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“Cease and Desist:” Cal Workers’ Union Pushes Back on New State Vaccine Requirement

The governor announced the policy during a press conference on July 26. He said all state employees and health care workers will either have to test regularly for COVID-19 or provide evidence that they’ve been vaccinated by August 2, 2021.

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Doctor Administering a Shot to a Patient; Photo courtesy of California Black Media

The California Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 has delivered a cease-and-desist letter to the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) opposing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new vaccine requirement for state employees.

The letter addressed to Paul Starkey, deputy director of Human Resources for CalHR, reads:

“This letter serves as a demand to meet and confer and as a formal objection to the implementation deadline until the meet and confer process is completed.”

SEIU 1000 is the largest SEIU 1000 in the state with nearly 100,000 members and one of the largest in the country, according to the organization’s website.

The governor announced the policy during a press conference on July 26. He said all state employees and health care workers will either have to test regularly for COVID-19 or provide evidence that they’ve been vaccinated by August 2, 2021.

Newsom says that the new requirement is a way to bolster efforts to vaccinate more Californians.

“We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it’s going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous Delta variant,” Newsom said.

“As the state’s largest employer, we are leading by example and requiring all state and health care workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly, and we are encouraging local governments and businesses to do the same,” he continued.

Following the governor’s announcement, Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said the COVID-19 Delta variant as well as vaccine disinformation are justifications for the measure.

“California has administered more vaccines than any other state, with 75% of those eligible having gotten at least one dose, and we were weeks ahead of meeting President Biden’s 70% goal. But we must do more to fight disinformation and encourage vaccine-hesitant communities and individuals,” Ghaly said.

“The Delta variant is up to 60 % more infectious than the Alpha strain but many times more infectious than the original COVID-19 strain. If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, now is the time,” Ghaly continued.

Newsom reassured Californians that vaccines are not dangerous and are the way forward for the state.

“Vaccines are safe – they protect our family, those who truly can’t get vaccinated, our children and our economy. Vaccines are the way we end this pandemic,” Newsom said.

However, the safety of the vaccine is not the union’s chief concern, according to the letter.

The letter claims that the lack of communication between the state and SEIU prior to the implementation of the mandate is the reason for their complaint.

The letter also alleges that the governor’s office embarked on this decision without consulting SEIU, breaking a pattern of continued communication about changes in policy regarding COVID-19.

“Throughout the past 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, State workers have been both on the front lines and forced to adjust to teleworking,” the letter reads.

“During this time, the State has issued hundreds of COVID-related notices to the Union and offered to meet and confer over many changes or other matters within the scope of bargaining specifically pertaining to changes in procedures or policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter continues.

The letter claims that the labor union found out about the vaccine requirement during the press conference where the policy was made public.

“On July 26, 2021, the governor abruptly turned away from the legal requirements of notice and bargaining and instead held a press conference and issued a press release, followed shortly by your Notice,””the letter states.

“Rather than giving this Union the legal right to meet and confer over this important policy change, CalHR dodged its legal obligations concerning vaccination confirmation,” the letter concludes.

California Black Media’s coverage of COVID-19 is supported by the California Health Care Foundation.

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California Black Media

Gov. Newsom and Gov. DeSantis Go Head-to-Head in Nationally Televised Debate

Conservative Fox News personality Sean Hannity moderated the duel, during which the TV pundit, more than once, injected his opinion, and appeared to be providing subtle assists to DeSantis. As the debate progressed, it was clear that opinions about each topic discussed was representative of the philosophical and political chasm that divides liberal and conservative America, and a preview of campaign mudslinging that is bound to intensify as the 2024 presidential campaign ensues.

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The debate between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Gov. Ron DeSantis was moderated by Fox News personality Sean Hannity. California Black Media image.
The debate between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Gov. Ron DeSantis was moderated by Fox News personality Sean Hannity. California Black Media image.

By California Black Media

In an intense, 95-minute-plus televised faceoff between California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 30, the men traded jabs and putdowns, defended their respective gubernatorial records, disagreed sharply on how to solve the country’s most pressing problems, and expressed clashing views on the performance of the Biden-Harris administration.

Conservative Fox News personality Sean Hannity moderated the duel, during which the TV pundit, more than once, injected his opinion, and appeared to be providing subtle assists to DeSantis.

As the debate progressed, it was clear that opinions about each topic discussed was representative of the philosophical and political chasm that divides liberal and conservative America, and a preview of campaign mudslinging that is bound to intensify as the 2024 presidential campaign ensues.

“I’ll tell you why I’m here,” Newsom said. “I’m here to tell the truth about the Biden-Harris record and also compare and contrast Ron DeSantis’ record and the Republican Party’s record” with that of California.

DeSantis blasted Newsom’s management of the COVID-19 crisis and criticized Newsom for prevalent crime, homelessness and deteriorating social conditions in California cities.

“You have the freedom to defecate in public in California,” DeSantis said. “You have the freedom to pitch a tent on Sunset Boulevard. You have the freedom to create a homeless encampment under a freeway and even light it on fire. They’re not the freedoms our founding fathers envisioned.”

Newsom took a jab at DeSantis’ presidential candidacy, predicting that the Florida Governor would be endorsing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump soon.

“There’s one thing we have in common,” Newsom said. “Neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024.

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BayCityNews

FDA Updates Approval of Pfizer Booster Vaccine for Children Under 5

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its approval Tuesday of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine, making it available to some children under age 5. Before this update, children under 5 were not eligible for COVID-19 booster shots. Instead, they received three doses of the regular vaccine.

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As of December 2022, children age 4 and younger who have not been vaccinated receive the omicron variant-specific booster vaccine as the third dose in their primary vaccine series, following two doses of the original Pfizer vaccine.
As of December 2022, children age 4 and younger who have not been vaccinated receive the omicron variant-specific booster vaccine as the third dose in their primary vaccine series, following two doses of the original Pfizer vaccine.

By Eli Walsh
Bay City News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its approval Tuesday of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine, making it available to some children under age 5.

Before this update, children under 5 were not eligible for COVID-19 booster shots. Instead, they received three doses of the regular vaccine.

As of December 2022, children age 4 and younger who have not been vaccinated receive the omicron variant-specific booster vaccine as the third dose in their primary vaccine series, following two doses of the original Pfizer vaccine.

However, children in that age range who completed their initial vaccination series before December 2022 only received three doses of the original Pfizer vaccine, and are less protected against more infectious variants of the virus as a result.

FDA officials updated the vaccine’s emergency use authorization Tuesday to allow those children who only received the original Pfizer COVID vaccine to receive one dose of the bivalent booster if it has been at least two months since they completed their initial series.

Other children under age 5 are not eligible for the booster, although everyone age 5 and up is eligible for a booster.

“Currently available data show that vaccination remains the best defense against severe disease, hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19 across all age groups, and we encourage all eligible individuals to make sure that their vaccinations are up to date with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Clinical data has found that both the original Pfizer vaccine and the booster vaccine that targets the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are safe for everyone aged 6 months and up and effective at preventing the worst outcomes of COVID infection, including serious illness and death.

COVID vaccines are available at primary care providers, retail pharmacies and some facilities operated by local health departments.

Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Republication, rebroadcast or redistribution without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area.

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Bay Area

COVID-19 Response Grant Program

The City of Union City will be issuing another round of its COVID-19 Response Grant Program. The program has distributed approximately $620,000 in grant funds and forgivable loans to the community to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and will distribute another $322,000 through this latest round of funding. The City will utilize federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and CARES Act funds.

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The City will be holding two informational/technical assistance meetings to support residents and businesses with their applications and respond to any questions. These meetings will be streamed via Zoom. See below for meeting information and Zoom meeting links.
The City will be holding two informational/technical assistance meetings to support residents and businesses with their applications and respond to any questions. These meetings will be streamed via Zoom. See below for meeting information and Zoom meeting links.

The City of Union City will be issuing another round of its COVID-19 Response Grant Program. The program has distributed approximately $620,000 in grant funds and forgivable loans to the community to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and will distribute another $322,000 through this latest round of funding. The City will utilize federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and CARES Act funds.

Grants are available through the City’s Road to Recovery Small Business Assistance Program and the Residential Rental Assistance Program. The City began accepting applications on March 6, 2023, at 9 a.m. and will begin reviewing applications (up to 50 applications for each grant opportunity) submitted on or before March 30, 2023, at 5 p.m. The program information and the online application are available on the City’s website:

https://www.unioncity.org/548/COVID-19-Response-Grant-Program

The City will be holding two informational/technical assistance meetings to support residents and businesses with their applications and respond to any questions. These meetings will be streamed via Zoom. See below for meeting information and Zoom meeting links.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

https://unioncity-org.zoom.us/j/89061570160

Wednesday, March 15, 2023: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

https://unioncity-org.zoom.us/j/81868680531

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