Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: FDA says Pfizer can be stored at regular fridge temps for 1 month

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, May 20, 2021
FDA says Pfizer can be stored at regular refrigeration temperatures for 1 month
The change in refrigeration policy will make it easier for pediatricians to vaccinate eligible children.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It may soon be easier to vaccinate children, after the FDA decided to allow the Pfizer shot to be stored at regular refrigerator temperatures for up to a month.

Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for kids between the ages of 12 and 17.

The company says it demonstrated the vaccine is stable at refrigerator temperature for up to a month, rather than the five days previously allowed by the FDA.

The move will allow pediatrician offices to store the vaccine, making it more accessible.

Here are more of today's headlines:

NY to reward vaccinations with $20 lottery tickets

New Yorkers can get a free lottery ticket if they get vaccinated next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday. Cuomo said the pace of vaccinations has slowed: New York has recorded an average of 123,806 daily shots in arms over the past 14 days. That's down 43% from 216,040 as of April 12.

"If you were undecided or dubious about getting a vaccine, now you have an added bonus. Don't miss this chance," Cuomo said.

As part of the "Vax and Scratch" pilot program, if someone gets vaccinated at one of the state's 10 mass vaccination sites between May 24 and 28, they'll receive a scratch-off ticket for the $5 million Mega Multiplier Lottery.

NY area airports will soon have pop-up vaccine sites

New York plans to set up pop-up vaccination sites at seven airports across the state for U.S. residents, including airport workers. At a briefing Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the sites will be open for walk-in vaccinations on a first come, first served basis utilizing the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Cuomo warned that vaccinations would be required in many places as people head out on summer vacations.

"That vaccination is going to be required by more and more countries and states to allow access to visitors, you watch," Cuomo said.

Mask use debated, vaccination rates drop, incentives push for herd immunity in the Tri-State

Small business owners are left trying to figure out how to govern New York's new indoor mask guidance based upon a customer's vaccination status. Some businesses say they will not ask customers if they've been vaccinated, and plan to operate on an honor system. Other places say they plan to ask for proof of vaccination and then seat unvaccinated people away from vaccinated people. Even at businesses allowing masks to be removed, many customers said they will mostly keep their mask on. Many people were still walking around New York City in masks despite the relaxation of the mask requirement.

Plaza Hotel reopens

The famed Plaza Hotel, a New York City icon, officially reopened after a lengthy coronavirus pandemic-related shutdown on Thursday, welcoming back guests for the first time in more than a year. The landmark property at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South offered a tour Wednesday of the safety measures put into place, as it prepares for patrons to fill the hotel's exquisitely decorated guestrooms and suites.

NYC eliminates hotel room occupancy tax for the summer

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order eliminating New York City's hotel room occupancy tax for the summer in an effort to help accelerate the recovery of the hotel industry, which has been particularly hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 5.875% tax rate will be eliminated from June 1 through August 31, and the mayor hopes the action will help hotels keep their doors open, retain jobs, and gain a more stable footing as the city continues its path toward a full recovery.

"As our COVID rates continue to plummet and we continue to drive a recovery for all of us, tourists will be coming back to New York City in droves," de Blasio said. "We're ready for them. By eliminating the hotel room occupancy tax for this summer, we're accelerating our economic recovery, saving jobs and providing relief for one of our hardest-hit industries."

NJ to offer vaccine incentives as part of 'Operation Jersey Summer'

As part of "Operation Jersey Summer," a number of COVID-19 vaccine incentives will be offered to residents in the state of New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement Wednesday from Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park.

national geographic covid newsletter sign up


Mask guidance in the Tri-State area

New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

How to get the vaccine in NYC, Tri-State area

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Submit a News Tip or Question