Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | California Healthline


San Francisco Chronicle:
Xavier Becerra Survives Fireworks-Free Senate Confirmation Hearing

Republicans have referred to as Xavier Becerra a radical leftist, however throughout his first Senate listening to on his nomination to run the federal Well being and Human Providers Division, the environment was collegial. Regardless of weeks of GOP assaults on the California lawyer basic, his exchanges with lawmakers on the Senate Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday had been well mannered and largely policy-related. However the pleasant environment didn’t foreshadow a landslide affirmation vote for Becerra, as many Republicans expressed reservations. (Kopan, 2/23)

The Hill:
Biden Health Nominee Faces First Senate Test 

President Biden’s nominee to steer the huge federal well being company confronted his first listening to within the Senate on Tuesday, with some Republicans indicating he doesn’t have the expertise needed for the job however others showing to go away the door open to supporting him. (Hellmann, 2/23)

The Hill:
Pressed On School Reopening, Becerra Says It’s A ‘Local Issue’ 

Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s nominee to be secretary of Well being and Human Providers, mentioned Tuesday when pressed about faculty reopenings that they’re a “native challenge,” declining to reply a particular query in regards to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) steering. (Sullivan, 2/23)

Modern Healthcare:
Becerra Supports Access To Care, Provider Funding During Confirmation Hearing

HHS secretary nominee Xavier Becerra on Tuesday threw his assist behind efforts to enhance entry to care, aligning himself with President Joe Biden’s healthcare agenda. Throughout his affirmation listening to earlier than the Senate Committee on Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions, the present California lawyer basic targeted on points affecting the healthcare business, together with protection enlargement, entry to care and supplier funding. He’s additionally slated to look earlier than the total Senate and Senate finance committee on Wednesday. (Brady, 2/23)

Republicans’ New Becerra Attack: He’s Not Sympathetic Enough To Pharma

Republican senators on Tuesday blasted President Biden’s well being secretary nominee utilizing an surprising argument: He’s not sympathetic sufficient to the pharmaceutical business. The assault on Xavier Becerra, California’s lawyer basic, is a shocking twist following years of agitation on Capitol Hill and from the Trump administration over excessive drug costs. Nevertheless it additionally highlights the credibility that pharmaceutical firms might have earned after growing a number of Covid-19 vaccines in file time, and the problem Becerra might face in balancing pricing frustrations with the business’s central function in pandemic response. (Facher, 2/23)

Roll Call:
Video: Becerra Touts Health Care Record As GOP Targets Nomination 

President Joe Biden’s choose to steer the Division of Well being and Human Providers, Xavier Becerra, appeared Tuesday for his first of two Senate affirmation hearings. He began with the Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions Committee. Watch CQ Roll Name well being care reporter Mary Ellen McIntire break down how Becerra introduced his background, and the place Republican senators might not see widespread floor. (McIntire and McKinless, 2/23)

FDA Staff Endorses J&J’s Single-Shot For Emergency Use

The FDA workers mentioned it decided that the medical trial outcomes and security information had been “in keeping with the suggestions set forth in FDA’s steering Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines to Stop COVID-19.” J&J submitted its Covid vaccine information to the FDA on Feb. 4. The vaccine’s stage of safety assorted by area, J&J mentioned, with the shot demonstrating 66% effectiveness general, 72% in the US, 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa, the place the B.1.351 variant is quickly spreading. The corporate mentioned the vaccine prevented 100% of hospitalizations and deaths. (Lovelace Jr., 2/24)

FDA Analysis of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Finds It Safe, Effective

The Meals and Drug Administration launched an evaluation of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning that helps its authorization for emergency use. On Friday, a panel of advisers to the company will meet to judge the vaccine and make a suggestion about whether or not it must be given the OK. If the company goes on to authorize the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it might be the third, after these made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, to be develop into obtainable within the U.S. (Hensley, 2/24)

Why The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Has Gotten A Bad Rap — And Why That’s Not Fair 

In medical trials, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine seems to be 66% efficient at stopping reasonable to extreme circumstances of COVID-19 — in comparison with about 95% for Moderna and Pfizer. That has some folks questioning if they need to keep away from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Completely not, says Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown College Faculty of Public Well being. “What I have been saying to my household is, as quickly because the J&J vaccine is allowed, if that is what you will get, it is best to get it as quickly as it is your flip in line,” says Jha. (Shapiro, 2/22)

Los Angeles Times:
California Vaccine Equity Program Will Change After Misuse Of Codes

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday introduced that California could be making modifications to a program designed to deal with inequities within the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, after a Instances report uncovered proof that outsiders had been misusing this system to seize appointments reserved for residents of neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic. “We don’t prefer to see these abuses,” Newsom mentioned at a information convention in Sacramento. (Wick, Lau and Nelson, 2/23)

LA Daily News:
LA County Officials Have Harsh Words For Coronavirus Vaccine Inequity – And Line-Jumping Cheaters 

Only one week away from increasing eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine by as much as 1.8 million folks, Los Angeles County officers are nervous the web system required by the state to guide appointments will proceed to pose challenges in communities hit hardest by the pandemic. Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Hilda Solis mentioned on Tuesday, Feb. 23, that she was “not stunned,” however nonetheless “disgusted” by sure folks utilizing any means needed to acquire vaccine doses. “I can inform you I used to be very alarmed to listen to that people had gained entry from the code given hours earlier than the pod was arrange,” Solis mentioned, describing a vaccination web site at a public housing facility in Boyle Heights supposed just for seniors who stay there. “And in some way they had been in a position to get in line forward of the folks this was supposed for.” (Rosenfeld, 2/23)

Sacramento Bee:
Crowdsourcing Sites Target COVID-19 Vaccine Doses In CA, US

Vaccine searching web sites are merging social media savvy with old school cellphone calls, popping up almost in a single day to hitch a rising digital group devoted to monitoring down obtainable COVID-19 vaccines. “We thought, ‘There must be some higher approach.’ We went from dialog to web site in lower than 24 hours,” mentioned Zoelle Egner, a co-organizer of the California vaccination info web site The location debuted in January, one of many many crowdsourced vaccine monitoring websites and on-line wait lists which have emerged throughout a nation the place the demise toll from COVID-19 surpassed 501,000 as of Tuesday night, in line with Johns Hopkins College. Greater than 49,000 within the state have died from the virus as of Tuesday, California Division of Public Well being numbers present. (Smith, 2/24)

Sacramento Bee:
COVID Vaccine: Sacramento County Says Supply Insufficient

Sacramento County officers on Tuesday charged the state with short-changing them on vaccine doses beneath a brand new distribution system — and complain they’ve requested the state to recalculate deliberate shipments, however have up to now been rebuffed. Native well being officers say they’ve been instructed their weekly cargo this week shall be 18% decrease than final week on the similar time that the state’s general allocation is predicted to extend almost 23%. “That is simply not acceptable,” county well being chief Jim Hunt mentioned in a report back to the county Board of Supervisors. “We’ve got identified the inequities.” (McGough and Bizjak, 2/23)

Orange County Register:
Orange County Plans To Open Multiple Vaccination Sites For School Employees

Faculty staff might quickly have entry to a number of areas for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot as Orange County begins to inoculate its schooling sector. A vaccination web site that, for now, is serving educators 65 years or older is predicted to reopen for appointments within the Backyard Grove Unified district on Wednesday, Feb. 24, as shipments of doses delayed by the latest winter storms throughout the nation start to reach. Subsequent, the Orange County Division of Training is planning to roll out a number of extra vaccination pods (factors of shelling out) on faculty properties all through the county over the subsequent a number of weeks, division spokesman Ian Hanigan mentioned. (Albano, 2/23)

Los Angeles Times:
L.A. School Reopening Contingent On Teacher Vaccinations

Los Angeles colleges Supt. Austin Beutner on Tuesday introduced a plan to the varsity board for reopening campuses that features the total interval wanted for workers to be vaccinated towards COVID-19, delaying the return of elementary college students to early April at finest. Faculty officers repeatedly focused April 9 for a campus reopening date, however Beutner described the date as an estimate, saying that the essential challenge is entry to vaccines for the 25,000 staff wanted for the operation of elementary colleges serving 250,000 college students within the nation’s second-largest faculty system. (Blume, 2/24)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Rosedale Union School District Organizes Onsite Clinic To Vaccinate Hundreds Of Employees 

Lecturers who for months have been coping with the challenges of distance studying — or excessive social distancing efforts in lecture rooms — appear to be prepared for a change. Many are relying on newly obtainable vaccines to assist pave the way in which. “I have been ready for at the present time,” mentioned Laurie Dunham, a second-grade instructor at Rosedale North Elementary Faculty in northwest Bakersfield. Dunham was one among 250 lecturers, directors and different staff within the Rosedale Union Faculty District to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday at a clinic arrange by way of a partnership between the 650-employee faculty district and Precedence Pressing Care. (Mayer, 2/23)

Fresno Bee:
Vaccine Eligibility Expanding In Fresno County. Here’s Who Can Get COVID Shots Next Week

Fresno County will see an enlargement within the variety of folks eligible to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine subsequent week, as clinics divulge heart’s contents to start offering pictures to staff in schooling and the meals/agriculture industries. Particularly, vaccines for the meals and agriculture staff will contain greater than individuals who work in meals processing crops or staff in farm fields or orchards, mentioned Joe Prado, group well being division supervisor for the Fresno County Division of Public Well being. (Sheehan, 2/23)

Los Angeles Times:
40% Of Inmates In California Have Been Vaccinated For COVID

About 40% of individuals within the custody of California’s corrections system have obtained the COVID-19 vaccine, a determine praised by jail advocates who say that solely a fraction of the state’s vaccine is required to guard a inhabitants that’s one of the crucial susceptible to the virus. The vaccinations started Dec. 22 on the California Well being Care Facility in Stockton, in line with California Correctional Well being Care Providers. As of Monday, 37,588 incarcerated people and 24,959 workers members had obtained the vaccine. There are at present greater than 94,000 folks within the custody of the California Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, or CDCR. (Miller, 2/23)

Bay Area News Group:
SamTrans To Offer Free Bus Rides To COVID Vaccination Sites

The San Mateo County Transit District on Thursday will start providing free bus rides on current strains to COVID-19 vaccination websites for individuals who stay or work within the county. Passengers going to a vaccination web site should let the bus operator know as quickly as they board and present proof of a vaccination appointment or a vaccination card, the company mentioned in a information launch Tuesday. Redi-Wheels and Redi-Coast paratransit providers can even provide eligible contributors free rides to and from vaccination websites. Riders, the company mentioned, want to point whereas reserving their reservation that the journey is for the aim of a COVID-19 vaccination. (Inexperienced, 2/23)

San Francisco Chronicle:
When Could S.F. Reach Herd Immunity As Vaccinations Speed Up? A UCSF Expert Explains The Math

After a sluggish begin, San Francisco’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has picked up in latest weeks. Town reached a excessive of almost 6,000 day by day vaccinations in mid-February earlier than widespread shortages prompted mass vaccination websites like Moscone Heart to briefly shut. Nonetheless, issues are trying up in San Francisco. Coronavirus case charges throughout the metropolis and the broader Bay Space area have plummeted since early January, and specialists say that’s at the very least partially resulting from vaccinations. Already, 18% of San Francisco’s 16-and-over inhabitants has been vaccinated, in line with town’s vaccine tracker. (Neilson, 2/23)

San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. School Board Approves Plan With Labor Unions To Reopen Classrooms

San Francisco faculty officers unanimously authorized a well being and security settlement with labor unions permitting the reopening of colleges earlier than the tip of the educational yr. The deal, authorized throughout Tuesday’s faculty board assembly, is the primary main hurdle in bringing the primary college students again into lecture rooms for in-person studying, though the unions and district are nonetheless at odds over what the varsity day will seem like when lecture rooms reopen. Any return to in-person instruction — which isn’t a certainty — is probably going at the very least two months off. (Asimov and Tucker, 2/23)

San Francisco Chronicle:
San Francisco Lifts Mandatory Travel Quarantine As Coronavirus Cases Fall

San Francisco is lifting its journey quarantine mandate amid dropping coronavirus circumstances and hospitalizations, although public well being officers mentioned folks ought to nonetheless keep away from non-essential journeys outdoors the Bay Space and isolate at residence in the event that they return from out of state. The necessary quarantine was put in place in mid December, when circumstances had been exploding from a surge tied to Thanksgiving journey. The coverage required folks quarantine for 10 days after returning to San Francisco from anyplace outdoors the area. (Allday, 2/23)

Sacramento Bee:
California Could Restore COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave To Workers

California staff might get two extra weeks of paid sick depart to take care of themselves or their family members affected by COVID-19, beneath a proposal launched by Democratic legislators this week. If handed, the package deal would restore a short lived profit that expired on the finish of final yr and let extra staff keep residence to stop the coronavirus from being unfold at workplaces, legislators and labor advocates mentioned. “Actually, it’s a recognition of the exhausting work that important staff have needed to do whereas the remainder of the society has been in a position to safely keep at residence,” mentioned Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, D-Los Angeles. (Park, 2/24)

Ventura County Star:
Life Could Return To ‘Near Normal’ By Late Summer, Says Ventura County Health Officer

Many COVID-19 restrictions might be eased and life might return to “close to regular” by late summer season, Ventura County Well being Officer Dr. Robert Levin predicted Tuesday. “Many, many people may have been vaccinated,” mentioned Levin who declined to be extra particular than “late summer season.” “I’m considering we’ll be touring. We’ll be going to eating places indoors and outside. We’ll be going to films. “Levin talked in regards to the timetable at a Ventura County Board of Supervisors assembly Tuesday dominated by enhancing COVID-19 metrics. The features have led to the power of elementary colleges to open and the probability a benchmark shall be hit inside days permitting soccer and plenty of different out of doors highschool sports activities to renew. (Kisken, 2/23)

LA Daily News:
Valencia’s New COVID-19 Lab Pushes Back After Report Of ‘Significant Deficiencies’ 

A Valencia COVID-19 testing lab that was discovered to have “vital deficiencies” throughout a  latest state inspection says it has corrected the issues and believes the power isn’t in peril of closure. The $25 million Valencia Department Laboratory at 28545 Livingston Ave. was unveiled in late October and commenced processing assessments Nov. 1. The 134,000-square-foot facility was transformed for its new use by the Massachusetts-based diagnostics firm PerkinElmer, which operates the lab beneath a $1.7 billion contract with the state. (Smith, 2/22)

Fresno Bee:
Surprise Honors Doctors & Nurses At Fresno CA Hospital 

Distinguished Fresno protection lawyer Tony Capozzi stunned Group Regional Medical Heart workers, who he credit with saving his life, with recognition awards by way of the hospital’s Honor Your Care Hero program on Tuesday. Capozzi not too long ago had therapy for a uncommon, life-threatening situation referred to as arteriovenous malformation, a blood vessel abnormality, in his case involving his colon. Capozzi was in surgical procedure for 9 hours then spent 11 days in restoration. (Walker, 2/23)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
San Diego’s Truvian Sciences Raises $105M To Bring Common Wellness Blood Tests Closer To Home 

Truvian Sciences, a San Diego startup that’s growing a benchtop blood testing machine to carry speedy, point-of-care well being screening to native pharmacies, medical clinics and company wellness facilities, has raised $105 million in a 3rd spherical of enterprise capital funding. The inflow of capital will allow the corporate to pursue U.S. Meals and Drug Administration approval of its automated blood testing expertise by the tip of this yr, mentioned Chief Govt Jeff Hawkins. (Freeman, 2/24)

Tiger Woods Is ‘Awake, Responsive And Recovering’ After Car Crash And Emergency Surgery

A luxurious SUV pushed by Tiger Woods crashed and rolled over Tuesday morning in southern California, leaving the golf celebrity with critical accidents, authorities and his agent mentioned. Woods is “awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room” after present process emergency surgical procedure, in line with an announcement posted on his Twitter account. Dr. Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer and interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Heart, mentioned Woods “suffered vital orthopaedic accidents” to his decrease proper leg. A rod was inserted to stabilize his tibia and femur bones, whereas a “mixture of screws and pins” had been used to stabilize accidents to the bones of the foot and ankle, the assertion posted on Woods’ Twitter account mentioned. (Mangan, 2/24)

Bay Area News Group:
New Stanford Research: Why Zoom Meetings Can Wipe You Out 

COVID-19 pandemic has moved our lives right into a digital area. Why is that so exhausting? The tiredness doesn’t really feel earned. We’re not flying an airplane, educating toddlers or rescuing folks trapped in burning buildings. Nonetheless, by the tip of the day, the sensation is so common that it has its personal title: Zoom Fatigue. Stanford College professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Digital Human Interplay Lab, has some solutions. In analysis printed Tuesday within the journal Expertise, Thoughts and Conduct, he describes the psychological influence of spending hours each day on Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime, or different video-calling interfaces. It’s the primary peer-reviewed article to investigate zoom fatigue from a psychological perspective. (Krieger, 2/23)

Bay Area News Group:
California Father And Son Must Pay Millions For National Drug Rehab Fraud, Judge Says 

A father-son group should pay $26.7 million in restitution, and do time in federal jail, for fraudulently signing up addicts for medical health insurance and getting kickbacks from therapy facilities in California. Jeffrey White performed the dominant function creating the rip-off, main his son Nicholas White right into a scheme that used pretend addresses to purchase insurance policies for shoppers in states the place they didn’t truly stay, however the place Obamacare well being care exchanges provided essentially the most beneficiant reimbursements for dependancy therapy, the U.S. Division of Justice mentioned. (Sforza and Saavedra, 2/24)

Capital Public Radio/KXJZ:
Sacramento Warming Centers Remain Closed Due To COVID-19 As Strong Winds Return

With wind gusts anticipated to hit 50 mph within the Sacramento area Wednesday, officers are urging unhoused residents to reap the benefits of a metropolis parking storage for emergency shelter. Whereas winds should not anticipated to succeed in the 60 mph town noticed earlier this winter, it is going to be loads highly effective sufficient to trigger some harm. “It’s going to get fairly windy,” mentioned Nationwide Climate Service Meteorologist Jim Mathews. One choice not in play for shelter are city-run warming facilities after optimistic COVID-9 assessments amongst volunteers pressured their closure final week. (Fletcher, 2/23)


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