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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Tokyo Olympics

The J&J Vaccine Pause

Cover image for podcast episode

CREDIT: AP PHOTO / DAMIAN DOVARGANES

Above: People walk in to get their COVID-19 vaccine at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza past a sign that says "Johnson & Johnson vaccine only" in Los Angeles, April 1, 2021.

San Diego County announced Tuesday morning that it’s pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, following guidance from the federal government. What that means for the city’s vaccination rollout. Plus: a $535 million deal for wildfire prevention in California, examining racial disparities in policing across San Diego County and more of the local news you need.

Good Morning, I’m Kinsee Morlan in for Annica Colbert for the next few days….it’s Wednesday, April 14.
HEALTH OFFICIALS PRESS "PAUSE" ON THE JOHNSON AND JOHNSON VACCINE FOR COVID-19... WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR LOCAL VACCINATION EFFORTS?

We’ll have that story, after your local headlines.

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SAN DIEGO SWAT OFFICERS SHOT AND KILLED AN ARMED MAN AFTER AN HOURS-LONG STANDOFF THAT ENDED AT A HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS.
The victim, CHRISTOPHER MARQUEZ, IS BELIEVED TO BE A FUGITIVE WANTED IN TWO SHOOTINGS WITHIN THE LAST MONTH.
POLICE WERE TRYING TO ARREST HIM LAST NIGHT WHEN HE LED OFFICERS ON A CAR CHASE AND DROVE ONTO THE SAN DIEGO HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS.
He then grabbed a woman and JUMPED INTO A DUMPSTER.
SWAT OFFICERS TRIED FOR HOURS TO NEGOTIATE WITH MARQUEZ, BUT SAY THE SITUATION ESCALATED.
Here’s SDPD’s Matt Dobbs…

She began screaming and begging for the male, not to shoot her and not two officers saw the male, pushed the female towards the ground, and it could see a rifle being brought up, prompting them both to fire their weapons.
The woman, by the way, was not hurt.
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NOW THAT SAN DIEGO COUNTY IS IN THE ORANGE TIER, MORE PADRES FANS WILL BE ALLOWED TO ATTEND GAMES AT PETCO PARK.
CAPACITY LIMITS WILL BE INCREASED FROM 20-PERCENT TO 33-PERCENT STARTING THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 16TH.
THAT'S WHEN THE TEAM BEGINS A SIX-GAME HOMESTAND.
SOME SECTIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT 67-PERCENT CAPACITY FOR FANS WHO HAVE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED, OR WHO HAVE TESTED NEGATIVE FOR COVID WITHIN 72-HOURS.
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California’s COVID-19 positivity rate is just one point 5 percent...
Not only is that the lowest positivity rate in the entire nation…
It’s the lowest positivity rate in California since the very start of the pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom Tweeted that news late yesterday afternoon.
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From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.

Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

A SETBACK FOR A CORONAVIRUS VACCINE TESTED HERE IN SAN DIEGO and across the country.
With guidance from the CDC and FDA, HEALTH OFFICIALS here ARE PRESSING PAUSE ON THE JOHNSON AND JOHNSON VACCINE…

No one here will be given the J&J vaccine while federal officials INVESTIGATE A POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECT.
KPBS REPORTER MELISSA MAE TALKED TO LOCAL OFFICIALS yesterday ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS FOR SAN DIEGO.

The CDC and FDA issued a joint statement today that they were reviewing data involving six reported us cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, San Diego County tweeted out that it will immediately pause, use of that vaccine out of an abundance of caution County supervisor.
Nathan Fletcher says he believes the impact on San Diego's a vaccine program. Will be minimal increase in supplies with the other ones that we're going to continue with. So, you know, a little, little bump in the road, but what you want to err on the side of caution and you want to err on the side of safety and you want the public to know that there's continued monitoring, testing, uh, treatment evaluation, uh, as, as we go through this right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.
All the cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48 and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. Dr. Christian Ramers is on the county's COVID-19 clinical advisory group on social media. He puts some perspective on the situation, comparing the blood clot risk from the vaccine to the risk of the same problem in pregnancy.
The immediate reaction is for people to freak out quite a bit. And I don't think we need to freak out right now. Um, this is the system working as it should actually. And it's pretty impressive that we have a vigilance and a safety system that can pick out a one in a million Dr. Ramers things. We need to put this all in perspective and assess their risks.
I actually anticipate we will continue to use J and J vaccine in the future. It's just that we need to sort out what this risk is, and perhaps avoid giving it in certain populations. People who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine who developed severe headache, abdominal pain. Leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their healthcare provider.

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In Sacramento, GOVERNOR Gavin NEWSOM HAS SIGNED A DEAL THAT SETS ASIDE AN ADDITIONAL 535-MILLION DOLLARS FOR WILDFIRE PREVENTION THIS YEAR.
KPBS ENVIRONMENT REPORTER, ERIK ANDERSON HAS DETAILS.

The legislation of the state endured the worst wildfire season in modern history. Governor Newsome hopes the money accelerates fire prevention projects in areas that are prone to wildfires. He says climate change is raising the risk that a small fire will grow out of control four plus million acres burned last year, more than 2018 and 2019 combined.
And while it wasn't the deadliest. Or most destructive wildfire season. It certainly was in terms of the total acreage burned. The $536 million legislative package includes money for firebreaks forest health and hardening homes. The money comes in addition to nearly $500 million already set aside for firefighting in the state budget, or Richard bloom says people shouldn't be misled into thinking this solves the problem.
The focus here is on how much work lays ahead of us. And we need to be conscientious about making sure that this very important funding that we provide this year continues on into the future because we won't get it all done. Uh, Republican state Senator Scott Wilke, meanwhile says wildfires have affected nearly every community in the state and he wants to see some state rules eliminated.
So more wildfire mitigation efforts can move forward.

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Most San Diego kids ARE GETTING BACK TO IN-PERSON LEARNING THIS WEEK.
KPBS REPORTER MAX RIVLIN-NADLER SPOKE WITH PARENTS AND GUARDIANS in City Heights ABOUT WHAT THEIR FIRST DAY WAS LIKE, AFTER MORE THAN A YEAR OF REMOTE LEARNING.

It's been exciting to have him back. It's kind of saddening at the same time. He's been home for the last 14 months. So I've gotten used to spending more time with them. Carlos Brown son is back in school, out of he bought a elementary school in city Heights for him. The first day of school on Monday was bittersweet.
He was happy to see his son back in school and among friends. But he already missed having him around. It was very weird. Cause I'm like you still going back and forth, checking on them, feeding them and overall interacting with them. So it was kind of strange. I had a lot more downs. Eva was dropping off her six year old grandson without him at home.
She says she kept busy and it was happy to see her grandson enjoying being back in school.
she said her grandson raved about the activities he got to do with his classmates. But most of all his teacher MUSC analysts who my S M C patent is the school's principal. We are finally back and we had about, we think about 250 kids on campus yesterday and, um, protocol, all the distancing, all the signage, the kids are, the kids are gre at at it.
They've they've been living in COVID too. We're not the only ones just to see kids out. Side on the blacktop, on the playground, uh, dense distanced, or not bouncing a ball was joyful to say that the patent says that in a diverse community, like city Heights, getting kids back out and interacting with kids from different backgrounds and cultures is incredibly important and amazing community.
It has so much to offer. And we have, I love it. When in the mornings you see, it looks like the United nations here, and a zoom meeting with us looks like the UN we've got. Five languages spoken on in being interpreted. We've got, um, people are not, they know this is their home and there was nothing, but I could see the smiles through the masks yesterday.
It was, it was easy to see parents and teachers that he bought her elementary school, just the sight of kids. I'm socially distanced playground had them smiling as well.

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THE PANDEMIC HAS TAKEN A TOLL ON THE MOVIE INDUSTRY.
MOST VISIBLE TO FILMGOERS HAS BEEN THE TEMPORARY AND SOMETIMES PERMANENT CLOSURE OF MOVIE THEATERS AND CHAINS.
KPBS ARTS REPORTER BETH ACCOMANDO SAYS PACIFIC THEATERS AND ITS ARCLIGHT CINEMAS ARE THE LATEST TO GO DARK FOR GOOD.

Transcript tk

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Coming up…

A hard look at racial disparities in policing across San Diego County..

That story, after the break.

Don’t touch that digital dial.

Even as the trial for the killing of George Floyd continues, new instances of police violence against black men are in the headlines, one just down the street from where Floyd was killed, and elsewhere..

An army officer in Virginia is pepper sprayED during a traffic stop. And 20 year old Dante right was killed by police in a Minneapolis suburb on Sunday night -- again, after a traffic stop..

a series of reports in the San Diego union Tribune has been exploring bias in policing in our community.

And it's exploration of who gets stopped, searched or experiences violence at the hands of police suggests - not for the first time, that San Diego law enforcement has a bias problem within its ranks.

San Diego union Tribune, watchdog reporter, Lyndsay Winkley JOINED KPBS MIDDAY EDITION HOST MAUREEN CAVANAUGH TO TALK ABOUT HER SERIES.


We spoke with you about the first installment in this series and the headline of that report was that although blacks make up 6% of the overall population here in San Diego, they account for 20% of the traffic stops. Can you tell us what aspects of policing the two final reports explore?
Speaker 2: 01:09 Sure. So our second story took a really deep dive into searches and, um, something called a hit rate analysis. And basically what that does is it takes a really close look at when individuals are stopped by an officer or a deputy. Um, if they are found with some sort of illegal item and that's important because, um, it can sometimes show us that even though a particular racial groups are stopped more often by police departments, they are less likely to be found with contraband, um, than the white population. Um, and so we sort of found that at the San Diego County Sheriff's department, black individuals and native American individuals were pulled over more often and searched despite the fact that white populations were found with contraband more often. Um, and similarly at the San Diego police department, we took a close look at something called a consent search, um, pay attention to that one because I think that there's some interesting news on the horizon when it comes to those sorts of searches.
Speaker 2: 02:09 But when we looked at consent searches, which is the only reason why that search happens is because an officer asked for it to happen. He doesn't necessarily have to suspect that any criminal activity has happened. And what we found is that San Diego police officers were more likely to ask to search the Latino population, despite the fact that the white population was more likely to be found with contraband in those particular sorts of searches. The third story was centered on use of force. I think, as you just alluded to that is certainly something that captures headlines. We know that it's not the full picture of racial disparities in policing, but it's definitely important. And we wanted to explore that more deeply. However, we did couple that story with conversations with activists, police leaders, city leaders, on what they feel to change in order to address the disparities that we see in the data.
Speaker 1: 03:03 Right. Let me break that down a little bit, but first let me ask you what you mean about something on the horizon about consent searches?
Speaker 2: 03:10 Yeah, I mean, there have been many calls for consent search policies to change and mayor Todd Gloria recently alluded to the fact that the city is going to be exploring some policy changes in that realm. So we'll have to see what comes with that.
Speaker 1: 03:28 You're a port put a human face on one of the stops and searches. It's a pretty well-known face in San Diego attorney and activist Genevieve Jones. Right. What did she tell you about her experience?
Speaker 2: 03:40 Yeah. Um, I have had the pleasure of working, um, with Genevieve on a number of stories. And, um, I just have to say that I was, uh, I was so grateful that she decided to relive this experience with me. Um, but essentially she was, um, leaving a Memorial for a colleague who had passed away. And pretty soon after leaving that sort of beach side, get together, she was followed by police. Um, so for miles and miles, they sort of tailed her until she pulled off into a Southeast San Diego neighborhood. And that's when they pulled her over. Um, but it wasn't just a normal stop. This was something called a hot stop, which is when many police officers are present. They had a police canine and, um, it was a 10 minute ordeal where she was put into the back of a police car, um, because the officers believed that her car had been stolen and she told them numerous times that it had not that it was her vehicle.
Speaker 2: 04:43 And, um, it was just this really extended traumatic ordeal. And the reason why we wanted to highlight that stop is because we wanted to make it really clear that the numbers that we're discussing in this story are experiences for people and at times traumatic experiences for people of color. Um, and that's something that can kind of easily get lost in percentage comparisons and rates and everything else. And so we want it to make it, you know, we just wanted to help people understand the effect of police stops particularly on communities of color. And more specifically than that, the black community,
Speaker 1: 05:24 What is law enforcement saying about these numbers and what they seem to be
Speaker 2: 05:27 Reveal? Yeah, so the San Diego County Sheriff's department was a little bit less communicative with us about these numbers. They did speak a little bit to the over-representation of native Americans within their stops, essentially saying that because of the sheriff department's responsibility to respond to incidents that are sort of initiated by tribal police departments across the County, that they believe that that's why those numbers were inflated. Um, the San Diego police department was much more, um, and they had a lot of things to say about the numbers. I will say that they did acknowledge that implicit and explicit bias were, you know, likely a factor in the disparities that we saw, but it was really clear that they didn't feel like that was the top of line issue. They were more likely to point to things like criminality, uh, individual experience such as homelessness or mental illness. Um, and those sorts of circumstances sort of external from the police officer involved would more likely lead to a police contact.
Speaker 1: 06:33 You just mentioned that, uh, mayor Todd, Gloria is calling for San Diego too, in, in one sense or another update its police policies and the statistics coming out, not just from your report, but all across the state on police stops and searches. It's sparking interest in developing new policies and procedures. What kind of policy changes are experts considering?
Speaker 2: 06:57 So should we should make it really clear that there are community groups that have been working on this front in San Diego County and beyond, but specifically in San Diego for many, many years. And the disparities that we uncovered in this report are not new. Um, and so that's given a lot of very smart people, a lot of time to sort of discuss how to best respond to, you know, long-standing disparities. Um, but I would say the two that are, I think, um, some of the most interesting and you hear about them often is a, an end to consent searches and be an end to protect sexual stops. Um, so consent searches as we sort of discussed earlier is when, um, the only reason why a consent search happens is because an officer or a deputy asks for it to happen. Um, there doesn't need to be any sort of, um, reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred.
Speaker 2: 07:49 Um, and there, depending on where you are on the scale, uh, lots of people and the community would just like those things to end. Um, but I think there's also another community that would like, um, well, this is more on sort of the police side of things to see just much more stringent requirements placed on those sorts of searches. Um, and then you have pretextual stops. Um, pretextual stops are stops that occur, you know, that can occur for say a traffic violation, even though the real reason an officer is pulling somebody over for a traffic violation is some other thing that they suspect might be happening. And similarly, certain groups just want to see those go away. Um, other people want to see more stringent limits placed on those. So we'll have to see kind of what the end result is. If those two things are in fact going to see some changes.

And that was U-T watchdog reporter Lyndsay Winkley talking with kpbs midday edition host Maureen Cavanaugh.

And that’s it for the show today.
But a quick REMINDER before I go: WE HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW AND WHERE TO GET YOUR Covid vaccine AT KPBS-DOT-ORG. JUST GO TO OUR HOMEPAGE AND THEN CLICK ON THE VACCINES TAB.
Annnnd one more small, but very important thing: If you listen to kpbs via radio, you know we’re in the middle of a pledge drive. Podcast listeners...please, do your part and donate to your npr member station today. Everything we do...including this very podcast you listen to...is financially supported by listeners just like you. If you’re already a member, thanks, seriously...we really, really appreciate you.

OK. That is all. Thanks for listening.

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San Diego News Now

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.