tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC December 8, 2021 3:00pm-3:30pm PST
building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. kristen: hi, i am kristen sze you are watching "getting answers," live on on on on hulu live and wherever you stream. a no vote on police academies to address crime. we ask why. also, a california counsel with backing from the governor has unveiled a plan for california to become an abortion sanctuary state of the supreme court overturns roe v. wade. a member of the council joins us to explain what they are recommending. first, new data from pfizer
indicates the omicron variant likely chips away at the efficacy of its vaccine, but a third dose can make a big difference. joining us is marin countyountyy public health officer dr. matt willis. dr. willis, thanks for your time. before we get to marin specific questions, if i may ask about the pfizer lab study released today, it shows the initial, two-dose effectiveness does drop a lot versus only chronic, but the third shot is apparently the charm. tell us what you know about that. dr. willis: it is consistent with what we are seeing in marin county. we have seen dramatic improvements in protection with that booster shot, especially for our older residents. when we look at older residents who had a booster shot, look at cases in the month of november and look back and see who had gotten a booster and who had not, we found a nine-fold increase in cases among residents who had not received
booster compared to those who had in the older age group. it is another sign that we can think of this as a regimen that probably should have been three all along, rather than seeing the third as an extra. we should think of it as an essential part of the third series. kristen: i am hearing more doctors and researchers who say that, to think of it as a three-shot series. can we extrapolate the finding to other variant as well -- other variants as well? dr. willis: we are seeing that what we see in one vaccine product does generally apply to what we see in others, although there might be slight differences paid modernity seems to have better duration than pfizer. pfizer was the one we were most concerned about in terms of waning immunity, so it is good pfizer has tested it and it is good to be effective with
pfizer. and moderna, if we can take the same logic as other studies but knowing moderna has greater durability over time compared to pfizer in previous studies. kristen: the pfizer ceo originally said a fourth shot may be needed 12 months after the third, but now, i think he indicated it may be sooner than that, right? dr. willis: yeah, i think we can sit with what we have now, knowing that the third shot, the booster, is important. that is the recommendation for our community. we are getting ahead of ourselves if we start thinking about our fourth shot, because omicronwicard. by that point, if only chronic does have a vaccine-specific store variant-specific booster, we might be using that instead. let's take it one step at a time and stick with the recommendation that everyone should get the booster shot who is eligible. kristen: meantime, better news today regarding the severity of
illness caused by the omicron variant. what is boosting optimism? dr. willis: yeah, this is the best news we could get because we know omicron is highly contagious. if we look at what happened across southern africa, the explosive rise in cases they are, 75% of the strains within a week or omicron versus delta. it elbowed out alta very effectively, we think that is a high sign -- a sign of high infectivity and might foreshadow our experience per that is the bad news but the best news is, it is not severe illness. we have been eagerly looking to see what happens among those thousands of people who have been infected in southern africa in terms of their outcomes. and it is really not seeming to lead to high levels of hospitalizations and deaths. that is very good news. kristen: new numbers from marin county show case numbers are going up and hospitalizations and deaths are not.
what does that suggest in terms of vaccines and policy? dr. willis: well, it is another sign of good news for us from the protection of the vaccine. as our case rates rise, we are seeing a dramatic increase in cases but we have not seen an increase in hospitalizations. you know, if we look at october and november of last are compared to october and november this year, the hospitalization rate for people who have been infected is about half. in october and november last year, about 140 people infected ended up in the hospital. now, the number is close to one in 80 people infected getting in the hospital and that is because of vaccination rates. 80% of our population is fully vaccinated. that is an important side. we look to hospitalization rates more than case rates per se to determine the next step from a policy standpoint, especially as we consider more restrictive policies. there are only two people in the
hospital in marin county right now, we had zero in the hospital over the weekend, powerful signs of the effectiveness of the vaccine. kristen: definitely encouraging, but as you mentioned, other places are introducing tougher restrictions. written is extending the mask mandate and york county had dropped the indoor mask -- britain is extending the mask mandate and york county dropped the indoor mask mandate. is there any chance of bringing that back, looking at hospitalizations and deaths in the high rate of vaccination? dr. willis: there are a couple factors we are taking into account regarding the mask mandate. first of all, we recognize masks are one of the most effective tools we have. no question that wearing a mask, especially in indoor public settings, is highly effective at preventing transmission. it is a strong recommendation that ever but he cover their face in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. we lifted the mandate, so it was no longer against the law to
cover your face if you are vaccinated, because we had met the criteria we established. we had three weeks at the cdc monitored our transmission tear, over 80% of our hospitalization -- over 80% of our population vaccinated then hospitalization rates low. how do we know when to impose it mandate? that is a more acute question as we see more cases. we sent a metric saying it would be based on hospitalizations. five people in the hospital based on 100 thousand residents, that is 13 people total in marin, if we have that number of people in the hospital with covid-19, that will either kateri effort re-imposing the mask mandate. and we are seeing -- that will be the criteria for reimposing the mask mandate. and we are seeing people masking. kristen: if you have 13 hospitalization cases, in marin county, the indoor mask mandate would kick in, but now you only
have to? dr. willis: -- you only have two? dr. willis: that is right. we are fortunate we have policy levers available for us to pull if we have mass transmission. that is the criteria we are looking at, hospitalizations and the number i shared. many people are thankful when the metrics are clear. -- kristen: many people i thankful when the metrics are clear. there was an outbreak at a school in corte madera after the parents knowingly sent their child to class. we have kids under quarantine, but do we know how many positive cases there are now in that group? any? dr. willis: there were eight cases initially among students. this case has been referred to the district attorney, so i'm not free to talk about the details. but i think it is a vivid and painful example of what happens
when we really don't take it to heart, that sense that we are mutually responsible for one another's well-being. if there is one thing this pandemic taught us, it is really up to all of us to do our part to protect ourselves and one another. and when people violate to those principles, from an ethical and legal standpoint, there are consequences felt across the community. kristen: we have a minute left, i would like to ask what kinds of precautions you are taking over the holidays. are you avoiding traveler gatherings? -- travel or gatherings? i assume you are fully vaccinated and boosted, tell us your recommendations. dr. willis: i am fully vaccinated and boosted. i also had a covid-19 infection, which is another layer of protection. we do have visitors coming from out of town and they will be practicing safe practice as they are traveling, they will be wearing n95 masks, we
have home-based antigen test's at the house that we will be using on the day of a gathering to make sure anyone present is not infected. and we will be gathering together outdoors. kristen: dr. maxwell is, thank you for that information and for your time. dr. willis: good talking to you. kristen: we will be right back with emergency planning for kids. we can't predict when an emergency will happen. so that's why it's important to make a plan with your parents. here are a few tips to stay safe. know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. pick a place to meet your family if you are not together and can't go home.
roe v. wade could be overturned. experts believe if that happens, two dozen u.s. states would ban or severely curtail abortion. preparation, california clinics and abortion-rights supporters plan to make the state sanctuary for women seeking to end pregnant seas. joining us is jessica pinckney, executive director at access reproductive justice and a member of the california abortion council. jessica: thank you for having me. kristen: the california abortion council is made up of 45 abortion providers and just issued recommendations. what does being a sanctuary state mean? what are you suggesting california offered to be a section where he state? jessica -- to be a sanctuary state? jessica: essentially anything people need to access their full range of reproductive health care services. up to 26 states are likely to ban abortion if the supreme court rules as they think we
will next summer. and folks from across the country are likely to have to come to states that are considered reproductive read him states, like california -- reproductive freedom states, like california. we are doing everything in our power to make this a welcoming place for people who need to come here for care. that includes supporting transportation and lodging requests and ensuring there are enough providers to support this influx in patients who may be coming to california. kristen: i don't know if you have the run the numbers to do estimates, does california have the doctors and the clinics to support that? jessica: the numbers that that exist right now, the goot mockery institute -- an institute's report and california would become the closest clinic for about 1.4 million patients of reproductive
age across the country. that would be a 3000% increase in the number of patients trying to access care, potentially, here in the state of california we do have robust clinics and providers across the state, but there is more that can be done. over 40% of california counties have no abortion providers are clinics at this time, so it is imperative that the state invest in increasing the abortion provider network across the state. that insurers also folks have access to providers and health care professionals that are culturally sensitive, and represent patients they are saying. kristen: i see that one recommendation for you is to provide scholarships to medical
students willing to do abortions, in anticipation of a greater need. but does california have the money to pay for this? whether it is training, scholarships, travel, lodging, does it? jessica: yeah, we think it does. the state is projecting a surplus of funds in this next fiscal year. and we think that this is an absolutely necessary use of those funds. honestly, we don't have much of a choice. as a reproductive freedom state, which california has proclaimed itself as, we have a duty to ever california patients as well as those seeking abortion in other states, to center bodily autonomy and center the needs they have. people have a right to choose if, when and how they want to become parents and start their families. and of other states are going to ban abortion, it will imperative
that california steps in where other states have failed. kristen: there is the argument though, should california pay for it coming even if it could? even those who support women'sss productive rights argue money that should go to servicing the people of california should not supplement the needs of non-californians who don't pay taxes here. jessica: here is the thing. all the recommendations we made in the report benefit californians first and foremost. so, we have quite a ways to go, and many changes we can make within california's abortion access landscape to ensure that californians have better access to care. there should be no county within the state of california that does not have abortion providers. there should not be cost sharing barriers that preclude folks from being able to afford their
abortions in the state of california. we need to ensure californians have access to quality, equitable information about the care they can receive here in the state. so, all the recommendations the california future of abortion council are making benefit californians first and foremost. they will also benefit folks coming from out of state as well, but we were very intentional in centering the needs of our california patient and putting these proposals together. kristen: jessica, does this have or need support from the legislature? we heard support from the governor as a sanctuary state, of course. jessica: absolutely. we are lucky to have members of the governor's officer as well s as well as senate pro tem atkins' office as well as we were developing these
we are continuing our discussion with jessica pinckney, talking about the proposal that california may become a sanctuary state should the supreme court overturned roe v. wade in the mississippi law and a decision coming down next summer, so preparations are underway for a potential influx of women from other states. for women in those states facing tighter restrictions, what options are available to them if they don't have an abortion provider in their state #for example, compared to when roe v. wade was passed, there are more, for example, pills, that is one
option. what are things available to them other than surgical? jessica: medication is sometimes available to folks, particularly if they are earlier along in their pregnancy. folks can only use medication for abortion up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, so that is an option for folks who are earlier along in their pregnancy. john that -- beyond tha tha tha the abortion procedure. folks that don't have access to a provider in those instances are forced to either carry a pregnancy they don't want to carry any longer, or go to a state where they can access the care they desire. that is where organizations like mine, access reproductive justice, come into play. there are abortion funds across the country, over 80, that support patients and clients in accessing the care they desire.
we help pay for folks' procedures or medication abortions and we also help folks with expenses related to transportation, lodging, childcare, lost wages and other emotional supports or practical supports folks may need in order to truly access the care they desire. kristen: jessica pinckney, executive director at access reproductive justice, thank you. right now, we are going to shift gears. the oakland city council voted last night to approve two extra police academies over the next two years, increasing the police force by 60 officers, in response to a rash of violent crime. this reverses a vote in june to defund the police and direct money to community programs. joining us to discuss this is councilmember noel gallo. thank you for joining us today.
noel: can you hear me? kristen: i can hear you. you are not driving, are you? i want to make sure you are safe. noel: i am actually here at fire department training headquarters. kristen: thank you for joining. i know you were on the road. yesterday, six council members voted yes on funding the additional police academies and one abstained and you voted no. why did you vote no? noel: i through the measure c program, but they included an academy that means hiring outside oakland and giving people a huge bonus if they want to work for the city of oakland. the reality is, i did to bring up to the council that i would support measure c academies and hiring more officers, but when it comes to the lateral academy, we tried that years ago. and it was a complete failure
because we wound up hiring people from all over the outside of oakland, and it did not work out. that is why we terminated the program. so, i asked the police administrator, to present to the public a recruitment program with clear goals and objectives that we could meet, and not have this ongoing situation we have today with a lack of police. being on the city council, i have been the strongest supporter of the police. i voted in 782 officers in the budget to be hired, but they never came close to that number of hiring. i also was the one that helped form the police commission, and also support their effort with the last budget for 737 officers and as many academies as necessary to get the job done.
but what oakland needs to do, from the mayor, administrator and police chief, is to present a plan of action that we can meet today and in the future, and not keep running into the same problem every year. and we need to do better than that. that is why i voted no, until i see the actual proposal and plan for maintaining our police officers in oakland, and being able to recruit plan to be effective in delivering a quality public safety for the citizens of oakland. that is part of the reason i voted no until i see the actual plan from the police chief on how we can improve service and oakland and also be able to retain our officers, and recruit officers. the last point i brought up, any sworn officer, they need to be on the street level and not
sitting in their office doing paperwork. we have much to do within the police department because we are still under the negotiated settlement agreement for 18 years, and we haven't been able to get outside of that. and i am spending millions of dollars every year and now, i have created a police commission to oversee the police, and we are still having problems recruiting. kristen: councilman
answering your questions. "world news tonight" is coming up next and i will see you at 4:00. ♪ tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. our exclusive tonight inside the cdc. what they're seeing with this new variant in the u.s. right now. and tonight, pfizer now revealing new data on its booster, up against the omicron varia variant. saying the booster does appear to reduce protection. this new data allows him to breathe a little better. tonight, our dr. jen ashton inside the cdc. what they're seeing across the nation and what has the cdc director most concerned? also, dr. jha here tonight answering your questions. if the boosters are, in fact, this effective against this new variant, what about children and the current timeline? also tonight, the trial of former police officer kim potter now under way. officer potter charged wit