NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is not enough evidence to support recommending booster doses of the Covid vaccine yet, the CDC advisory panel agreed Wednesday.
But that could change as the pandemic progresses, and more data emerges, regarding where we're at with infection rates, the evolving prevalence of variant strains, and how our original doses appear to be maintaining protection... or if that immunity looks like its fading.
"For recommendations around booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine, we need to not only have information around the risks of COVID complications and risk of exposure but also the risk of waning immunities and risk of COVID variants," CDC's Dr. Sarah Oliver said.
The data isn't there currently, but CDC would "continue to monitor," Oliver said, to determine if booster shots may be warranted in the future.
Here are more of today's headlines:
Biden administration extends eviction moratorium for 30 days
The Biden administration has extended the nationwide ban on evictions for a month to help tenants who are unable to make rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic, but it said this is expected to be the last time it does so. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extended the evictions moratorium until July 31. It had been scheduled to end June 30. The CDC said Thursday that "this is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium."
NYC pools set to open at full capacity
The New York City Parks Department's outdoor pools are set to open for the season at full capacity this weekend. "Last summer we didn't even think we were going to open the pools. Then when we got the green light from the mayor, we had to quickly start training lifeguards," Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. "We had to wait and delay it further because we had to train our lifeguards and then they had to do resuscitation during COVID, so they had to learn a whole new technique."
What should I know about the delta variant?
It's a version of the coronavirus that has been found in more than 80 countries since it was first detected in India. It got its name from the World Health Organization, which names notable variants after letters of the Greek alphabet. Studies have shown that the available COVID-19 vaccines work against variants, including the delta variant. Experts say the delta variant spreads more easily because of mutations that make it better at latching onto cells in our bodies. Here's what you should know about it.
Newark's Equitable Economic Recovery Plan to help small businesses
Newark's latest plan to kick-start their local economy in the wake of the pandemic focuses on small businesses and addressing racial disparities. "(The) Equitable Economic Recovery Plan is about rebounding from the pandemic but also growing Newark in every positive direction possible for decades to come," Mayor Ras Baraka said.
CDC finds likely association between mRNA vaccines and heart inflammation
A CDC panel said Wednesday that data shows a "likely association" between the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and a rare heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults, but they said the benefits of the shot far outweigh the risks.
"Myocarditis is a rare disease, but it's not a new disease," said Dr. Matthew Oster, with the CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. "It's been around for a while. Traditionally, there have been, thought to have viral triggers, although there can be others. But it does appear that mRNA vaccine may be a new trigger for myocarditis, yet it does have some different characteristics in the presentation, and particularly the course of how patients are doing."
The instances of heart inflammation, roughly 323 cases out of more than 26 million doses administered, are mostly in younger males with symptoms generally appearing within a week after vaccination -- more likely after the second dose.
"The facts are clear, this is an extremely rare side effect, and only an exceedingly small number of people will experience it after vaccination," the panel said. "Importantly, for the young people who do, most cases are mild, and individuals recover often on their own or with minimal treatment. In addition, we know that myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common if you get COVID-19, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe...The benefits still clearly outweigh the risks for COVID-19 vaccination in adolescents and young adults."
MTA to permanently ban cash transactions at booths
MTA officials announced Wednesday that booth workers who once handled cash transactions will no longer accept straphangers cash at token booths. Hand-to-hand transactions were initially banned during the start of the pandemic over concerns that workers were put at risk of catching COVID.
To-go booze coming to an end in NY
New York State is lifting the coronavirus state of emergency, and with it comes the end of to-go cocktails. The state Liquor Authority confirmed the regulations allowing to-go and delivery of alcoholic beverages ends Thursday with the lifting of the state of emergency.
Cuomo: NY's COVID-19 State of Emergency expires Thursday, CDC guidance remains in place
New York state's coronavirus state of emergency expires Thursday, Gov. Cuomo announced -- and it will not be renewed. The state, however, will continue to follow CDC guidance for mask-wearing in certain indoor settings.
"The emergency is over, it's a new chapter," Cuomo said. "Doesn't mean there are not challenges for the new chapter. but the emergency is over. It's not that we believe COVID is gone, we still have to vaccinate people, especially young people."
Final drawing for COVID scholarship incentive
The final drawing next week for college students to get a COVID shot by Monday night for their chance to receive full tuition, room and board scholarship to any public college or university in NY state.
NYC offering in-home vaccinations to all
New York City is now offering in-home vaccinations to anyone who wants one, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday. Appointments can be made by visiting nyc.gov/homevaccine. The city has already vaccinated 15,000 residents under the program, the mayor said.
NYC vaccination rates by zip code
There are about a dozen communities in the New York City area where three out of four people have not been vaccinated yet. 7 On Your Side Investigates created a map where the darkest colored zip codes have the most vaccinated New Yorkers and the lightest, the least.
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