of Measure 110, has announced plans to allocate $270 million to organizations that help treat people addicted to drugs. Measure 110, approved by voters last year, decriminalized possession of user amounts of hard drugs by changing the offense from a misdemeanor to a violation.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, the new treatment networks will provide a solution to the problem that reduces harm and is “more helpful, caring and cost-effective than punishing and criminalizing people who need help.”
“The collaboration taking place across the state with addiction recovery providers, the Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council, Oregon Health Authority and other key stakeholders signifies that we’re finally on track when it comes to supporting Oregonians struggling with substance use,” Monta Knudson, the executive director of Bridges to Change, told KOIN.
A year after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Portland International Airport is expecting to see half a million passengers travel for the holidays this year, up more than 300,000 from 2020. Officials at PDX say the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving are expected to be the busiest travel days.
The Transportation Security Administration reminds travelers that solid Thanksgiving food, such as stuffing and pies, are allowed inside the cabin, but liquids like cranberry sauce, gravy and alcohol must be in a checked bag.
Veterinarians and animal shelters in the Portland area are reporting the rise of a contagious and deadly disease that impacts cats and kittens. Feline distempter virus, or feline panleukopenia, often includes lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and lack of appetite. Cats that haven’t been vaccinated are most at risk for the virus.
There is no cure for feline panleukopenia, but intensive medical treatment can help cats recover. Local veterinarians recommend that pet owners get their cats vaccinated, as the risk of transmission is very low for cats who have received a vaccine.