tv ABC7 News 500PM ABC February 26, 2021 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
as we come on air this evening, a new vaccine gets a vital endorsement. the fda says it will be a crucial third option to vaccinate millions of americans. also, a new front in the battle against covid-19. a struggle over which can adapt faster, the virus or the vaccine-makers. a big step forward for the a's quest for a water front ballpark. the team says it's a once in a lifetime opportunity, but not everyone sees it that way. one neighbor says the ballpark will create big problems. >> building a better bay area for a safe and secure future, this is abc7 news. we'll begin with action taken late today. a government advisory committee has given a thumbs up to a third coronavirus vaccine. this paves the way for an increased supply, bringing hope to millions of people.
i'm dan ashley. >> and i'm ama daetz. thank you for joining us. the fda panel voted to recommend authorize ing a covid-19 vaccine from johnson & johnson for use in adults. the emergency use authorization is expected tomorrow. the cdc will meet and could grant final approval this weekend. that means up to 4 million doses could be shipped starting next week. abc7 news reporter stephanie sierra has been following the meeting all day. stephanie, what can you tell us? >> all 22 members who sit on the fda's advisory panel voted in favor of recommending johnson & johnson's vaccine for eua. you could notice a sense of relief from panelists that believe this vaccine will be a game changer in tackling the supply shortage. but it's important to note an eua does not mean this vaccine or will be fda approved. in fact, no covid vaccine is fda approved at this point. here is the good news. this shot only requires one dose. it's much easier to store as it
can sit in most standard refrigerators for at least three months. the caveat addressed today is experts stressed in order for this vaccine to be reliable and continue to improve efficacy, consistent data reporting needs to be prioritized. citing of the 66 million doses administered across the country, we still don't have any data on how many people have been reinfected after receiving the vaccine. until that happens, experts concluded this vaccine has the ability to prevent severe disease and further hospitalization, getting us one step closer to immunity. >> typically if you have immunity, two things happen. you either have a lot less of the virus so it's not really replicating and causing your body to rev up the way that it would if you didn't have any immunity in place, and it typically keeps it from going to other places. >> johnson & johnson is on track to deliver 100 million doses by the end of june.
this, of course, will significantly improve supply concerns as pfizer and moderna are also expected to deliver another 300 million doses by the end of july. live in the studio, stephanie sierra, abc7 news. >> right direction. thank you so much, stephanie. governor newsom said today that assuming the fda grants emergency use authorization of the johnson & johnson vaccine, california expects to receive more than 380,000 doses by as early as next week. as for vaccinations, he says the state is on the right track. >> it is remarkable to just think just a few weeks ago we had 5 million doses of vaccines administered. today we announced that we're at 8,240,000. >> state officials say they are on course to administer 3 million covid vaccines a week by march 1st if the supply catches up with the state's distribution capacity. now, if it does, california could conceivably finish vaccinating the entire state in 23 weeks.
that's under six months. today abc7 news special contributor dr. patel shared his insights on how things are going nationally. >> right now about 13% of americans have gotten one shot. about 6% have gotten both shots. so i don't know if on a national scale that's made a huge difference in our caseload. now, if you actually look at distribution, we're giving out 1.8 million vaccines a day. if we can get that to 3 million, we can get to herd immunity sooner, by may. >> very encouraging to hear. for the first time in more than four months, 14-dand slightly above the daily average for the week. the state reported 391 deaths from covid, which is more in line with the daily totals we're now seeing. a backlog from los angeles led to a huge spike yesterday.
while the state's numbers are improving, the centers for disease control says this is not the time to relax restrictions. the cdc says over the past couple days the numbers have reversed course and have started swinging back up. officials are most concerned about covid variants that may become dominant by mid-march. it is the variants that are underscoring the new battle against covid-19. it's really a struggle over who can adapt the fastest, the virus or the vaccine-makers. and experts we spoke with were confident in our ability to adjust to these new covid variants. >> with dangerous new variants of covid-19 appearing worldwide, including california, manufacturers are racing to keep their vaccines a step ahead of the virus, and the speed at which they're able to the week the formulas is breathtaking by historic standards. >> we all heard how quick the mrna vaccines can be made. >> he's a professor and infectious disease researcher at stanford.
he says the cutting-edge messenger rna technique gives both companies a powerful advantage. it's the ability to quickly rewrite genetic instructions, the formulas used to trigger an immune response rather than developing new vaccine components from scratch. >> you just have to know the sequence and then you can design the mrna variant quickly. we've seen that. >> moderna just announced that it's already designated an updated version of its covid vaccine to combat the south african strain and sent it to the national institutes of health for evaluation. pfizer and partner biontech says they're also studying new booster formulas. although the new johnson & johnson vaccine uses a different technique, which employs a disabled virus to carry covid dna into the body, experts say it can also be tweaked much faster than older vaccine methods. >> if there are differences in the spike protein of the variants, they can be included into newer versions of the vaccines. >> the extra protection could be delivered in several ways, some have suggested a booster shot
with existing vaccines may be enough for the short term. a variant-specific booster could also be added to the regimen to target new strains. while researchers believe a new vaccine could target elements of both the old and new strains in a booster. >> this way, even though you're boosting the immune response towards the south africa strain, you still make sure that the immune system remembers the original wuhan strain. >> whatever the strategy, experts we spoke with expect a quick rollout if necessary. historic speed to confront a fast-moving enemy. >> on that point, johnson & johnson says it will be ready to update its new vaccine if necessary whether it's adding a second shot to the single dose regimen or reworking the original formula. now, abc7 news is monitoring the covid vaccine rollout in california with our vaccine tracker. you'll find it at abc7news.com. big news in the east bay.
a new oakland a's water front ballpark is one step closer to reality today with the release of a sweeping environmental impact report. here's a look at the proposed ballpark as seen from sky 7. abc7 news reporter lesley brinkley is live in oakland in what would be the new entrance to the stadium complex. what are the newest developments? >> that's right, ama. it would be right behind me here along the waterfront in oakland. the a's president told me that the eir, the environmental impact report, is bigger than baseball. he said it contains noo no stoppers. >> it could be a game changer on the road to keeping the a's in oakland in a long envisioned waterfront ballpark with room for 35,000 fans. in this just-released rendering, there is a new hotel and
performance venue along with 3,000 new homes, many of them desperately needed affordable housing, all opening up onto 18 acres of a new waterfront park. >> this is an environmental impact report and it's a huge milestone. it means that the full project could come in front of the council for approval by the end of this year. we have to make sure that any project is enhancing our environmental stewardship, not degrading it. it comes up with creative ways to make sure that there are no net greenhouse gas emissions. that is a huge deal. >> the plans prioritize not impeding port traffic and more efficient truck access along with transit links to the downtown core, possibly using a gondola to ferry passengers to the stadium. bike and pedestrian bridges would arch over 880 and the railroad tracks. the entire site would be raised five feet to mitigate an anticipated rise in sea levels.
the a's say the project would attempt to transform the industrial site into a sustainable community using no taxpayer dollars while working to reimagine the old coliseum site in east oakland. >> we have a very exciting vision for east oakland as well that's been informed by a lot of public input that includes keeping the arena, building affordable housing and having an important job center in east oakland. >> the a's are our last major league team in oakland. we need to keep them. this is how they see their future in oakland, and they're willing to pay for it. >> there are, of course, plenty of critics, but this eir public hearing over it will be starting soon and running through mid-april before a decision gets made. of course the 2023 opening day at the new ballpark is not going to happen. it'll be delayed considerably. a lot of it due to the pandemic.
reporting live in oakland, i'm lesley brinkley, abc7 news. >> lesley, thank you. and the draft environmental impact report is a big step in moving the project forward. but it is raising concerns for critics and fans alike. abc7 news reporter ansar hassan has news from oakland. >> she has a boat and wants bay area sports to stay in the bei bei. >> i'm a giants fan but i'm a bay area fan. so i think, you know, i will support the a's and hopefully it gets done. >> he's talking about the new oakland a's waterfront stadium being proposed at the port of oakland. the draft environmental report was released on friday, a big step in moving the project forward. >> the plan that i've seen is really well thought out and there's a lot of -- a lot of buildup that's going to happen and a lot of jobs i think will come from that. >> mike jacob is vice president of the pacific merchant shipping association. he isn't as enthusiastic.
they're reviewing the draft but already have big concerns. jacob says the proposed location is only for industrial use, and bringing it office space, tourists, and housing will create problems. >> those are 24/7 uses that are not just a stadium. when you invite those types of uses, especially housing into an industrial area, those uses aren't compatible with what we do. >> jacob says the future success of the port of oakland is based on its ability to grow its access to cargo and overseas markets. he thinks this project puts billions of dollars and thousands of jobs at risk. >> if this project moves forward and doesn't address our ability to do business and constricts our ability to grow, then our members who are the tenants and the investors in the infrastructure of port of oakland won't be reinvesting here. >> i've been an a's fan since i moved to california in 1972. >> john wilson a die-hard a's
fan doesn't want the city to fast rack the plan. traffic, he says, will be the t biggest obstacle. >> i see what projected. you're not going to put that many people on a tram and move them at that speed. it just can't be done. >> the public has until mid-april to comment on the report. in oakland, ansar hassan, abc7 news. still ahead, testing kids for the coronavirus before letting them into class. it's a new pilot program happening right now in san mateo county. the new hope that this plan could be a model for everyone else and help ease the pandemic pain for millions of
underserved communities. three districts involved in this covid testing are redwood city school district, ravenswood, and la honda pescadero. we checked one of them out today. >> for 5-year-old, testing for the coronavirus has become part of her safety routine at school. twice a week with a guidance of a testing site coordinator, she knows how to gently insert a swab in both nostrils to test for the virus. >> 13, 14, 15. that's it. >> the test is a nasal swab but not the deep one. >> i feel like it tickled. but when i put it in, i felt it tickle again. >> similar to a pretty gognancy the results are in 15 minutes. >> two times a week is to catch any infections coming in before they have a chance to spread.
>> three counties in california are part of this pilot program, los angeles, merced, and san mateo. san mateo county has three school districts participating. redwood city school district, ravenswood city in east palo alto, and la honda do pescadero unified. the idea is to make it accessible eventually to other school districts in california. >> we think we can make those school buildings as safe as conceivably possible, which will allow teachers to come back confidentially and not be worried about contracting a disease that could theoretically kill them. >> the kaeccalifornia endowment brings health care to underserved communities. they and other partners are funding the program at a cost of $2.4 million. so if these kids can be tested twice a week, the expectation is that the number of cases in these communities is likely to eventually go down. >> we want to emphasize the
masking, the social distancing, and that testing lets us know if we're doing what we need to do to protect ourselves. >> a total of 300 kids in the ravenswood city school district alone will continue to be tested. in east palo alto, lyanne melendez, abc7 news. >> happening now in san jose. these are parents and some students rallying in front of lee high school. they've been told that lee and four other high schools in the district will not reopen for in-person learning this school year. they want campbell union high school district to know their kids are, quote, suffering socially, mentally, and scholastically. they're hoping to pressure the district to reopen. some learning is taking place in the gym, but parents are saying that doesn't count. they want their kids back in class. you see them all out there theie district. a crowd of parents and students rallied out in front of the benicia school district
office this afternoon. they want schools in the district to reopen. you might recall when earlier this week some of them had their houses egged for speaking out. some parents have already set up classrooms in their garages like this. so far the school board has voted against a return to the classroom. santa clara is relaxing rules for youth sports as long as a mask is worn. however, six feet of social distancing is a must for all activities. the new rules are because of declining rates of covid-19 in that county. if you have outdoor plans for this weekend, you're going to want toisten to abc7 news to want toisten to abc7 news mete ♪ ♪ ♪ to want toisten to abc7 news mete ♪ ♪ ♪
twitter. could be the best ten seconds of viewing. nice and relaxed, dan. >> it sure is. what a nice way to go into the weekend, sandhya. >> yeah. >> yeah, absolutely. it was gorgeous. dan and ama, we have beautiful weather coming, but with winds. take a look at the current winds. really blowing, especially along the coast. right now half moon bay gust to go 37 miles an hour. 35 at sfo. 32 around novato. that's where the strongest winds are and they're going to continue to remain from mt. tam, you see how windy it is. 54 in san francisco. 62 degrees in oakland. san jose, you're in the upper 50s. half moon bay, 50 degrees. it was cooler across most of the bay area. flags blowing along tthere. here's live doppler 7. we don't have any rain, but perhaps in about a week we may be tracking a chance of rain. i'll show you where you can find the rain. take a look at the travel forecast.
not here, bright and sunny tomorrow, gusty winds. low 60s to mid-60s for our bay area airports. looking at rain, scattered showers in honolulu tomorrow. chicago, mainly sunny, 50. los angeles, a warm 72 degrees with the sun shining. right now from our emeryville camera, about an hour away from sunset. gusty winds through tomorrow. sunny skies this weekend and we are looking at hints of rain next week. stay tuned as it is still days away and will likely change. first thing in the morning you're looking at temperatures in the this irritates and 40s under clear skies. a chilly night, but so if you have early-morning plans, bulging up before you get going. tomorrow afternoon, 64 in san jose. low 60s for menlo park to los altos and mountain view. 56 in half moon bay. downtown san francisco, 59 degrees. north bay temperatures with the
sun shining, 63 in san rafael. windy conditions particularly over the hills where the strongest wind gusts are expected. could be anywhere between 30 to 60, possibly higher. mid-60s around concord and fairfield. let's look at the hour-by-hour winds. 7:00 tonight it's still going to be gusty along the coastline, over 40-mile-an-hour winds going into tomorrow morning. tomorrow afternoon, notice even the lower elevations are picking up some of the stronger winds around the valleys as well. and then by sunday the winds begin to diminish. it'll be less windy on sunday and a little bit milder. so the accuweather seven-day forecast features that with low 60s to low 70s on sunday. temperatures will fluctuate very little going into next week. the good news i have to report to you is there is a chance of rain in about a week. so next friday might be seeing some weather around here. we are so desperately behind, so we need it.
you can watch all of our news casts live and on demand d through the abc7 app. download the app now and start streaming. finally tonight, welcome to the world. an east bay firefighters deliver -- firefighter delivered his own daughter. >> contra costa county shared these photos on instagram. they were on the way to the hospital but that baby just couldn't wait. he put his skills to your next helping deliver her on the side of the road. the firefighter says his wife is really the one who did all of the work. good thing to say. apparently the baby came so quickly, mom and dad hadn't even picked out a name for her yet. oh, what happy photos, dan. >> that is adorable and it turned out beautiful. what a sweet, happy family. >> absolutely. all right. that is going to do it for us for now. "world news tonight" with david muir is coming up next. i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm dan ashley.
tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. just a short time ago, an fda panel now recommending emergency use authorization for the one-shot johnson & johnson vaccine. the newest weapon against covid here in the u.s., johnson & johnson's vaccine 85% effective against severe cases of covid. 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths. it could be stored in normal refrigeration. how many doses will be shipped right away? how many next month? and what you need to know about this one-shot vaccine that many are calling a game changer. also tonight, the biden administration declassifying the report on the murder of u.s.-based journalist jamal khashoggi, pointing the blame at saudi arabia's crown prince, accusing him of approving the brutal attack. the sanctions just issued