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Vaccines for kids

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Thursday, October 21st.

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Vaccinating kids

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

Governor Gavin Newsom has extended California's drought emergency to cover the entire state.

But San Diego is still in pretty good shape. Jeff stephenson is a water resources manager with the san diego county water authority. He says the county’s water supply is stable.

“because we get it in so many places, the idea is if one has a problem, there’s a backup. just like you diversify your investments, you wouldn’t put it all into one stock, you diversify it so that if one has a bad year, you have something else to pick up the slack.”

Stephenson still encourages San Diegans to conserve water and avoid wastewater.

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Some California schools are at-risk of losing federal covid-19 funds. A condition of getting the money is spending it within a specific timeframe.

Margarita Fernández is with the state auditor's office. She says if deadlines are missed, the money reverts to the federal government.

"there are some local education agencies that are not spending as quickly and some of them talked about that the reason that they aren't is because they are focusing on other funds that have deadlines that are coming up as well."

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A San Diego federal judge threw out a lawsuit against San Diego’s ban on so-called “ghost guns” on Wednesday. The lawsuit was filed hours after Mayor Todd Gloria signed the ban. It alleged that the ordinance violated second amendment rights of law-abiding San Diegans. Ghost Guns are typically home-manufactured firearms that don’t have serial numbers, making them untraceable. US District Judge Cynthia Bashant issued a written ruling denying the plaintiffs requests, stating that people can still buy home-manufactured guns that ARE serialized and purchased from licensed sellers.

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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.

The white house is preparing to deliver millions of COVID-19 vaccinations for younger children.

KPBS Health Reporter Matt Hoffman says the news comes as federal regulators are meeting soon to review the vaccine's effectiveness and safety.

Next week the FDA is looking at approving COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines for kids ages five to 11 -- with the CDC taking up the issue the following week. White house officials say they have enough doses for the estimated 28 million kids.

The surgeon general says there will be a national campaign targeting younger children and their parents--

If approved, the vaccines could be in San Diego by early next month.

Sawyer

This may be the last missing piece

Dr. Mark Sawyer is an infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s hospital.

Dr. Mark Sawyer, pediatric infectious diseases Rady Children’s

If we want kids to be able to freely go to school and participate in their other activities getting them vaccinated is going to make that a lot easier

Sawyer sits on the FDA advisory panel which will be reviewing safety data from the vaccine next week--

Sawyer

We’re worried about the side effects just like we are in adults but since children dont get generally as sick with covid we need to be doubly sure the vaccines are safe

He says the pfizer vaccine designed for kids is the same as the one for adults, just in a smaller dose. White house officials say they are working to set up community vaccination sites including clinics at schools to make the process as easy as possible.

Sawyer

It’s going to be available in pediatrician’s offices, family physicians offices it’s going to be in some pharmacies so access to vaccine will not be a problem

Nationwide there have been more than 600 coronavirus deaths among minors. Health officials estimate around half of kids that get infected don’t have any symptoms, all the reason why Sawyer says it’s key to have them vaccinated.

Sawyer

This may be the last missing piece, if we can cut down transmission in schools and keep kids from brining it home to their parents and other people at higher risk then I think we’re going to be in pretty good shape

Even though the final approval process is still a couple weeks away white house officials say they are acting now to be ready to move quickly. MH KPBS News.

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While The pandemic hit many communities across the country hard, both medically and economically -- San Diego fared much better than other places - thanks to the military. As KPBS reporter John Carroll tells us, a new report shows military spending helped soften the pandemic’s impact on the region’s economy.

On a beautiful, sunny San Diego day… some sunny news.

“As we come out of COVID, most people think there are downtrends. This report demonstrates that they’re not all down.”

Retired Vice Admiral Jody Breckenridge joined other local leaders at Naval Base Point Loma to present the San Diego Military Advisory Council’s 2021 report. The top line takeaway? Military spending and the ripple effect from it helped the San Diego region to - mostly - dodge a bullet, economically speaking, from COVID.

“The government spends money on personnel, on retirees, on research and on manufacturing. And that continues regardless of where we are in the business cycle. And that helps then cushion San Diego during downturns.”

How much does military spending help? When it comes to jobs… a lot…

Nearly 350-thousand jobs are traceable directly to the defense industry… There are about 110-thousand active service members of 35-thousand civilians employed by the military here.

Defense contracts accounted for an additional 200-thousand jobs. 23% of the county’s total labor force works either directly or indirectly in service of the military.

People who’ve served in the armed forces often choose to retire here and they help a lot too… about 40-thousand of them pump two-billion dollars into our economy every year…

And here’s the ripple effect of that military money… 35-billion in direct spending generates more than 55-billion… or a quarter of our region’s gross regional product.

“They didn’t lay off anybody in terms of the military. They had to keep on going to provide security. And the fact that we added jobs in the military helped offset some of the losses we saw in other areas.”

From 1904 when the Navy opened a coal depot on San Diego Bay to today… the military and San Diego are more important to each other than ever. JC, KPBS News.

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As we reported on Wednesday, San Diego County officials are pressing forward on a Climate Action Plan that could change the way the county grows. It is a complicated undertaking that still needs time to complete, but environmentalists say it is urgent for the region.

KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson has more on the debate before the county board of commissioners..

California is already experiencing wildfires and droughts linked to climate change and that’s adding urgency to the county’s planning effort aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Katie Meyer of San Diego 350 says there is a lot at stake.

Katie Meyer, San Diego

“It is not just your generation and my generation at

risk. But future generations who will not know a normal life without experiencing these devastating effects.”

Meyer urged the panel to move forward quickly because climate change is no longer something that’s happening in the future. County staff say the complex planning document probably will take some work to complete. The Climate Action Campaign’s Noah Harris says that’s not good enough

“We are deeply alarmed at the delay presented today which will push the CAP’s adoption into late 2023. As you heard, we’re in a climate emergency. We have to slash emissions as soon as possible to stop the worst impacts of the climate crisis.”

San Diego officials are building a Climate Action Plan tasked with reducing the county’s greenhouse gas emissions sharply by 2030. It is a state mandate that the county infamously failed to meet. The courts have rejected six previous plans that were challenged by local environmentalists for not reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Board chair Nathan Fletcher says that’s why he’s okay with a deliberative process. He says the county has to get it right.

Nathan Fletcher, SD Supervisor’s Chair “We’ve got to do it all in a legally compliant way which is very challenging and in a way that takes into account community concerns about where things should go. But as a board we want to be on a goal of building consistently more housing than we built previously, but putting it in the right place.”

That means no more sprawl developments in the backcountry which requires people to drive long distances to work, school or shop. Supervisor Jim Desmond worries the smart growth development model ignores the impact technology can have on climate warming emissions. He says freeways will remain important in the future.

“So buses and trains, in my mind are still going to be there but we’re still going to have roads. We’re still going to have that infrastructure and we need to look at new technology to try to help solving problems of the future.”

He says electric cars could have a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions and he wants that to be acknowledged in the plan. Supervisor Nora Vargas also called on staff to make sure environmental justice remains prominent. She says future development in areas like Otay Mesa have to take the impact of pollution into consideration.

“We have to make sure that we are responsible in how we’re doing our, and be strategic I guess, in reducing exposure while insuring we support the cleanest industrial development and job growth. I do believe that this can be done.”

County officials acknowledged the complexity of the task. The climate action plan is being developed as regional planners look at growth and outline efforts to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled in the county. Staff hope to have their Climate Action Plan ready for a vote by the end of next year.

Erik Anderson KPBS News

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Coming up...Governor Gavin Newsom despised Trump’s border wall, but now he’s hired the company that built it for COVID-19 response. And that’s frustrated immigration advocates and community health care leaders.

“Keeping our communities and our patients safe is at the center of who we are. So working with an organization that has done the opposite — it's hurtful.”

More on that next, just after the break.

California has turned to an unusual partner for COVID-19 response: The same company that built former president Donald Trump’s border wall along the state’s southern border. The no-bid, $350 million contract has frustrated immigration advocates and community health care leaders.

Cap Radio’s State government reporter Scott Rodd has more.

It’s no secret Governor Gavin Newsom despised Trump’s border wall.

Here he is on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, shortly after taking office.

NEWSOM-1: “A 2,000 mile wall is a monument to stupidity. Not just vanity, to stupidity. It doesn’t solve the problem.”

Trump hired a company called S-L-S-C-O to build his wall in California.

Two years later, the Newsom administration hired the same company for COVID-19 response. The state desperately needed medical workers...and SLSCO had pivoted to health care services during the pandemic.

The company provided thousands of medical staff who were sent to vaccination sites around the state. They also helped screen and immunize nearly 60,000 migrants at the border...in the shadow of the wall SLSCO built...to keep them out.

RIOS-2: It does raise questions for me about how this decision took place.

Pedro Rios directs the U.S./Mexico Border Program for the American Friends Service Committee.

RIOS-2: “To me what it shows is a lack of historical memory--to hold accountable those companies that were profiting from that type of business.”

We wanted to ask Newsom about this. But his office did not respond to our request for comment.

SLSCO and the state Department of Public Health declined interview requests. In a statement, the company said it was “honored” to provide medical staffing to California.

In an email, the department of public health said SLSCO provided quality staff, many of whom were bilingual. The department claims this helped advance the state’s effort to test and vaccinate underserved communities.

Britta Guerrero is CEO of the Sacramento Native American Health Center.

She disagrees.

GUERRERO-1: “We would have never considered a partnership like that.”

The Native American Health Center helped organize vaccine clinics...including ones for undocumented Californians. Unbeknownst to Guerrero, the state sent 10 workers from SLSCO to staff the events.

She says that could have jeopardized relationships with vulnerable patients who already distrust the health care system.

GUERRERO-2: “We represent Black and Brown communities, underserved folks. Keeping our communities and our patients safe is at the center of who we are. So working with an organization that has done the opposite — it's hurtful.”

CapRadio spoke to multiple county public health departments who said staff from SLSCO served an important role in their vaccination efforts.

Here’s Sara Bosse, Madera County’s public health director.

BOSSE: “We found that the quality of the staff was very good. They provided excellent service to our community and our residents on par with our expectations of our regular staff in Madera County.”

Bosse says she was unaware of the company’s background building border walls. She added that her top priority as a public health director is to ensure residents have quality care and access to the vaccine.

And that was Cap Radio’s state government reporter Scott Rodd. You can read the entire investigation into California’s partnership with border wall company S-L-S-C-O at Cap-Radio-dot-org.

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.

The White House is preparing to deliver COVID-19 Vaccines to millions of kids ages 5 to 11. We have input from our local health experts. Also, the San Diego Military Advisory Board’s (SDMAC) annual report reveals the military accounts for hundreds of thousands of jobs in the region and billions in economic impact. Plus, Governor Gavin Newsom despised Trump’s border wall, but now he’s hired the same company that built it here in San Diego to help fight COVID-19.