U.S. Refusal to Join COVAX Puts World’s Poorest at Risk

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The United States has refused to join COVAX, the global initiative to ensure widespread equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine, a decision that has reduced funding and made it likely that millions of the world’s poorest won’t have access to a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s announcements of promising results of their phase III clinical trials sparked hope in the United States and Europe that a COVID-19 vaccine may start to be available by the end of the year. But millions of healthcare workers, elderly adults, and other vulnerable people in lower and middle income (LMICs) countries will likely not have access to COVID-19 vaccine until 2022 or…

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Prop 23 Fails While Needs of Dialysis Patients Persist

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Proposition 23, a California ballot measure that would have increased regulations on outpatient dialysis centers that serve nearly 80,000 patients in California, was overwhelmingly defeated by 63 percent of the electorate who voted against it. The initiative was proposed by Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEI-UHW) who claimed that increasing regulations on outpatient dialysis centers would improve patient safety. The successful No-Campaign, which raised nearly $100 million to fight the initiative, argued that the measure wouldn’t mprove patient safety and was being used as a political tactic by SEI-UHW. For now, the battle between dialysis companies and the worker’s union is over, but the needs of…

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East Palo Alto Voters Hopeful on Election Day

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Voters in East Palo Alto are feeling motivated to have their voices heard in this year’s election. Henry Fields, 50, voted for the first time ever this year. “I want to stand for something,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.” Saraí Esfuerza, another East Palo Alto resident, said that California’s propositions this year are “really going to pave the way for our communities.” “As a state, we still need to look into more progressive legislation,” she said, adding that she was particularly concerned about the “unjust” criminal court system. East Palo Alto City Council candidate Antonio Lopez said that after the election, organized, peaceful protests may be the…

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Undocumented Workers Face Worsening Economic Crisis Without Relief

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California’s undocumented workers face food insecurity and evictions now that $75 million in California state funding appropriated in April to support them through the crisis has been depleted. An estimated 2 million undocumented workers reside in California. Of those, approximately 125,000, or only a little less than 6 percent of them, received the one-time benefits of $500 per adult or $1000 per household before they dried up in July. “You have a hemorrhage and we’re giving you a Band-Aid,” said Maria Cadenas, co-founder of Undocufund, a group dedicated to providing financial support to undocumented immigrants in the North Central Coast. “I appreciate the intent. But it’s not enough.” Christopher Rios…

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