Vaccine mega-site for Bronx residents opened at Yankee Stadium. In Friday’s Press meeting, Governor Cuomo announced that hospitals have one more week to try to finish front line health worker vaccinations. Starting on Feb. 15, he said he will reallocate doses to local governments to focus on inoculating people with comorbidities. He also appeared open to possibly moving up the date for indoor dining to resume in NYC so that restaurants could benefit from the Valentine’s Day weekend. Mr. Cuomo unleashed a flurry of coronavirus-related news on the vaccination and reopening fronts Friday, indicating he’ll expand eligibility to people with comorbidities in less than two weeks. Underlying health conditions pose an increased risk for severe COVID or death. The list is subject to change:
Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers) Chronic kidney disease Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome, Heart conditions, Cardiomyopathy, or hypertension (high blood pressure), Immunocompromised state, immune deficiencies, HIV, Severe Obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle cell disease or Thalassemia, Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus , Cerebrovascular disease, Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, Liver disease.
New York City opened its first vaccine mega-site targeted to residents of one borough — the Bronx — at Yankee Stadium on Friday, the latest in a series of community-based site launches but the first that is limited to residents of a single borough. Appointments are required. About 15,000 are expected to be available over the course of the week, with capacity expected to grow over the course of the month. The Bronx consistently has the highest positivity rate of the five boroughs.Governor Cuomo has set Valentine’s Day for the return of indoor dining in the city. Dine-in can resume across the five boroughs at that time at 25 percent capacity. New York City restaurants can reopen indoor dining at 25 percent capacity on Valentine’s Day, provided current downward trends in positivity and hospitalization rates continue, announced Mr. Cuomo on Friday.
President Joe Biden has pledged to move forward with his $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill — one that includes $350 billion in relief for state and local governments. He commended the House and Senate on Friday for approving his coronavirus relief package, which includes additional stimulus funds, an extension of unemployment and health care support, and resources for ongoing vaccination efforts.
To date, New York state has administered more than 1.5 million first doses. A 20 percent boost in federal weekly allocation over each of the next few weeks is expected to accelerate administration efforts further, as states seek to inoculate as many, particularly the most vulnerable residents, as they can at this time.
With precious first doses still so limited, the demand has far outpaced supply in both New York and New Jersey. That Johnson & Johnson single-dose shot, though, has proved less effective in countries where highly transmissible strains dominate, particularly in South Africa. The South Africa variant, which has additional mutations on top of the ones identified in the more contagious U.K. strain, has raised concerns about the efficacy of current vaccines against it. To address the issue, Moderna is working on a booster shot. Neither the South African variant nor the highly transmissible Brazilian strain has been identified locally yet. The CDC confirmed the first U.S. cases of those strains only in the last week. It believes community spread of those strains, which emerged in their respective countries months ago, has already happened. More than 600 cases of the three main variants of concern have been detected in 33 states so far in the US. The vast majority of those cases are the U.K. strain, according to the CDC. The CDC has warned that the U.K. variant could become the predominant strain in the U.S. by March, which could potentially lead to a spike in cases in the spring. Existing vaccines are expected to work on the new strains to varying degrees, at least, but further study is needed.
Source: Governor’s Office Presser, CDC