Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: New pandemic air travel record set Friday at US airports

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Experts say this holiday weekend could be the busiest for air travel since the pandemic began.

More than 1.58 million people passed through TSA checkpoints on Friday. That's the most people to fly in a single day since the pandemic began.

It came on the same day the CDC announced fully-vaccinated Americans can travel at "low risk to themselves."

However, the organization still asks people not to travel, unless they have to.

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Here are more of today's headlines:

How long will COVID vaccines protect people?
Doctors are worried that coronavirus may end up being like influenza, which requires a new vaccine every year both because the circulating strains mutate fast and because immunity from the vaccine wears off quickly.

Although initial evidence suggests immunity from vaccination against coronavirus provides long-lasting protection, vaccine makers have begun making and testing versions of their vaccines that protect against worrying variants of the virus. That includes the B.1.351 version first seen in South Africa, which carries a mutation that, in lab experiments, appears to allow it to evade the human immune response a little.

A report out last month from Pfizer suggests people who get both doses keep strong immunity for at least six months. Experts have been at pains to point out that doesn't mean immunity stops at six months. It means that's the longest volunteers in the trials have been followed to see what their immunity is.

Should I laminate my vaccine card? What to know about CDC's proof of COVID shot
Vaccine eligibility in the US is expanding quickly, and so is the popularity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's little white card.

While plans to establish standardized vaccination proof are still being developed, many are holding to their COVID-19 vaccine cards as a potential form of social currency. And companies, like Staples and Office Depot, are offering to help keep them safe with free lamination.

While it may be tempting to get your vaccine card laminated as soon as possible, you should take your time and make sure you've considered a few things beforehand.

New York vaccination update
Gov. Cuomo announced Sunday that 1 in 3 New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 1 in 5 are now fully vaccinated.

Cuomo said 187,964 doses have been administered across the state's vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and more than 1.4 million doses have been administered over the past seven days. The week 16 allocation of 1,389,705 first and second doses is expected to finish arriving Sunday.

"As universal eligibility for the vaccine is set to go into effect this week in New York, our goal is to continue getting as many vaccines in arms as quickly and equitably as possible," Cuomo said

In Easter speech, pope calls wars in pandemic 'scandalous'
Pope Francis has used his traditional Easter address to denounce as "scandalous" that warfare continues to rage and military arsenals are fattened around the world as the coronavirus pandemic causes social and economic suffering.

Francis tempered his world affairs speech on Easter Sunday with wishes of joy along with accounts of pain from the globe's many armed conflicts and other sources of violence. He also appealed anew to the international community to overcome delays in distributing COVID-19 vaccines and to ensure supplies reach the poorest countries. For the second Easter in a row, the pope read his address from inside St. Peter's Basilica instead of outdoors to discourage crowds in St. Peter's Square.

Europe ramps up vaccinations as virus haunts Easter holidays
Thousands of people around France are spending the Easter holiday lining up for COVID-19 shots as the government tries to speed up vaccinations amid a new surge of infections.

In Lyon, a soccer team opened its stadium for the holiday weekend as a mass vaccination center and provided 200 volunteers to help medical workers. But as Europe faced its second Easter Sunday in a row under the cloud of the pandemic, some French cities pushed back against President Emmanuel Macron's insistence on vaccinating through the long holiday weekend. Spain, Italy and Germany kept some vaccination centers but others closed for the holiday.

Easter celebrations in NYC
Things will look a little different this year in New York City for Easter Sunday due to the coronavirus pandemic. The annual Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival on Fifth Avenue is going virtual for the second year, while COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place for Sunday's Mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

PA easing restrictions, but changes don't apply to Philadelphia
People who live in Pennsylvania can also look forward to an easing of restrictions. Beginning Sunday, restaurants in the Keystone State can increase their capacity to 75%. The changes for restaurants don't apply to Philadelphia, where's there has been an increase in COVID rates and hospitalizations. Estimates are that 50 percent of that city's population will be vaccinated by April 30.

Britain to trial virus certificates for events

Britain's government is planning to trial a coronavirus status certification plan over the coming months to allow the safe return of mass gatherings at places like sports grounds and nightclubs. Officials are expected to consider passports that show whether a person has received a vaccine, has recently tested negative for the virus, or has immunity due to having tested positive in the previous six months.

Michigan not implementing stricter restrictions as COVID cases rise
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer won't implement tighter restrictions despite her state's rise in new COVID cases, citing instead a need for residents to follow proper health guidelines.

Beware of COVID vaccine survey scams, 7 On Your Side warns
With vaccines becoming more widespread, new scams connected to getting vaccinated are popping up. First, there are fake record cards being sold on the internet. The latest is phony vaccine surveys. These surveys lure you in with the promise of a prize or money at the end, but it's really just designed to trick you into handing over the keys to your identity and getting into your bank account.

Can I still transmit coronavirus after getting COVID vaccine?
It is possible to still spread the coronavirus after getting vaccinated. Experts say the risk is low, but are still studying how well the shots blunt the spread of the virus. The current vaccines are highly effective at preventing people from getting seriously sick with COVID-19, but even if vaccinated people don't get sick, they might still get infected without showing any symptoms. Experts think the vaccine would also curb the chances of those people spreading the virus.
"A vaccinated person controls the virus better, so the chances of transmitting will be greatly reduced," said Dr. Robert Gallo a virus expert at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

When did you realize the COVID pandemic changed everything?
Many of us had a moment, most often occurring in March 2020, when we realized that COVID-19 had completely changed our lives forever. Even though we've managed to move forward and adapt to a new normal, that memory still sticks with us. Tell us: What was that moment to you?

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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