Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: 1 dose of AstraZeneca vaccine effective, UK study shows

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine does more than prevent people from falling seriously ill -- it appears to reduce transmission of the virus and offers strong protection for three months on just a single dose, researchers said Wednesday in an encouraging turn in the campaign to suppress the outbreak.

The preliminary findings from Oxford University, a co-developer of the vaccine, could vindicate the British government's controversial strategy of delaying the second shot for up to 12 weeks so that more people can be quickly given a first dose. Up to now, the recommended time between doses has been four weeks.

The research could also bring scientists closer to an answer to one of the big questions about the vaccination drive: Will the vaccines actually curb the spread of the coronavirus?

It's not clear what implications, if any, the findings might have for the two other major vaccines being used in the West, Pfizer's and Moderna's.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



Teen falls into 10-month coma before pandemic, wakes up to new world
Joseph Flavill slipped out of one world and woke up in another. On March 1, 2020, when the 19-year-old was struck by a car in central England, the United Kingdom had recorded just 23 cases of a concerning new virus. The vast majority of COVID-19 infections were still confined to China, and the United States had confirmed just one death.

Now, the teenager has begun to emerge from a 10-month coma, elating his family but confronting them with a new question: How do you explain a year like no other?

Animal Care Center in Manhattan shut down due to COVID
Due to COVID-related staffing shortages, the Manhattan ACC will be closed starting Wednesday. ACC says they have started transporting as many animals as they can to their Brooklyn and Staten Island care centers.

Face masks showing up in mail are part of latest scam
Face masks are showing up in mailboxes even though the recipients are saying they didn't order them.

Consumers are reporting that the masks show up in just a regular brown mailing envelope, labeled with Amazon and China. However, there is no invoice or paperwork, just the face mask.

CDC: Schools can safely reopen even if teachers aren't vaccinated for COVID-19
The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says schools can safely reopen even if teachers are not vaccinated for the coronavirus.

As some teachers' unions balk at resuming in-person instruction before teachers are inoculated, Dr. Rochelle Walensky says, "Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for safe reopening of schools." Walensky cited CDC data showing that social distancing and wearing a mask significantly reduce the spread of the virus in school settings.

Study finds COVID-19 vaccine may reduce virus transmission
AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine does more than prevent people from falling seriously ill - it appears to reduce transmission of the virus and offers strong protection for three months on just a single dose, researchers said Wednesday in an encouraging turn in the campaign to suppress the outbreak.

The preliminary findings from Oxford University, a co-developer of the vaccine, could vindicate the British government's controversial strategy of delaying the second shot for up to 12 weeks so that more people can be quickly given a first dose. Up to now, the recommended time between doses has been four weeks.

Yankee Stadium vaccination site to open Friday
The mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium will open Friday and is scheduled to operate form 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Vaccines are by appointment only and are reserved for Bronx residents who meet New York's 1a and 1b vaccine eligibility requirements only. Eligible Bronx residents can make their appointment by visiting Somosvaccinations.com or by calling 1-833-SomosNY.

Pop-up COVID vaccination sites coming to New York this week
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 35 community-based pop-up vaccination sites coming online this week at churches, community centers, public housing complexes and cultural centers. Officials say the sites are expected to vaccinate over 25,000 people throughout the week, with more sites coming online every week.

Catering halls to reopen in Nassau County as COVID cases decrease
Nassau County officials announced Wednesday they are reopening catering halls as the number of coronavirus cases goes down. With Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement last week about weddings being able to start in mid-March with no more than 150 guests and COVID testing, there is a light at the end of the tunnel at places like the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

NJ increases capacity for restaurants, other businesses
Indoor capacity at restaurants and other businesses in New Jersey will increase to 35%, up from the current 25%, and they will be allowed to stay open past 10 p.m. But while Governor Murphy will let the businesses stay open later, local governments will be given the flexibility to put into place their own restrictions on the hours of operation. The maximum number of people allowed inside will still be capped at 150.

NYC health commissioner tests positive
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi announced Wednesday that he recently tested positive for COVID-19. He said he has mild but manageable symptoms and that he has been in touch with New York City's Test and Trace Corps to ensure that anyone who was potentially exposed is offered services and care.

"This is a reminder, if we ever needed one, that COVID is still with us and we all must continue to wear masks, wash our hands, socially distance and stay home if feeling ill," he said.

Paterson's hybrid approach hits snag
The revamped vaccine distribution in one of New Jersey's largest cities hit a snag Wednesday due to the nor'easter earlier in the week. Paterson was set to launch a hybrid appointment/walk-in approach to COVID-19 vaccine distribution after its first-come, first served site led to long lines of people bundled up in the cold for hours. But due to the storm, there was a delay in shipment from the state of first doses. As a result, the city will only be administering 100 second dose vaccinations at International High School Wednesday.

COVID vaccination sites reopen in NYC
The nor'easter stopped vaccinations across New York City for two days. They will resume today, and now the eligibility is expanding. Restaurant workers are among those now eligible, Governor Andrew Cuomo says, but he is leaving the final decision up to local governments. The same goes for taxi and Uber drivers.

'You don't want COVID': Michael Strahan grateful for support after COVID-19 diagnosis
Michael Strahan sent a message to his "Good Morning America" colleagues Wednesday, thanking them and everyone for their well wishes and advice after his COVID-19 diagnosis. He said he's doing well and is trying to rest and hydrate as much as he can, so he can regain his strength to go back to work. He said he's been self-isolating and following all COVID-19 protocols but warned others to be cautious.

"I do feel a lot better, and I'm just thankful to be on the side of it that I am," Strahan said. "I miss work; for my own sanity, I've got to get out of this house...You don't want COVID. You don't want to have to go through everything that it brings with it."

Family warns of rare illness linked to COVID-19 after 8-year-old son hospitalized
The parents of a Southern California child who became seriously ill from complications linked to COVID-19 are sharing their story of how quick, decisive action saved their young son's life. Eight-year-old Anthony Rodriguez spent more than a week at Loma Linda Medical Center outside of San Bernardino, California. His frantic parents were perplexed because they both recovered not long after catching COVID-19. Likewise, Anthony tested positive for the virus, had some mild symptoms and appeared to get better. That is until he came down with a stubborn fever soon after.

'Just lay low and cool it': Fauci warns against Super Bowl parties to avoid COVID spread
The nation's top infectious disease expert doesn't want the Super Bowl to turn into a super spreader. Dr. Anthony Fauci, says when it comes to Super Bowl parties during the pandemic, people should "just lay low and cool it." He said during "Good Morning America" Wednesday that now isn't the time to invite people over for watch parties because of the possibility that they're infected with the coronavirus and could sicken others.

President urges Democrats to take bold action, says GOP proposal too small
President Joe Biden panned a Republican alternative to his $1.9 trillion COVID rescue plan as insufficient as Senate Democrats pushed ahead, voting to launch a process that could approve his sweeping rescue package on their own, if Republicans refuse to support it. Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joined the Democratic senators for a private virtual meeting Tuesday, both declaring the Republicans' $618 billion offer was too small. They urged big fast action to stem the coronavirus pandemic crisis and its economic fallout. Biden was likely to reiterate that message Wednesday as he steps up his public engagements with lawmakers on the issue. The White House announced that Biden would discuss the rescue plan with House Democrats by phone, followed by an Oval Office meeting with Democratic senators.

Top 7 COVID vaccine questions answered
You had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On Your Side is getting you answers from doctors on the front line of the pandemic.

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