Tribune Editorial: Access to vaccines now extended to all age groups | Editorial
It’s Up and Down, where we give a quick nudge or thumbs up on the issues of the past week.
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The North Dakota Department of Health has ordered 5,700 doses of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine following federal health officials’ approval of vaccines for children ages 6 months to 5 years. And more will be ordered, with about 50,000 children in the state in that age group. Many people continue to be wary of the vaccine despite repeated assurances from health experts that it is safe. And state immunization program director Molly Howell said the Department of Health expects vaccine hesitancy from some parents of infants, toddlers and toddlers. preschool age. But she also says many parents were waiting for the vaccine to be available for this age group. It’s good that this option is now available.
The instability along River Road north of Bismarck, which has led to landslides and road closures in recent years, needs to be corrected. Burleigh County put up concrete barriers along the problematic stretch of road, which helped ease the length of the closure after the most recent landslide. But two years ago, the county suspended a study that would have involved an engineering consultant. Last year, the city rehabilitated the roadway and improved grade stability north of the Grant Marsh Bridge to address the Bismarck portion of River Road. The reconstruction between Keelboat Park and Burnt Boat Drive cost $1.1 million. But it was worth it. It’s a busy road, and the county needs to follow the city’s lead before anyone gets hurt.
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A survey of North Dakota’s mule deer population last fall was disheartening – the fawn-to-doe ratio was the lowest in nearly a decade, due to a devastating drought. But the mild winter helped change things. The state Department of Fish and Game’s spring survey estimated a mule deer population 13% higher than last year and 34% higher than the long-term average. Big game management supervisor Bruce Stillings says both calves and adults have had good survival rates through the winter. A series of bad winters in the late 2000s led to a four-year ban on female mule deer hunting in North Dakota. So any positive mule deer news is encouraging.
An overly wet spring in eastern North Dakota has put Devils Lake flooding back in the spotlight. State Water Development Division Director Jonathan Kelsch said flows in the lake could set a record this year. It has already grown 3 ½ feet this spring. This means the lake has swallowed up over 38,000 additional acres of land. In recent decades, the state has built outfalls on the east and west ends of the lake to deal with chronic flooding in the basin. They were reinforced again this spring. Hopefully they can remove enough water from the lake to avoid a major blow to the region’s economy.