County funds Hep A vaccines
King County announced that it would allocate $375,000 to pay for Hepatitis A vaccines to stave off a potentially deadly epidemic.
Over the next six months, four part-time health workers will provide vaccinations to people experiencing homelessness in shelters, on the street and in camps.
The money to pay for the effort will come from the Loss Control Program, which is meant to handle “unanticipated risks,” according to the county’s press release.
Health officials began offering free immunization clinics in the spring after a man experiencing homelessness was diagnosed. Hep A is a contagious disease that can lead to liver failure. An outbreak in San Diego County, California in 2017 infected 600 people and left 20 dead.
“Providing Hepatitis A vaccinations for people experiencing homelessness is an issue of equity, a prudent financial move, and a public health imperative,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “It’s our duty to protect the most vulnerable among us, and by investing in prevention we may avoid spending millions responding to the major outbreaks we’ve seen in other areas.”
Rumble in the evergreens
Two earthquakes shook the Pacific Northwest Friday morning, reminding all of us that between climate change and the impending disaster of a subduction zone quake, we’re all doomed.
The first earthquake hit magnitude 4.6 and the second was an aftershock that hit 3.5 magnitude. The epicenters were near Three Lakes and Monroe, Washington, respectively, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The quakes were strong enough to be felt, but relatively minor. There were no reported injuries.
The Friday-morning earthquakes were not deadly, but they were a reminder of the impending apocalypse that will come when the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake strikes. The powerful quake, akin to the earthquake that wrecked Japan and caused a nuclear disaster in 2011, is overdue.
Shaky Shelter: When the really big one hits, Seattle’s homeless population is on ground zero
When the subduction zone quake finally happens, it may take decades to recover. But will there be equity in the rebuilding process?
Nonprofit stands to lose $1.5 million as city drags on property transfer
King County shares data with ICE
The King County auditor found that the county had shared inmate information with federal immigration authorities despite a law prohibiting them from doing so.
The report, released on July 8, found that federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents accessed King County records more than 1,000 times and the Sheriff’s Office handed over roughly two dozen unredacted case files in a year and a half.
The revelation came just days before a planned crackdown by immigration authorities that never fully materialized. They announced that authorities would hit 10 cities across the country targeting 2,000 undocumented immigrants.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
Read the full July 17 - 23 issue.
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