Archive for the ‘State of California’ Category

Gov. Newsom signs bill extending government agency online meetings through end of 2023

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Was set to expire at the end of this month

By Allen Payton

On Sept. 16, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 361, entitled “Open meetings: state and local agencies: teleconferences,” extending the time period for online meetings of government agencies until Jan. 1, 2024. The current order allowing the online meetings until the end of this month, will expire on Oct. 1 under an executive order he signed, on Monday, Sept. 20.

According to the Legislative Counsel’s Digest, “This bill, until January 1, 2024, would authorize a local agency to use teleconferencing without complying with the teleconferencing requirements imposed by the Ralph M. Brown Act when a legislative body of a local agency holds a meeting during a declared state of emergency, as that term is defined, when state or local health officials have imposed or recommended measures to promote social distancing, during a proclaimed state of emergency held for the purpose of determining, by majority vote, whether meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees, and during a proclaimed state of emergency when the legislative body has determined that meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees, as provided.”

However, government agencies can still choose to return to meeting in person. Both the Antioch City Council and Antioch School Board planned to return to in-person meetings next month. But now they will have the option to continue to hold their meetings online.

 

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State Senate Election Committee Chair Glazer calls for recall system reform

Friday, September 17th, 2021

Senator Glazer calls it “flawed” “broken” in spite of only two recalls of governor in state history; joins Assembly member Berman, Assembly Election Committee Chair to hold hearings to examine needed changes in wake of recently concluded recall election

By Scott Harmon, Policy Analyst/Communications, Office of Sen. Steve Glazer

State Senator Steve Glazer. (D-7-Orinda)

Sacramento – Following Tuesday night’s recall election of the governor, only the second one to qualify for the ballot in state history, the California Legislature’s two leading members on election issues on Wednesday announced a coordinated effort to examine reforms to California’s recall election system.

Senator Steve Glazer (D – Contra Costa) and Assemblymember Marc Berman (D – Menlo Park) and said they are determined to fix a broken system in the wake of the 2021 gubernatorial recall election, which raised questions about whether a system designed in the early 20th century has enough checks and balances to ensure democratic and fair elections.

Berman, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Elections, and Glazer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, will hold a series of bipartisan joint hearings in the coming months to begin a statewide discussion regarding potential improvements to California’s recall laws. The intent is to produce a proposal that will be taken up in the Legislature during the 2022 legislative session.

“Now that the recall is over, I believe it is time to re-evaluate and update California’s recall process,” said Senator Glazer.  “The voters want to see a more democratic process put in place that keeps elected officials accountable but, prevents political gamesmanship of the rules.  We hope to work with policy experts and stakeholders of different political perspectives on a viable solution that ultimately makes sense for a modern-day California.”

The recall process is one of four ways the state’s voters can have direct impact on the legislative and governing process, which also include electing representatives, as well as the referendum and initiative. (See CA Constitution Article II) Under the leadership of then Gov. Hiram Johnson came into office proposing the three major populist changes, bringing direct democracy to California. According to Ballotpedia, “Johnson and the new Progressive majority in the legislature made the most sweeping governmental changes ever seen in the history of California. Among these were the introduction of initiativereferendum, and recall at both the state and local levels. Voters ratified these amendments in a special election on October 10, 1911.”

At that time, Johnson said, “they do give to the electorate the power of action when desired, and they do place in the hands of the people the means by which they may protect themselves.”

According to the Secretary of State’s website, “Since 1913, there have been 179 recall attempts of state elected officials in California. Eleven recall efforts collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot and of those, the elected official was recalled in six instances.” Of those 179, 55 were attempted recalls of the governor, two qualified for the ballot, Grey Davis and Newsom, and only Davis was successfully recalled.

The committees will evaluate recall laws in other states, and will invite experts to examine California’s recall process, including issues such as grounds for removal; signature gathering requirements; process of succession if a governor is recalled; and other issues. The process will be open to the public in an effort to maintain the utmost transparency, and the committees also hope to include the expertise of elections officials, political scientists, legal experts, and others.

“While the recall is an important tool for voters to address misconduct or corruption by elected officials, yesterday’s election highlighted the fundamentally undemocratic nature of California’s existing recall process,” said Assemblymember Berman. “California law should not allow someone else to be recalled and replaced by a candidate who receives far fewer votes. I look forward to hearing from a bipartisan group of experts about how California’s recall process should be reformed.”

Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins said that she supports examining recall reform.

“A thorough review of California’s recall law is timely and worthy of debate, and I would like to thank Senator Glazer and Assemblymember Berman for spearheading the efforts to start this important conversation,” Atkins said.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said, “It is totally appropriate to begin discussion of reforming the recall process. We came far too close to having a governor elected by a tiny fraction of eligible voters. While that is no way to pick the leader of the most populous state in the nation, it would be equally wrong to make any changes without a thorough study of alternatives. I look forward to hearing the discussion.”

The recall process was adopted in California almost 110 years ago but, has been used sparingly for most of the state’s history. More than 70% of the attempts to recall elected state officials that have qualified for the ballot, including the only two statewide recall elections in California history, have occurred in the last 27 years. Each of California’s last nine Governors has faced multiple recall attempts, though only two of those attempts have qualified for the ballot.

Two recent polls, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California and by the Institute of Government Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that a majority of voters favor keeping but reforming the recall process.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Attorney General Bonta announces $575 Million settlement with Sutter Health on anti-competitive practices allegations

Monday, August 30th, 2021

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta Friday, August 27 lauded Judge Massullo’s final approval of a landmark $575 million settlement with Sutter Health (Sutter). The settlement agreement was reached in 2019, and resolves allegations by the Attorney General’s office, the United Food and Commercial Workers and Employers Benefit Trust (UEBT), and class action plaintiffs that Sutter’s anticompetitive practices led to higher healthcare costs for consumers in Northern California compared to other places in the state. The settlement requires Sutter to pay $575 million in compensation, prohibits anticompetitive conduct, and requires Sutter to follow certain practices to restore competition in California’s healthcare markets.

“This is a groundbreaking settlement and a win for Californians,” said AG Bonta. “Sutter will no longer have free rein to engage in anticompetitive practices that force patients to pay more for health services. Under the terms of our agreement, Sutter’s transparency must increase, and practices that decrease the accessibility and affordability of healthcare must end. A competitive healthcare market is essential to ensuring patients and families aren’t bearing the brunt of healthcare costs while one company dominates the market.”

Sutter is the largest hospital system in Northern California. The Sutter network consists of some 24 acute care hospitals, 36 ambulatory surgery centers, and 16 cardiac and cancer centers. It also includes some 12,000 physicians and over 53,000 employees. In addition, Sutter negotiates contracts on behalf of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and many affiliated physician groups.

This settlement is the result of litigation that began in 2014 when UEBT filed a class action lawsuit that challenged Sutter’s practices in rendering services and setting prices. They sought compensation for and an end to what they alleged were unlawful, anticompetitive business practices, which caused them to pay more than necessary for healthcare services and products. In March 2018, the Attorney General’s office filed a similar lawsuit against Sutter on behalf of the people of California, seeking injunctive relief to compel Sutter to correct its anticompetitive business practices moving forward. The separate lawsuits were combined by the court into one case. In October 2019, one day before the trial, the parties reached an agreement to settle. The settlement was filed with the court on December 19, 2019, and in March, Judge Massullo granted preliminary approval.

Today’s finalized settlement requires Sutter to:

  • Pay $575 million to compensate employers, unions, and others covered under the class action, and to cover costs and fees associated with the legal efforts;
  • Limit what it charges patients for out-of-network services, helping ensure that patients visiting an out-of-network hospital do not face outsized, surprise medical bills;
  • Increase transparency by permitting insurers, employers, and self-funded payers to provide plan members with access to pricing, quality, and cost information, which helps patients make better care decisions;
  • Halt measures that deny patients access to lower-cost plans, thus allowing health insurers, employers, and self-funded payers to offer and direct patients to more affordable health plan options for networks or products;
  • Stop all-or-nothing contracting deals, thus allowing insurers, employers, and self-funded payers to include some but not necessarily all of Sutter’s hospitals, clinics, or other commercial products in their plans’ network.
  • Cease anticompetitive bundling of services and products which forced insurers, employers, and self-funded payers to purchase for their plan offerings more services or products from Sutter than were needed. Sutter must now offer a stand-alone price that must be lower than any bundled package price to give insurers, employers, and self-funded payers more choice;
  • Cooperate with a court-approved compliance monitor to ensure that Sutter is following the terms of the settlement for at least 10 years. The monitor will receive and investigate complaints and may present evidence to the court; and
  • Prevent anticompetitive practices by clearly defining clinical integration to include patient quality of care. The settlement makes clear that for Sutter to claim it has clinically integrated a system, it must meet strict standards beyond regional similarities or the mere sharing of an electronic health record, and must be integrating care in a manner that takes into consideration the quality of care to the patient population. This is important because clinical integration can be used to mask market consolidation efforts by hospital systems, when in fact there is no true integration of a patient’s care. For example, saying that hospitals are regionally close or that hospitals are sharing electronic health records is not enough, there must be close coordination that will lead to less costly, higher quality care for local communities.

A report by the University of California Berkeley showed that over-consolidation drives up prices for consumers. According to the study, outpatient cardiology procedures in Southern California cost nearly $18,000 compared to almost $29,000 in Northern California. For inpatient hospital procedures, the cost in Southern California is nearly $132,000 compared to more than $223,000 in Northern California, a more than $90,000 difference. A 2016 study found that a cesarean delivery in Sacramento, where Sutter is based, costs more than $27,000, nearly double what it costs in Los Angeles or New York, making Northern California one of the most expensive places in the country to have a baby.

Sutter Health offered the following response to the settlement:

“Today’s ruling brings closure to this matter, which was settled almost two years ago. This voluntary settlement enables Sutter Health to maintain our integrated network and ability to provide patients with access to affordable, high-quality care. Sutter’s quality of care is nationally recognized, with the majority of hospitals and care facilities outperforming state and national averages in many measures of quality. We look forward to continuing to work with our health plan partners at the same time we continue to care for the underserved in our communities.”

A copy of the final approval order and judgment are available here and here.

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Governor Newsom, legislative leaders announce eviction moratorium extension, increase rent relief to 100 percent

Friday, June 25th, 2021

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders of both the Senate and the Assembly today, Friday, June 25, 2021, announced a proposed extension of California’s statewide evictions moratorium, and an increase in compensation for California’s rent relief program.

The three-party agreement on AB 832 – which extends the current eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021 – will ensure that California quickly uses the more than $5 billion in federal rental assistance to help the state’s tenants and small landlords and protect vulnerable households from eviction. The agreement widens rental assistance by enhancing current law. Provisions include increasing reimbursement to 100 percent for both rent that is past due and prospective payments for both tenants and landlords. Additionally, the bill ensures rental assistance dollars stay in California by prioritizing cities and counties with unmet needs, and uses the judicial process to ensure tenants and landlords have attempted to obtain rental assistance.

“California is coming roaring back from the pandemic, but the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to disproportionately impact so many low-income Californians, tenants and small landlords alike,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “That’s why I am thankful for today’s news from the Legislature – protecting low-income tenants with a longer eviction moratorium and paying down their back-rent and utility bills – all thanks to the nation’s largest and most comprehensive rental assistance package, which I am eager to sign into law as soon as I receive it.”

“Our housing situation in California was a crisis before COVID, and the pandemic has only made it worse — this extension is key to making sure that more people don’t lose the safety net helping them keep their home,” Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) said. “While our state may be emerging from the pandemic, in many ways, the lingering financial impact still weighs heavily on California families. People are trying to find jobs and make ends meet and one of the greatest needs is to extend the evictions moratorium — which includes maximizing the federal funds available to help the most tenants and landlords possible — so that they can count on a roof over their heads while their finances rebound.”

“The key thing is to recognize that people in rental housing are still facing financial obstacles, even as our economy reopens,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) stated. “This moratorium will keep families in homes, provide critical financial support to landlords, and help protect our supply of rental housing.”

Details on the proposed extension can be found in AB 832, which will be in print today. To apply for rental assistance for either renters or landlords, visit housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/index.html.

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California Citizens Redistricting Commission to launch Communities of Interest virtual meetings

Monday, June 7th, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CA—On Thursday, June 10th, the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) will launch the first in a series of Communities of Interest (COI) virtual hearings to capture community specific data that will help Commissioners to respect community boundaries to the best of their abilities when drawing district lines, as is mandated by California’s line drawing criteria.

When the Commission begins drawing maps using census data, they will need to follow this set of criteria, in this order, as outlined in the California Constitution.

  1. Districts must be of nearly equal population to comply with the U.S. Constitution.
  2. Districts must comply with the Voting Rights Act to ensure that minorities have a fair opportunity to elect representatives of their choice.
  3. Districts must be drawn contiguously, so that all parts of the district are connected to each other.
  4. Districts must minimize the division of counties, cities, neighborhoods, and communities of interest to the extent possible.
  5. Districts should be geographically compact such that nearby areas of population are not bypassed for more distant populations.
  6. Where practicable, each Senate District should consist of two complete and adjacent Assembly Districts, and Board of Equalization districts should consist of ten complete and adjacent State Senate Districts. This is known as nesting.

We can obtain the city and county information from those jurisdictions, but we need the neighborhood and communities of interest information from Californians directly.

“The Commission is excited to hear directly from Californians about their Communities of Interest during our initial COI input meeting on Thursday, June 10th from 12 – 8 PM. Although we have been accepting Communities of Interest submissions online since March, these virtual input sessions are yet another opportunity for communities to share with the Commission about their Communities of Interest,” stated Commission Chair Isra Ahmad.

During these input meetings, participants will be asked to describe their community and will be encouraged to consider highlighting the following:

  1. Begin with your county or city.
  2. Mention the street names and significant locations in your neighborhood to help us identify the parameters of your community.
  3. What are your shared interests?
  4. What brings you together?
  5. What is important to your community?
  6. Are there nearby areas you want to be in a district with?
  7. Nearby areas you don’t want to be in a district with? Why or why not?
  8. Has your community come together to advocate for important services, better schools, roads, or health centers in your neighborhood?

Registration is not required to participate in these public input meetings. The call-in number for public input on the day of each event will be (877) 853-5247.

For more information regarding the June 10th event, please visit our website at: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/june_10_mtg. To view a full list of upcoming meetings, please visit: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/meetings. Additionally, Californians can skip the line and provide their input online by visiting: https://drawmycacommunity.org/. The online COI tool is available in fourteen languages and includes tutorials.

Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its electoral districts so that the state’s population is evenly allocated among the new districts.

In 2008, California voters passed the Voters First Act, authorizing the creation of the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw new State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization district lines. In 2010, the Voters First Act for Congress gave the Commission the responsibility of drawing new Congressional districts following every census.

For more information, please visit WeDrawTheLinesCA.org.

 

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California court rules in favor of churches, sets state-wide injunction against Newsom’s “discriminatory restrictions”

Monday, May 24th, 2021

Governor must pay $1.35 million to reimburse churches’ attorney’s fees and costs

Photo courtesy of Liberty Counsel

By Liberty Counsel

On Monday, May 17, 2021 a California District Court entered an order approving Liberty Counsel’s settlement of the lawsuit on behalf of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry against California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The full and final settlement was approved today the District Court and thus is the first state-wide permanent injunction in the country against COVID restrictions on churches and places of worship.

This is the first state-wide permanent injunction in the country against COVID restrictions on churches and places of worship. Under the agreed state-wide permanent injunction, all California churches may hold worship without discriminatory restrictions.

Under the settlement, California may no longer impose discriminatory restrictions upon houses of worship. The governor must also pay Liberty Counsel $1,350,000 to reimburse attorney’s fees and costs.

The settlement references several Supreme Court opinions, including Harvest Rock Church v. Newsom, that include a long list of similar nonreligious activity the High Court set forth as comparable gatherings. These include grocery stores, warehouses, big box stores, transportation, infrastructure, telecommunications, and much more. In other words, churches and places of worship may never again have discriminatory restrictions placed on them that are not equally applied to a long list of “critical infrastructure” or “essential services” as outlined in several Supreme Court precedents cited in the settlement agreement.

Pastor Ché Ahn, founder of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, received a letter from the Pasadena Criminal Prosecutor threating him, the staff, and anyone who attends church with daily criminal charges each up to one year in prison, and daily fines of $1,000. Despite this intense opposition, Pastor Ahn stood against these unconstitutional executive orders. He risked criminal charges and fines, as did those who worked for the church and those who attended. Thanks to his leadership, every church in California is now free.

Newsom originally imposed the most severe restrictions on churches and even home Bible studies and worship in the nation. Now after multiple reprimands from the U.S. Supreme Court, including two on behalf of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, Gov. Newsom will be the first governor in America to have a permanent injunction against him on behalf of houses of worship.

This case involved three emergency injunctions pending appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, two oral arguments before a panel of three judges, two orders from the U.S. Supreme Court, including an injunction pending appeal issued by the High Court on February 5, 2021.

The timeline for actions regarding California’s worship restrictions include:

March 19, 2020 – May 25, 2020: No Worship

May 26, 2020 – July 12, 2020: 25 percent capacity but no more than 100 people

July 13, 2020 – April 8, 2021: No worship for over 90 percent of California

April 9, 2021 – April 12, 2021: Restrictions on home Bible study lifted but not on singing and chanting

April 13, 2021 – May 9, 2021: Mandatory attendance limits are lifted

May 17, 2021 – and Forever: Discriminatory restrictions on churches permanently removed

Under the settlement agreement, discriminatory restrictions on worship and religious gatherings may no longer be applied to churches and places of worship.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted an emergency petition for an injunction pending appeal on behalf of New York City synagogues and Roman Catholic churches in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo and Agudath Israel v. Cuomo. On December 3, 2020, the High Court granted the petition by Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, setting aside all the lower court orders and directing them to follow its ruling in Roman Catholic Dioceses. When the lower courts refused to strike down California’s restrictions, the case returned to the Supreme Court.

On February 5, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry by enjoining California’s total ban on indoor worship. This was the second time Liberty Counsel appealed to the High Court on behalf of these churches. The ruling also included South Bay United Pentecostal Church.

On April 9, the U.S. Supreme Court granted an emergency injunction pending appeal in Tandon v. Newsom and ruled that Gov. Newsom’s restrictions on home Bible study and worship violate the First Amendment.

Pastor Ché Ahn said, “This is a momentous day for churches in America! After nearly a yearlong battle defending our religious freedoms, our lawsuit has reached a permanent settlement in our favor. I am thrilled to see the complete reversal of the last discriminatory restrictions against churches in California, knowing this case will act as a precedent, not only in our state, but also in our nation. We are incredibly grateful to our attorney Mat Staver and to Liberty Counsel for their relentless support and fierce determination. Most of all, we give all the glory to God for moving mightily in this historic season!”

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID restrictions intentionally discriminated against churches while providing preferential treatment to many secular businesses and gatherings. The Supreme Court intervened multiple times to provide relief. California may never again place discriminatory restrictions on churches and places of worship. Gov. Gavin Newsom has now been permanently quarantined and may not violate the First Amendment rights of churches and places of worship again. We are grateful for Pastor Ché Ahn, Harvest Rock Church, and Harvest International Ministry. Pastor Ahn’s leadership and courage has toppled the tyranny and freed every pastor and church in California.”

 

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Sex ed transparency bill resurrected to be heard Wednesday after being rejected by Senate Education Committee

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Contra Costa’s Glazer is a committee member

By Greg Burt

This Wednesday, April 28, the Senate Education Committee is again considering approval of a bill to require school districts to put their sex education material online for easy parental access. The same bill, SB 217, failed in March, even with the support of the committee chair Senator Connie Leyva (D-San Bernardino). The author Senator Brian Dahle (R-Redding) is hoping that removing the requirement that sex education lessons be translated into various languages, will guarantee passage this time. Senator Steve Glazer is a member of the committee.

The President of the California Family Council Jonathan Keller commended Senator Dahle for working hard to resurrect the commonsense proposal. “Whether they vote Democrat or Republican, all parents believe in government transparency, especially regarding the education of their children,” Keller said. “We urge elected officials on both sides of the aisle to set aside partisan politics and support these reasonable protections for kids and families.”

Senator Dahle believes the need for the bill has increased because of the pandemic. “Given the new structure of our schooling system as changed due to COVID-19, we should encourage that parents actively participate in their child’s development and instruction,” Dahle wrote. “The shift to internet-based and technology heavy education has forced schools to prevent parents from physically accessing the school campus during the pandemic. … As such, we need to ensure that parents and students have access to all of the material and curriculum being taught by the school.”

The idea for this bill came from a Bay Area mother named Denise Pursche several years ago when her elementary school resisted showing her the new sex education curriculum to be used for her twin 5th graders. After being sent on detours, and then asking again and again, Denise finally got a chance to look at the actual lessons being used, but she could only review them at the school district office for a limited period of time. Once she saw the graphic, age-inappropriate content, Denise realized why school personnel tried to hide the curriculum from her.

It is common practice for school officials to require parents to come to the school or district offices during school hours if they want to review the sex-ed lessons, a difficult prospect for single parents or homes with two working parents.

With the help of the California Family Council, she got former Senator Mike Morrell to introduce SB 637, a bill not only required sex education materials to be translated into various languages and put online, but required schools to get parental permission before teaching comprehensive sex education to children in elementary school. Currently, parents can opt their children out of classes, but they must initiate the process.

The Senate Education Committee heard Morrell’s bill, SB 673, in January of 2020, but it died along party lines. The committee chair Senator Leyva said at the time she supported the transparency part of the bill, but not the opt-in procedure. So this year, Senator Dahle took Leyva at her word and introduced SB 217 that only included the transparency part of the bill, plus the costly provision that required the curriculum to be translated for parents who didn’t read English. Unfortunately, the bill died 3 – 3, with Senator Richard Pan not voting.

Hopefully, with the cost-prohibitive translation provision removed, at least one of the four Democrats on the education committee, Senators Richard Pan, Dave Cortese, Steven Glazer, or Mike McGuire, will change their minds and vote for the bill. SB 217 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee on the morning of Wednesday, April 28.

Take Action

CALL your State Senator and tell them to vote “Yes” on SB 217!

Burt is the Director of Capitol Engagement at the California Family Council.

 

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California, Contra Costa follow FDA, CDC in pausing use of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Vial of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Source: CDC

SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, April 13, 2021 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a statement from Dr. Erica Pan, state epidemiologist, regarding the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

“Today, the CDC and FDA have recommended a temporary pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution. Of over 6.8 million doses administered nationally, there have been six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot with symptoms occurring 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

“California is following the FDA and CDC’s recommendation and has directed health care providers to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until we receive further direction from health and safety experts. Additionally, the state will convene the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to review the information provided by the federal government on this issue. As the federal government has said, we do not expect a significant impact to our vaccination allocations. In California, less than 4% of our vaccine allocation this week is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

For more information about the adverse effects, and what to do if you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider. We will provide additional details on what this means for our state efforts as they become available.

The joint CDC and FDA statement can be found here.

In addition, the Contra Costa Health Services issued the following announcement on Tuesday about the matter, also pausing use of the J&J vaccine:

To ensure that every dose of COVID-19 vaccine provided in our county is safe for patients, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) will today temporarily pause its use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine while federal regulatory agencies examine new information about a possible, rare side effect that can cause blood clots.

CCHS is closely following guidance issued this morning by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding this vaccine. CCHS continues to administer the other vaccines approved for emergency use in the U.S., from Pfizer and Moderna.

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is a very small part of Contra Costa’s vaccine allocation from the state and federal governments and CCHS does not anticipate cancelling any of its vaccination appointments at this time.

Patients with vaccination appointments through CCHS should attend at their scheduled time.

CCHS is not aware of any reported cases of adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccine in the county that were inconsistent with those documented during the extensive clinical trials conducted to ensure the safety of all vaccines used in the U.S.

The risk of an adverse reaction for people who received Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine more than a month ago is extremely low, according to the CDC.

People who received this vaccine more recently should contact a healthcare provider immediately if they develop symptoms such as severe headaches, severe abdominal pain, severe leg pain or shortness of breath – these symptoms are different than the usual, minor reactions that some people may experience in the day or two following their vaccination.

The FDA has not received any reports of similar side effects associated with the use of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

CCHS will update the public at cchealth.org/coronavirus as more information becomes available about this developing situation.

 

 

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