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Vaccination Rates Highest In Wealthy ZIP Codes

 February 19, 2021 at 5:16 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, February 19th >>> People in wealthy zip codes are getting vaccinated more quickly. We’ll have more on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines…. The Petco Park Vaccination Super Station will close again today and stay closed through at least Saturday due to another delayed shipment of Covid-19 vaccines– this time the heavy winter storms in the middle of the country are at fault. The county says anyone with an appointment should be on the lookout for an email about rescheduling. Meanwhile, San Diego County public health officials reported more than 800 new covid-19 infections on thursday and 36 additional deaths. Today, the first asylum-seekers sent back to Mexico under the Remain in Mexico program will be processed at the San Ysidro Port Of Entry…. To continue their asylum claims from inside the United States. The Federal government says it will only process a few dozen people a day at first and then ramp up in the coming weeks. The Center for Disease Control will NOT be shifting health guidance on preventing the spread of Covid 19, despite a passionate plea from prominent researchers, including two in San Diego. UCSD’s Robert Schooley and Kim Prather joined other scientists in calling on the CDC to declare that tiny airborne particles are the primary pathway to infection. From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. Wealthier and whiter parts of San Diego County fared far better during the pandemic than poorer or more diverse areas. Now, on top of that, residents in high-income zip codes are far more likely to be vaccinated against covid-19. KPBS investigative reporter Claire Trageser has more. No, de esa cual es la mejor señorita No, from those, which one is the best “madame”? Maria Ochoa de Gonzalez is a 74-year-old housekeeper in El Cajon. She says she wants a COVID-19 vaccine but doesn’t know how to get one. El doctor quería que fueramos hoy pero como hoy tenia yo este compromiso le dije que no que nosts le hablábamos, no se quien nos hablaría. The doctor wanted us to go today, but since I had this appointment, I said that we call him back, I don’t know who called us. Access issues like hers are playing out across the county. Lower-income areas with high COVID-19 case rates, such as Logan Heights, El Cajon, and Chula Vista have low vaccination rates. Meanwhile, wealthier areas with low case rates have the highest vaccination rates. In places like Coronado, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar and La Jolla, at least one in four residents have received vaccines. The disparity stems from the way the system has been designed, says Rebecca Fielding-Miller, an epidemiologist at UC San Diego. For example, vaccine appointments are for the most part only offered online. “It’s hard to access these websites, you needed access to the internet, you need to be comfortable with a form that asked you for your social security number, and you needed to be pretty quick and tech savvy.” After healthcare workers, older people have had access to the vaccine first, and that population is generally whiter and more well-off. And so far vaccines aren’t available through the health networks many people of color use, even for those over 65. “Some can’t take time off work to go sit in line in a car at Petco for three hours, or some might say, ‘I don’t have a private car and am concerned about taking public transportation.’ Those are access issues, where the perceived benefits of running those risks have to outweigh barriers.” “The problem is we have too many people who want vaccines.” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez says it’s crucial that racial and economic divides be addressed before vaccinations are opened up to more age groups and professions. “If we move on too quickly, they will stay unvaccinated...00;08;45;08 Those barriers don’t go away by opening vaccines to teachers and police officers.” Vaccination sites are now open across the county, and many have hundreds of appointment openings every day. But that doesn’t mean people in South Bay or East County have ready access to a vaccine, Gonzalez says. “Because people could book those appointments online, individuals with more resources took those appointments, so there were people coming from North County to Chula Vista.” Organizations such as the Chicano Federation are now working with the county to help people schedule and get transportation to vaccine appointments. Nancy Maldonado is the Chicano Federation’s CEO. “We have dedicated staff helping people on phone and in person scheduling vaccine appointments, making sure they have transportation, child care.” They are also employing community health ambassadors known as promotoras. The promotoras station themselves outside grocery stores and other community locations where they talk to people about their concerns and help them get vaccination appointments. “We are seeing a very small increase in the number of Latino people getting vaccinated, and we’re hopeful that once these efforts get more underway, we will start to see those numbers increase.” For a searchable map of vaccination rates by zip code, go to KPBS dot org slash vaccines. San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher gave his first "state of the county" address Thursday night. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says it was full of reform-minded policies. AB: Fletcher is leading the first Democratic majority on the board of supervisors in recent memory, and he pledged to use it to enact a "new progressive agenda." COVID-19, he said, has exposed a host of societal problems that go beyond just public health. NF: "We see clearly there is a pandemic of inequality we must stamp out. A pandemic of injustice we must overcome. A pandemic of intolerance we must unify against." AB: Among the handful of policy announcements that came from the speech: New county offices to enforce labor laws and support immigrants and refugees. And an agreement with Sheriff Bill Gore to abandon efforts to privatize health care in the county's jail system. That story from KPBS’ Andrew Bowen California lawmakers released a plan on [Thursday] to reopen some schools for in-person learning, and also give teachers a higher priority for covid-19 vaccines. CapRadio’s Kris Hooks has more. The multi-billion dollar proposal would allow schools to resume in-person instruction for grades K through 6... but only when their county enters the red tier — which indicates substantial COVID-19 spread. It would also allow in-person learning for smaller groups of K through 12 students who have struggled with virtual classrooms, lack access to equipment, or need targeted learning support. School staff would also be given higher vaccination priority... which has been the biggest point of contention for teachers who say they must be vaccinated before returning to classrooms. The bill’s release comes a week after Governor Gavin Newsom assured Californians that a deal between his administration and state lawmakers was on the verge of completion. There’s been no indication that Newsom would sign off on this current plan. And that was Capradio’s Kris Hooks reporting from Sacramento. Trash and recycling pick up is the number one complaint in San Diego. That’s according to a new data analysis by inewsource of city service complaints so far this year. Inewsource investigative reporter Mary Plummer has more. Since the pandemic began, trash and recycling pickup complaints are up about 45% from last year. With more people at home, the volume of trash is up …. so it takes longer to take it all to the landfill. And there’s a shortage of drivers to collect the trash. SIMMONS: The pandemic just changed everything for everybody That’s Laurie Simmons. She was a trash truck driver for the city for 36 years until December when she retired. She says some co-workers missed work because they got the virus. Others had to care for their kids. With staffing shortages, she often worked overtime. SIMMONS: If there wasn't enough people to cover the routes for that day … we all had to go pick it up. Across all departments, about one in six employees have missed work due to having the virus or needing to quarantine. That’s caused problems for other services like pothole repairs and fixing streetlights, which currently has a backlog of more than 4 months. That was Inewsource investigative reporter Mary Plummer. inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS. Conservation groups say pollution and homeless encampments are threatening nature preserves throughout San Diego. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne joined volunteers in cleaning up a preserve in Oceanside...and she brings us this report. The Buena Vista Lagoon, a preserve nestled between home developments and shopping centers, has been taken over by homeless encampments and trash left behind. Mario Quinones, the private canyon ranger in the area, describes what he often encounters. “Down right over here on the river bed you’ll see most of the trash that the homeless bring in. Anywhere from furniture, fencing, mattresses, couches, to as little as your common trash.” Thursday, Volunteers with the San Diego Habitat Conservancy and A Cleaner North County collaborated to remove trash from the preserve. The Conservancy manages over 2000 acres of private preserve properties throughout San Diego and makes sure that the properties stay clean and healthy for wildlife and vegetation to thrive. Both organizations will continue to target areas throughout San Diego. And that was KPBS North County Reporter Tania Thorne reporting from Oceanside. THE PADRES ARE REPORTEDLY LOCKING UP STAR SHORTSTOP FERNANDO TATIS JR IN A BLOCKBUSTER CONTRACT THAT WOULD KEEP HIM HERE THROUGH 20-35. KPBS REPORTER MATT HOFFMAN SAYS AT JUST 22 YEARS OLD HE’S QUICKLY BECOMING ONE OF THE GAME'S BEST PLAYERS. Padres Manager Jayce Tingler says Fernando Tatis Jr is a true competitor who inspires his teammates with work ethic.. Through 143 games he’s put up 39 home runs with 27 stolen bases. Being consistent everyday and then showing up and performing well and treating people well, the team and teammates buy in very quickly Tatis’s reported 14 year 340 million dollar contract isn’t finalized yet.. But it’s ontrack to be the longest and one of the most valuable in baseball history.. Padres fans like Tony Trinh are picking up their Tatis jersey’s from the team store while they still can.. I’m so hyped I’m a huge tatis fan I’ve been saying it since i’ve been here he’s a lifetime padre I’m super stoked for it That reporting from KPBS’ Matt Hoffman. Coming up.... Fact checking some questionable claims made last week at the Trump’s latest impeachment trial. We’ll have that next after the break. Defense attorneys for former President Donald Trump made some questionable claims about Vice President Kamala Harris during last week’s impeachment trial. CapRadio’s PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols spoke with anchor Mike Hagerty about those statements in this week’s Can You Handle The Truth segment. ANCHOR: Chris, what claims did Trump’s lawyers make about Harris? CHRIS: They argued that Harris and other Democrats like Speaker Nancy Pelosi often use fiery rhetoric in their speeches -- and that Trump’s comments on January 6th were no different -- even though his speech was immediately followed by a mob of insurrectionists who took over the U.S. Capitol. In two examples, Trump defense attorney Michael van der Veen takes Harris’ comments out of context. Here’s one example that references her support for the George Floyd protests last summer. 02TrumpAttorney: “She said of the violent demonstrations, ‘Everyone beware! They’re not going to stop before election day in November. And they’re not going to stop after election day. They’re not going to let up and they should not.” (:14) ANCHOR: Is that what Harris really said? CHRIS: Yes and no. She said in an interview with Steven Colbert last June that the protest movement would continue. She did use the phrase ‘Everyone beware.’ But when you listen to the full interview, she is not talking about supporting riots or violent demonstrations, as van der Veen claims. Here she is on Colbert. 01Kamala: “This is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop. And everyone beware, because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day in November. And they’re not gonna stop after.” (:12) ANCHOR: Chris, how did PolitiFact rate this? CHRIS: Well, this claim is very similar to other distortions of Harris’ comments, which PolitiFact rated False. There’s one more claim by Trump’s attorney at last week’s impeachment trial. This time Van der Veen was talking about one of Harris’ tweets. 03TrumpAttorney: “The current Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris urged supporters to donate to a fund that bailed out violent rioters and arsonists out of jail. One of those was released and went out and committed another crime -- assault. He beat the bejesus out of somebody.” (:21) ANCHOR: Is there evidence to support that claim? CHRIS: In this case, the attorney again offers some correct information but then distorts the rest. Harris did send out a tweet last June asking people to support a fund to bail out protesters who were arrested at demonstrations in Minnesota after Floyd’s killing by police. She doesn’t say anything about helping violent rioters. But when the Washington Post examined this topic ... they found the fund did help bail out at least two people charged with attempted murder or burglary during the protests. Finally, looking at the person who was bailed out and went on to commit an assault, as the attorney referenced, the Post noted that that case was not connected to the protests. We don’t have a rating for this one, but it’s clear that Harris’ words and actions were not accurately portrayed. ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. CHRIS: Thanks, Mike. That was CapRadio’s PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols speaking with anchor Mike Hagerty. You can find more about all of the fact checks at PolitiFact-Dot-Com-Slash-California. That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

County data show vaccination rates in places like Coronado, Del Mar and La Jolla are as high as 25%. Meanwhile, lower-income areas with high case rates have vaccination rates as low as 7%. And, trash from homeless encampments threatens to overwhelm county nature preserves so, in Oceanside, volunteers organize a clean-up. Plus, a full fact check of some questionable statements made at Former President Donald Trump’s latest impeachment trial.