CDC Committee Finds Likely Vaccine Link to 'Extremely Rare' Cases of Heart Condition, Continues Vaccine Recommendations; Humboldt Sees 14 New Cases

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Humboldt County Public Health reported 14 new COVID-19 cases today and an additional hospitalization, a resident in their 60s.

Today's case results came after laboratories processed 187 samples with a test-positivity rate of 7.5 percent. According to a state database, 13 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including five under intensive care.

The county's Joint Information Center also sent out a news release on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices finding of a likely link between the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and “extremely rare” cases of myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart muscle — and pericarditis — an inflammation of the outer lining of the heart, mostly in younger men.

The release states the commission reviewed "data on 1,226 cases of reported myocarditis or pericarditis out of 319 million doses of vaccine given, which represents 12.6 cases per million second doses administered."

"The agency determined cases were most common in males 12 to 30 years of age and occurred more often within several days of receiving a second dose but found that most were mild and individuals recovered on their own or required minimal treatment," the release states.

The CDC is still recommending vaccinations for those 12 and older, stating that the "known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.”

A warning will be added to Pfizer and Moderna fact sheets by the Food and Drug Administration but the agency is not recommending a pause of either vaccine, according to the JIC release.

Public Health announced this week that more than 128,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 45.9 percent of the county’s total population, which is estimated at 135,940 residents, is fully vaccinated and 52.4 percent of the eligible population age 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

The California Department of Public Health also reports — using additional data that is not reported to the county's database — that 64.1 percent of Humboldt County’s eligible population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Public Health vaccinations clinics scheduled this week in Bridgeville and Eureka will include the one-shot Johnson & Johnson and the Pfizer vaccine, the only one authorized for those 12 to 17,  as will others next week in McKinleyville, Manila and Petrolia.

 Clinic schedule:

Bridgeville – Friday, June 25 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bridgeville Baptist Church (48215 Alderpoint Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Eureka – Saturday, June 26 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eureka High School cafeteria (1915 J St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

McKinleyville – Monday, June 28 – 10 a.m. to noon McKinleyville Trailer Park (2331 Central Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Manila – Tuesday, June 29 – 10 a.m. to noon Manila RV Campground (120 Mill St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Petrolia – Wednesday, June 30 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mattole Grange (36512 Mattole Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

To make an appointment in advance or view additional vaccination opportunities and to request help with transportation, visit www.vaccines.gov or www.myturn.ca.gov.


To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 4,528 cases, with 208 hospitalizations and 49 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

The county dashboard lists 4,368 people as having "recovered" from the virus locally, though that just means they are no longer contagious and does not account for long-term health impacts, which local healthcare workers have told the Journal can be substantial, even in previously healthy patients.

The county’s test positivity rate has gone from 3.6 percent in November, to 7.3 percent in December and 9.9 percent in January, before dropping to 6.5 percent in February. In March, it dropped to 4.5 percent before inching back up to 5.9 percent in April. In May, it jumped to 8.3 percent. The positivity rate for the last week is 5.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the county's Joint Information Center is urging locals to get tested, calling it "one of the most helpful things county residents can do for the community at large," because it allows Public Health to catch cases early and limit spread. The state-run OptumServe testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka is open seven days a week and no-cost appointments can be made by clicking here or calling (888) 634-1123 and other newly opened screening site information can be found here.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard includes hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to the county. After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.

Basics of COVID-19

The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell.

Emergency warning signs needing immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to awaken, and bluish lips or face.

In an emergency situation:

Call ahead to the emergency room or inform the 911 operator of the possibility of a COVID-19 infection and, if possible, put on a face mask.

Symptoms or possible exposure:

In the case of a possible exposure with symptoms — fever and cough or shortness of breath — contact your doctor’s office or the county Department of Health and Human Services, which has a hotline that can be reached during business hours at covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at hhsphb@co.humbldt.ca.us or at (707) 445-6200.

St. Joseph Health has also set up a virtual assessment tool as an aid to assessing risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found here.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has started a rumor-control webpage that can be found here. For the Journal's latest COVID stories, updates and information resources, click here.

Read the county release below:
June 24, 2021 - mRNA Vaccines Linked to ‘Extremely Rare’ Heart Condition, Vaccination Still Advised

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reported a likely association between the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and “extremely rare” cases of myocarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle — and pericarditis — inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.

The committee reviewed data on 1,226 cases of reported myocarditis or pericarditis out of 319 million doses of vaccine given, which represents 12.6 cases per million second doses administered. The agency determined cases were most common in males 12 to 30 years of age and occurred more often within several days of receiving a second dose but found that most were mild and individuals recovered on their own or required minimal treatment.

CDC continues to recommend that all people age 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19, stating, “The known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.”

The Food and Drug Administration will add a warning to the Pfizer and Moderna fact sheets but does not recommend pausing use of either vaccine.

Anyone with questions about COVID-19 vaccines is encouraged to speak with their medical provider. Read more at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/myocarditis.html.

14 New Cases Reported Today; Vaccination Clinics Planned Throughout County

Fourteen new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Humboldt County today, bringing to 4,528 the total number of county residents who have tested positive. One resident in their 60s was hospitalized with the virus.

Humboldt County Public Health will hold vaccination clinics in multiple locations from Bridgeville to McKinleyville over the next week. All Public Health clinics are open to walk-ins. Those who would like to make an appointment in advance may do so at MyTurn.ca.gov.

See the schedule of Public Health’s clinics below.

Bridgeville – Friday, June 25 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bridgeville Baptist Church (48215 Alderpoint Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson Eureka – Saturday, June 26 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Eureka High School cafeteria (1915 J St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

McKinleyville – Monday, June 28 – 10 a.m. to noon McKinleyville Trailer Park (2331 Central Ave.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

Manila – Tuesday, June 29 – 10 a.m. to noon Manila RV Campground (120 Mill St.) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson Petrolia –

Wednesday, June 30 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mattole Grange (36512 Mattole Road) Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for those 18 and older. People age 12 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine. A parent or guardian must accompany minor children to the clinic. Minor consent forms can be printed and filled out in advance of the clinic.

English: humboldtgov.org/MinorConsentEnglish

Español: humboldtgov.org/MinorConsentEspanol

COVID-19 vaccine is also available at many local pharmacies. Check availability at vaccines.gov, or text a ZIP code to 438829 to find a participating pharmacy nearby. Most pharmacies allow walk-ins.

View the Humboldt County Data Dashboard online at humboldtgov.org/dashboard, or go to humboldtgov.org/DashboardArchives to download today’s data.

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.

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