Portland, OR

Friday in Portland: OHA gives COVID-19 update as state prepares to rollout pediatric vaccines

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Friday, June 17 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Oregon health officials give update on pediatric COVID-19 vaccines

On Friday, Oregon health officials held a press conference to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the planned rollout of COVID vaccines for young children ages 6 months to 5 years. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized pediatric doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines on Friday morning, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to issue its own ruling this weekend.

If the CDC authorizes the pediatric doses, the remaining step will be for the Western States Advisory Group to give the go-ahead, which the Oregon Health Authority said will likely happen this weekend. This means pediatric COVID vaccinations could begin in Oregon next week.

According to OHA, the state is set to receive roughly 86,800 pediatric doses in the coming weeks. Oregon parents are encouraged to use the state’s vaccine locator tool or contact their health care provider to see when doses will become available. Most children will likely receive COVID vaccines with their primary care physician.

2. Audit finds PPB's Special Victims Unit needs additional trauma-informed training

The Independent Police Review released an audit this week of the Portland Police Bureau’s Special Victims Unit that found that officers need more trauma-informed training for responding to domestic violence calls. IPR’s director, Ross Caldwell, said the audit was done after the office received public feedback regarding how officers conducted themselves during these calls.

“Overall, people think the bureau is doing what they can, and this unit is doing what they can, but they would like them to have more capacity, and they’d like them to have some additional training,” Caldwell told KATU.

Caldwell said the additional trauma-informed training would involve all patrol officers at PPB, not just the SVU. PPB Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement that the bureau agrees with the audit’s findings and that additional training would improve officers’ response to domestic abuse.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, you can call 1-800-799-SAFE or chat with someone online at thehotline.org.

3. OHA reporting state's first potential monkeypox case

The Oregon Health Authority is reporting the state’s first potential case of hMPXV, otherwise known as the monkeypox virus, after an adult male recently traveled to a community with confirmed cases. He’s currently isolating and following recommendations from OHA.

“hMPXV does not spread easily between people, so the risk to other people is generally very low,” Dr. Richard Leman, Public Health Physician with OHA, said. “Unlike COVID-19, which can be spread easily from person to person through the air over several feet of space, hMPXV spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs or bodily fluids.”

The symptoms are similar to that of the flu or cold, including fever, swollen lymph nodes or a cough. However, there’s one symptom doctors say to look out for that differentiates the virus from a flu or cold.

“Rash is the big differentiating feature from colds or flus,” Legacy’s Chief Medical Officer Lori Farrell said. “So, pox-like, which is a blistering-type rash, will be the main thing. Anyone who comes in with those cold symptoms but the rash, or calls in with those symptoms, is when we’d be thinking of monkeypox. Also, if they have travel exposure.”

There are currently 84 cases of the virus across 18 states and no recorded deaths.

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