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tv   ABC7 News Getting Answers  ABC  July 29, 2021 3:00pm-3:29pm PDT

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building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions. this is abc7 news. hi, everybody.
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if someone was on the fence and get 100 bucks, i think it would sway the decisions of some people, but i think it is more likely that the growth the number of vaccine mandates, including federal but also many
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businesses, is going to be the thing that catalyzes higher vaccine uptake, as well as increasing recognition that delta is really bad and really nasty. >> we're going to talk about that in the second because in a lot of people's minds, what about the people who say, "i was responsible. now, we are paying people who should have gotten vaccinated a while ago"? it seems like it stems back to the educational component. >> i think getting vaccinated is you are doing a service to yourself and your community. it is really sad that we need this. to me, getting vaccinated seems like such a logical thing to do, but at this point, we're in the pragmatics zone. we have to do everything that is possible to stem the tide, or we're going to see another big surge that will harm the economy, so if it takes some money to get people vaccinated, that may ultimately be a return on investment, but i can understand people feeling unhappy about this.
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>> i can imagine as well. speaking of, we're starting to see an increase in vaccinations nationwide. that is the good news, but do you think it is because of the delta variant? you touched upon that and how nasty it can be. >> i'm sure it is. i think for many people who were on the fence a couple months ago, they looked at the numbers six weeks ago and said, it looks like covid is going away, so now, why bother? and ucsf hospital where i work a month ago, six weeks ago, we had one covid patient in the hospital. today, we have 14, including 15 in the intensive care unit, 10 in mechanical breathing machines. if you were on the fence a month ago, i think that was a bad call. you should've been vaccinated before that, but i could see people saying, "this is serious stuff. it is time to get the poke." >> we are taking a lot of people's questions from facebook.com/ abc7news. . .
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we doing numbers wise? >> when you say numbers, what are you talking? >> the number of people well, the numb higher than that when you add in people who got a single shot. it's important to recognize with delta, that first shot does not work very much, so you are not significantly protected until you have gotten that second shot. in the bay area, it is significantly higher than that in the bay area, about 70% of all people have been fully vaccinated, more like 75% or 80% of all adults have been vaccinated. it's actually one of the scary things about this. i would have guessed two months ago but if you are in a region that had 70% or 80% of the people vaccinated, you would be good to go. you would a regional , and that
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would probably be true if we were dealing with the original virus, but this virus is twice as infectious as the original, so what san francisco and the bay area has proven is even 70% to 75% vaccination rate is not enough to beat this nasty bug down. we have to get two more like 85% or 90%, and that's going to take more than what we have been doing so far. >> does percentages need to be higher. i want to clarify that question about the number of people hospitalized in vaccinated. i think going back to the question about 40 people being hospitalized at ucsf here and how many of those people have been vaccinated? >> i don't have the numbers on that today. we have been running about 90% to 95% of our hospitalized patients are unvaccinated, so there's no question the unvaccinated people, which in the bay area is only about 25%, are at really high risk, and this is about the most
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dangerous time for them because they are not protected at all, but the virus is twice as good at its job than the one they would've faced last year. the number of vaccinated people in the hospital is going up because our vaccination rate is so high, so even though the vaccines are working very well and particularly working well against severe disease, if you end up having 80% of people vaccinated, you're going to see more vaccinated people getting severe infections, if they are having more and more exposures, so the problem is really the problem of the unvaccinated people that is leading to a surge in a number of cases, and they are exposing everyone, including vaccinated people more, so you will see more breakthrough infections. >> let's shift to the work lace is obviously, a lot of companies are loosening those mandates and having people come back to the office. just this week, we have heard twitter was going to put a pause on reopening their offices, like the ones in san francisco that
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will shut back down. where do you stand with vaccine mandates 40s private companies? >> i am all for them, and i really think we have gotten to a point where you can't have a safe workplace unless everyone is vaccinated, and we've gotten to a place both in california and nationally where it is clear that what we have done so far, including incentives, is not sufficient to get us where we need to be to get out of this pandemic, so for both health sake and the economy's sake, we have to do something different, and one of the things we can do is there can't be a mandate you must be vaccinated, but if we say if you are not vaccinated, you can't go to a bar, restaurant, workplace, or you can go, but you're going to have to get tested a couple times a week, and you're going to have to wear a mask all the time. otherwise, i feel reasonably save as a vaccinated person
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being around vaccinated people, but if i i'm around people whose vaccine status i don't know, i don't feel safe in that workplace, so the only way to get workplaces open and the economy open is if we are sure everybody inside is vaccinated, and we're going to need vaccines to do that. >> i'm glad you mentioned that because as more businesses are requiring people to show proof of vaccination, there has been pushed back, and we do tend to get comments from people, saying these mandates are ways to control the general public. what is your response to that? >> i don't think there are any more ways of controlling the general public than rules about that you cannot drive drunk or rules, let's say, you have to wear a seatbelt. it is not just about the individual. it if it was just you are putting yourself at risk, i hope people would get vaccinated and do the right thing, but if they don't, they made a choice p but it is a bit like secondhand smoke. in the beginning when we thought smoking could only hurt you, we were like you are making a choice. it is a bad one, but if you choose to smoke, that's your
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choice. but but then we learn secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer and heart disease in the recipient. it is no longer a individual problem here it is a community problem, and i think it is very clear that we will be stuck in this pandemic a very long time unless we get people to do the right thing, which is to be vaccinated, and it's really not about the individual choice, individual liberties. it is about keeping the community safe. >> we have about 30 seconds. i want to get to lana's question p we spoke about work. what about schools? why are schools reopening when there are so many more surges in place, she writes. >> i think we have come to learn that the cost, and i mean cost in terms of our kids' health and education, of keeping schools closed is massive, so i think we have to try to get the schools open and do it in as ■ safe a way as possible. to me, that clearly means everybody's going to have to
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wear masks in school. i believe it should mean everybody who can be vaccinated must be vaccinated, and that is kids over 12 and th
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okay, we are back with ucsf department of medicine chair, dr. bob wachter. let's pick up where we left off, talking about vaccines and not just the number of people of getting vaccinated but the efficacy because pfizer said the efficacy drops over time. does this mean you're more susceptible to getting covid and being hospitalized? >> it means that
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efficacy drops, and the data seem pretty clear that six months is the cut off first six months, it works really well, and after six months, you begin to have a drop off in total lack of efficacy, so that means protection against any infections. it does seem to drop a little bit. what we have learned in the last couple of days is a little worrisome when it comes to breakthrough infections, so people have asked me for many months, "why do i even care if i am exposed to covid and get a breakthrough infection? as well as i'm pretty confident i'm not going to get super sick and die, and i remain pretty confident i'm not going to get sick and die." one, the viral levels of people with a breakthrough infection are as high as, or at least preliminary data from the cdc. they are as high for people who have gotten infection without a vaccine, and that likely means that your ability to transmit the virus to someone else is not all that different if you
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get a breakthrough infection and you been vaccinated versus you've never been vaccinated. so what that means is if i get an infection, i may have a mild case, but my ability to give it to a kid or older person who has a vaccination that's winning or chose not to get vaccinated or is in immunosuppressed person is as potentially high as is not being vaccinated. the second thing that came out yesterday is in a study out of israel. a look that health care workers who are vaccinated and got raked through infections. weren't many of them, but enough to be worrisome. about 20% of them continued to have symptoms six weeks after their breakthrough infection, so even as a vaccinated person, even if you said to yourself, "unlikely, i'm going to get super sick and get in the hospital and die," you still
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want to get infected if you can avoid it, which is why the cdc said everybody should be wearing a mask, including vaccinated folks. >> obviously, it is in pfizer's best interest to talk about a booster shot. others as well. i know that you said the efficacy could wane. are you a proponent of this, and what would you say to the people? there are many naysayers on social media right who say, "this is just going to be another hassle. this is going to cause more confusion," and honestly, they don't want to get another booster. they think one is enough. >> i would prefer not to if i don't have to, but if the data becomes clear, and i think it is becoming clear that if you are in a high risk group and you are vaccinated more six months ago, it's probably going to be in your interest to get a booster. the feds have not made that determination yet. they are looking into it carefully, but i think we're likely to see a recommendation for boosters coming in the next
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month or two. it is likely to start with older people and people who are vaccinated more than six months ago. it will almost certainly include immunosuppressed people for whom the vaccine sometimes doesn't work, and they need an extra dose to boost their immunity. it may include people whose first shot was the j&j. like , nobody wants it. i don't want a booster if i don't need it, but i would rather get a booster then get covid, and if it looks like my immunities going to wane to the point i am at risk again to get covid, i will be the first one in line if i can be. >> going back to that study coming out of israel that you mentioned a moment ago. is that the first we have seen with breakthrough infections and long-term covid? >> yeah. it's actually a piece of data i have been waiting for, for months. i said to people who've asked me many times, "why am i still being careful wearing a mask inside unless i am 100% sure everybody is vaccinated?" i don't want to get covid still, and i don't know how infection is a breakthrough case is, and now we know it can
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be pretty infectious, more than it would have been with the original virus. the second is even if i get a fairly mild case and feel crummy a few days, what i don't know is, is that case going to persist a long time, so called long covid? israel studies said at least 90% of people continues to have symptoms more than six weeks out from their infection, and the symptoms are not pleasant you can't smell, you can't taste, you have headaches, brain fog, not thinking clearly. those are things that can avoid them, you don't want to have. >> we're getting several questions coming in. viewers asking like randy, "when will we get full fda approval for vaccines?" do you have any idea? >> i don't there is a lot of pressure on the fda to speed that along. they have a certain process for thinking about full approval, but this is an emergency. this is a pandemic. i think they should be speeding it up, and i think there there
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going to be some businesses and government organizations that only go to mandates after there is full approval, and there are some people out there waiting for full approval before they dive in and get vaccinated. i would say to those people, you're making a mistake. the data about the vaccines is crystal clear. it's not going to get clearer in a month how well they work and how safe they are, and you should get vaccinated now. even to the mandated people, the government organization or business waiting for the green light from the fda, the fda already gave a green light to the emergency use authorization. we now have used these vaccines on hundreds of millions of people, and we know how well they work, how safe the r. i don't know why one would wait for the full authorization, but my guess is it is a will month or two away. >> i want to touch upon the topic of masks. sacramento county beat the bay area to indoor mask mandates. it kind of feels like it's a matter of when, not if, so when
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do you see mask mandates coming back in the bay area? >> well, the mask mandate in my brain occurred weeks ago. it is one thing to sort of wait for an authority to say, "you must do this," but for individual, to me, it is not a close call at this point. even for a vaccinated person, you go into a crowded space with people who you don't know, who may or may not be vaccinated , and even though the rules are the unvaccinated are supposed to be wearing masks, that is something i don't think you can trust very readily. i have been wearing masks for weeks. i think it's just a matter of days before the bay area and i would guess all of california goes to a mask mandate. i think it is the right thing to do, and the problem is, you know, you walk into a place, a crowded place, and you have no idea what people's vaccine status is, and in fact, we know that the prevalence of asymptomatic covid has gone up
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substantially in the last month, so the chances that the person standing next to you in line at the store has covid, feels fine, doesn't know it, but could spread it to you, has probably gone up 10 or 20 fold in the last 6 weeks. >> so many more questions to get to, but i'm sure we'll speak to you once again very shortly. so, as always, many thanks, dr. bob wachter. coming up next, this show "getting answers" is
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u much for staying with us with reporting on increased attacks on asian americans, what we're doing is also trying to find solutions. that is during a time when we hear about police budgets being cut and a shortage of police everyday people like you, people like me, are stepping up to the plate to help. i want to bring in two people,
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serena morales, of the group protecting our elders, and one of the community ambassadors in oakland. the program officially kicked off today. it appears he is in our car for us. r her ce th to him in a moment, we a lookg noangowhe na "crimson fist," the comic book character, recorded. take us back to what happened he, wellwe were inpatrol during that time. during that time, there was a large presence of police activity because there was a shooting that occurred on broadway and eighth, so we were in that area. just taking a look around, making sure everybody was safe. the second we had hit the
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corner of seventh and franklin, we heard screaming, a woman screaming, yelling, "no, help!" i looked at the direction of the woman screaming, and i just ran. i ran as fast as i could. made it to her. in my head, i knew i had a partner who could stay with the victim, and i just knew immediately there were police there on eighth and broadway, and i just looked at as fast as i could. i threw my skateboard. i had a hot dog at the time that i was eating. i smashed that to the ground, headed over to the police officer. and i just said, you know, i thought it was a carjacking, so i was screaming, "help me. is a carjacking. we need help!" so, you know, the victim ended up actually walking over to the police station. to file.
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"pa catalyst spring moment where people decide they want to do something and not just stay silent. >> absolutely. well, my organization is called "uplifting our elders. " but i know there are a ton out there representing protecting our elders as well. for me, the inspiration kind of just came from, you know, seeing, just being tired of seeing all these senseless, violent acts on the news, and there was something i knew we needed to change, and we needed to heal each other, and i thought that was the most perfect way to do that, to create a page where social media is such an influence not because of the pandemic in 15
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months of lockdown. that was all we had to scroll through, and, you know, i wanted to create a page that was more uplifting, none of the violence, you know? just what i do out there, you know, helping elders cross the street. we do safety chaperones for people who feel unsafe, walk them to their vehicles. i also work with jp and the real asian front liners out there who are the main people ii " i realizedthe thgswe to change. the way we see influencers, it's not about yachts, food, extravagant vacations, the most amazing body. it is about being out there, really helping real people, really making a change >> i'm going to jump in just a second. we only have 30 seconds, and i
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want to get to sacone. you are part of this new community ambassador program that launched today. give us your thoughts on what you do for the community, how you both can work together. >> well, our program right now ran by family bridges, we do a lot of the cleaning and graffiti removal, as well as helping us is to provide resources for folks who need it, such as our houseless neighbors that come to the community, and a lot of time have episodes that unfortunately, the community don't understand and are threatened by. we are there to de-escalate situations, provide resources hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right? sadly, not anymore. -what, you mean-- -mhm. -just like that. -wow.
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than tonight, president bhiden issuing sweeping new vaccination and mask rules for all federal workers, urging americans to overcome what he calls the pandemic of the unvaccinated. the president before the cameras late today to announce that the white house will require more than 4 million federal employees to get their vaccination or get tested every week. plus, the question on masks that prompted this heated exchange. this, as the u.s. now averages nearly 62,000 new cases a day. the surge fueled by the delta variant. major companies issuing their own vaccine requirements including facebook,

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