Covid vaccine

Courtesy of CHAS Health

CHAS Health is opening up a new mass vaccination clinic for anyone eligible to get a vaccine Wednesday at the Spokane Community College Campus.

Vaccinations are only available to those who qualify under the current state guidelines, which is people over the age of 60, people over 16 with some medical conditions. People who work in some fields such as agriculture or healthcare are also eligible now. Starting April 15, anyone over 16 will be able to get a vaccine there.

Flickr Creative Commons

When Washington opens Covid vaccinations to anyone older than 16 on April 15, some believe that will lead to a rush of new people that will overwhelm the state’s Covid vaccine application system. The Department of Health's Michele Roberts isn’t so sure.

Flickr Creative Commons

The Covid vaccine will soon be available to anyone 16 and older in Washington and Idaho. But what happens if a 16- or 17-year-old wants to be inoculated, yet his or her parents say no?

Courtesy of State of Idaho

Washington and Idaho health officials say each state has recorded about 100 cases of people who contracted Covid after receiving a vaccine. Those are called “breakthrough” cases.

In Washington, the number is 102. In Idaho, it’s 97.

Screenshot from Idaho Public Television

Idaho Governor Brad Little says the Gem State will soon drop most of the restrictions related to the Covid vaccine.

“I am glad to announce today that starting Monday, April 5, all Idahoans, regardless of their age, medical condition or occupation will be able to make an appointment to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, starting Monday, March 29, any Idahoan with at least one medical condition will be able to access the Covid-19 vaccine," the governor said.

Rebecca White/SPR

Many living in long-term care facilities have spent the last year in isolation. But as more and more people are vaccinated, families can reconnect and see their loved ones in person.

After a year of missed holidays and milestones, Nannette Mogensen is celebrating her 84th birthday with her family.

Mogensen is now fully vaccinated and lives in Touchmark, a senior living facility on Spokane’s South Hill.  On Sunday, her three children and two of her granddaughters surprised her.

“Happy Birthday, mother, I love you,” says Shelly Christensen, Mogensen’s daughter.  

Courtesy of Grant County Health District

Many older people in Washington have now been vaccinated for Covid and attention has turned to other groups. Now that agricultural employees, both food processors and field workers, are eligible for shots, one central Washington health district expects to be especially busy over the next few weeks.

Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

Washington's Department of Health is moving its vaccine prioritization soon to more essential workers rather than just those over the age of 65. But one set of workers not found on the priority list is restaurant employees.

Courtesy of Pullman Regional Hospital

Many people are eager to get their Covid vaccine shots. Others are in no hurry. Still others say there’s no way they’ll be vaccinated.

Leaders at Pullman’s hospital say they’ve had some success in convincing some of their vaccine hesitant employees to take the needle.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

If you’ve received your Covid shots, the CDC has announced it’s ok to get together, without masks, with others who have been inoculated.
Seattle infectious disease expert Shireesha Dhanireddy says she agrees, to a point.

State of Idaho

Idaho officials say the days of time-consuming searches for Covid vaccines in the Gem State are over.

“What we’ve done is created one spot where people can go and they can enter their information and say, 'I’m interested in being vaccinated,'" said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen.

Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

Governor Jay Inslee says Washington will follow President Joe Biden’s directive and prioritize teachers and childcare workers for Covid vaccinations.
Inslee issued a statement Tuesday afternoon that says the state is moving teachers and licensed childcare workers to the first tier of the 1-B coronavirus vaccination level.

Courtesy of the Federal Food and Drug Administration

As Washington rolls out the COVID-19 vaccine for its most vulnerable residents, new data shows significant racial disparities in coronavirus immunizations. People at both the local and state levels say they’re taking steps to address those.

One of the biggest vaccine disparities is among those who identify as Hispanic. According to Washington State Health Department data, Hispanics make up 4.7% of people who have at least one dose of the vaccine, but 13.2% of the population.

Washington Covid Vaccine Shipments Increasing

Feb 15, 2021
Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

Washington health officials say the Covid supply chain from the federal government is becoming a little more certain.

Assistant Health Secretary Michele Roberts briefed a Washington House committee today [Monday].

Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

Washington state health officials say nearly one million residents have received at least one of the Covid 19 vaccinations in the state. That's a major mile marker as they push to meet a goal of vaccinating 45,000 per day.

Even so, they say they are seeing inequity in the number of minorities who are receiving the shots.

Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

Washington’s top public health official toured Spokane’s Covid mass vaccination site on Tuesday. It’s one of four such sites the state is sponsoring around the state.

Department of Health Secretary Umair Shah learned that around 7,500 people have received their first Covid shots at the Spokane Arena.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The provider that’s operating the state-run Covid vaccination site at the Spokane Arena is preparing to make appointments Tuesday afternoon for another round of shots.

CHAS Health says it will open its online portal and phone bank at 5 pm to sign up another 4,000 patients.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

Idaho Governor Brad Little says his state will move from Stage 2 to Stage 3 in its coronavirus reopening protocol.

Little announced Tuesday that groups of up to 50 may now gather, as long as they take precautions with masks and physical distancing.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Covid vaccination window for Idaho senior citizens opens on Monday. And with it comes a move by Governor Brad Little to build trust in the state’s health care providers who are administering those vaccines.

“There are questions about whether vaccines are being administered quickly enough after it arrives in communities across Idaho. Quite frankly, we need a clearer picture," he said.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Day two of inoculating people at Spokane’s mass vaccination site at the arena has been less harried than day one.

Kelley Charvet from CHAS Health, which is in charge of administering the vaccines, says fewer people were scheduled for appointments and the traffic on the streets leading into the arena was better controlled.

Thousands Seek Covid Vaccines At Spokane Arena Megasite

Jan 27, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

It took only about two hours for 3,000 people to sign up for Covid vaccines that will be administered at the Spokane Arena.

On Wednesday, people logged onto the CHAS Health website and jammed its phone lines for their chance to claim one of site’s first 3,000 doses from the state.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Vaccinations against the coronavirus are on track to begin at the Spokane Arena Wednesday morning.

The Community Health Association of Spokane, or CHAS, is the lead provider under the direction of Washington’s Department of Health and the Spokane Regional Health District.

Covid Vaccine Demand Causes Problems For Rural Providers

Jan 25, 2021
NW Rural Health Network

Now that people 65 and older are eligible for Covid vaccines in Washington, people are contacting their health providers, asking when they can get their shots. That’s causing issues for providers, especially in rural areas.

Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

Hospital officials around Washington say they’re most worried about supply as they prepare to ramp up their Covid vaccination efforts. They say the demand for vaccines is outpacing the supply. They’re also worried whether they’ll receive enough shipments for second doses.

But there’s another complicating factor: paperwork.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane’s mass Covid vaccination site is scheduled to open Wednesday at the Arena. It will be operated by CHAS Health, which has been operating a testing site in the facility’s parking lot.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane public health officials say a Covid mass vaccination site at the Spokane Arena could be up and running by next Monday.

Last Monday, Governor Jay Inslee announced the arena would be one of a handful of sites outside the Seattle metro area that would open to vaccinate large numbers of people.

UW Vaccine Expert To Present Live Webinar Thursday

Jan 18, 2021
Courtesy of the University of Washington

On Thursday [1/21], University of Washington microbiologist and vaccinologist Deborah Fuller will give a virtual presentation about how vaccines are made and how they work. Her talk is sponsored by UW Medicine and open to the public.

Doug Nadvornick recently talked with Dr. Fuller about Covid vaccines, starting with the question of whether she’s been surprised by anything that had led up to our current situation.

Idaho Reaches Transition Point In Covid Vaccination

Jan 14, 2021
Courtesy of State of Idaho

The Covid inoculation effort in Idaho is picking up steam. Right now, it's in a transition point, says state public health administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch.

“The health care personnel, long-term care facility will continue to go forward as we continue to work through our vaccines. But now it’s time to start opening up to front line essential workers and people age 65 and over,” she said.

Idaho Clarifies Who Will Get The Covid Vaccine Next

Jan 12, 2021
State of Idaho

Idaho state officials have announced which groups of people are next in line for coronavirus vaccines.

Governor Brad Little made the announcement on Tuesday.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A Washington state committee says dentists should be allowed to administer coronavirus vaccines if needed.

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission voted last month to give dentists that authority. But on Thursday, it added language that requires dentists to get hands-on training from a medical professional before actually giving shots.