by Sally James
People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to prevent serious COVID-19 disease are eligible to get a booster, even if they don’t fall into any high-risk category. The Washington Dept. of Health (DOH) included this announcement in their virtual press conference on Oct. 27.
National vaccine regulators approved booster doses of vaccine for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines Oct. 20, but the recommendations differ depending on which vaccine a person originally took. Earlier this year, the Pfizer boosters were approved for people at high risk — from their age or occupation or an underlying medical condition. Regulators also approved only people at high risk, in the same categories, for Moderna boosters.
With the J&J vaccine, health officials urge all people, even those younger and with no extra risks, to come in and get a booster vaccine dose two months after their original shot of J&J. The reason for allowing boosters sooner for everyone with J&J is that a single shot seems to be less effective at protecting people than the other two-shot vaccines. The DOH estimates about 393,000 people in Washington state had a J&J vaccine.
Continue reading Boosters Open Up for Wider Group, Vaccine Likely for Children 5–11
by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Oct. 15, applications opened for the City of Seattle’s COVID-19 disaster relief fund for immigrants, which includes $9 million to help residents who have immigrated to the U.S. and are impacted by COVID-19 — many of whom have struggled to receive federal aid.
Of the funds, $7.94 million will provide direct cash assistance to low-income individuals who have immigrated to the U.S. Eligible households and individuals will receive between $1,000 and $3,000 in funds, depending on income levels. In addition, parties who were not eligible for aid from the federal CARES Act coronavirus stimulus program will be prioritized.
“Undocumented immigrants pay into our local and state tax system. They’re a part of our economy and communities, yet are qualified for few benefits when they need it most,” City Council President Lorena González said in a recent statement on the fund. “This has to change, and the City of Seattle is stepping up to ensure we provide equitable safety nets and resources for our immigrant families and neighbors.”
Continue reading City of Seattle Launches New $9 Million Aid Program for Immigrants in Wake of Pandemic
by Bryan Nakata
A new survey by the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs shows that almost half of the immigrants surveyed in Seattle do not know how or where to register vote, a community that already votes at lower rates than U.S.-born residents.
Continue reading Study: Lack of Information, Language Barriers Keep Immigrants from Voting