NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York State has reached a vaccination milestone now that nearly 70% of the population has been at least partially vaccinated, according to the CDC.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said that most remaining restrictions would likely be lifted once New York hit that benchmark.
Experts worry the numbers don't tell the full story and there are still vast segments of the population who still have not received a shot.
Here are more of today's headlines:
Over 800 New Yorkers given expired COVID vaccine
A pop-up vaccination site at the former site of Times Square's NFL Experience informed 899 patients that they need to be re-vaccinated after receiving expired Pfizer doses. The city's Department of Health says they've "communicated with Pfizer, which recommended that the patients receive another dose as soon as possible. While there is no safety risk for the patients, the re-administration is being carried out to ensure that the individuals are fully protected."
Long Island school district denies student's mask exemption request from family pediatrician
A medical consultant for the New York State Education Department overruled a request from the pediatrician of an elementary school student on Long Island that she not be required to wear a mask outdoors due to her asthma, according to documents obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News.
New York vaccine milestone
New York State has hit 70% on the CDC's tracker for adults with at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Gov. Cuomo said that tracker would be used in determining when the state crosses the 70% threshold.
Cuomo said when New York hits 70%, most remaining COVID restrictions will be lifted.
Face masks to be optional for visitors at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World in Florida is making it easier to see smiles again, but guests still can't hug the characters. Starting Tuesday, face masks will be optional for visitors to the theme park resort who are vaccinated, though Disney workers won't require proof of vaccination, the company said on its website. Visitors who aren't fully vaccinated still will need to wear face masks indoors and on all rides and attractions. All visitors, whether vaccinated or not, will still be required to wear face coverings on buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner, the resort's aerial gondola, according to the latest guidelines.
NJ utility moratorium ending
The formal moratorium on utility shutoffs in New Jersey will end on July 1, but there will be a new grace period that will run until December 31.
Novavax reports 90% effectiveness with its 2-shot vaccine
The American biotechnology company Novavax announced on Monday that its coronavirus vaccine candidate was found to have an overall efficacy of 90.4% in a Phase 3 trial conducted across the United States and Mexico.
Additional analyses of the trial are ongoing, according to the company, and will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals for publication.
The trial results appear consistent with the efficacy and safety profile the vaccine previously showed in a Phase 3 trial conducted in the United Kingdom, Dr. Gregory Glenn, president of research and development for Novavax, told CNN.
"Different continent, different population, different viruses floating around, and yet, we still see really good efficacy," Glenn said. "This is what you want to have."
The study launched in December and enrolled 29,960 adults across 113 sites in the United States and six sites in Mexico. Some of the participants were given a placebo and some were administered two doses of the Novavax vaccine 21 days apart.
NY State vaccination rate 69.9%; State Fair to open at 100% occupancy
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Fair will fully open in August at 100%, without capacity restrictions. The state's vaccination rate is now 69.9%, Cuomo said, just one tenth of a percent away from the 70% threshold that would prompt the state to lift virtually all remaining pandemic restrictions.
Parade announced honoring NYC pandemic heroes
New York City will pay tribute to the first responders who got the city through the coronavirus pandemic with a parade called "The Hometown Heroes Parade" on July 7.
"I said the first parade back, the first true large parade back in New York City will be one to celebrate the heroes in the fight against COVID," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "It's going to be an example of the great tradition of ticker-tape parades, ticker-tape parades up the Canyon of Heroes, they've happened for generations, but this one is going to have a special spirit to it a special heart and soul because it's about celebrating every day New Yorkers who did something so heroic and need our thanks," de Blasio said.
NJ lawmaker wants to combat worker shortage with $500 incentive bonus
New Jersey state leaders are pushing for President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan they say will help businesses return to normal and get the workers they need. "Help Wanted" signs are prevalent around the Tri-State Area and the nation as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, and businesses like the Empress Diner are anxious to get back to working around the clock. The diner had to reduce staff, hours and time of operation during the pandemic, but now that the recovery is underway, many business owners are struggling to find employees.
NYC senior centers reopen for indoor activities
Reopening milestones continue in the Tri-State area, with New York City senior centers welcoming visitors for indoor activities for the first time in more than 15 months. The further loosening of restrictions comes as the city reports its lowest-ever COVID infection rate, 0.59%. The Lenox Hill Senior Center on the Upper East Side is one of nearly 250 senior centers reopening in the city.
"I think senior centers should have opened earlier," said Democratic mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia as she visited the site Monday morning. "Seniors have been incredibly isolated. There's a way to have done it safely, particularly as we got vaccines into arms and they need to be together. They need to see their friends. They need to get a hot meal."
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