Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: Encouraging vaccine results, but CDC concerned about '4th wave'

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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Andrew Dymburt has more on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the US.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been found to prevent 90% of COVID infections by two weeks after the second shot.

That's according to federal health researchers.

Despite that, 23 states and Washington, DC are reporting an increase in COVID infections, and 13 states are reporting an increase in deaths.

The CDC director is now warning of a fourth COVID surge.

"I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. We have so much to look forward to, but right now I'm scared," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director.

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Here are more of today's headlines:

Glen Island Park reopens to Westchester County residents

One year after New Rochelle became the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, and Glen Island Park was turned into a drive-thru testing site by New York State, the park has been reopened to Westchester County residents.

"Glen Island was the first mobile testing site in the State and allowed us to conduct a robust testing program," Westchester County Executive George Latimer said. "Today, we're happy to announce it has reopened to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, just in time for spring. This is great news for residents of New Rochelle, Pelham and all other County residents who frequent the park."

Glen Island remains a Covid-19 testing center with new traffic and security patterns in place. At this time there is no parking fee, but space is limited to 300 vehicles. Residency will be checked prior to parking.

NY collegiate sports can bring back fans April 2

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that collegiate sports can bring fans back to the stands under strict state guidelines, beginning April 2. Intercollegiate sports at large-scale venues that hold more than 1,500 attendees indoors or 2,500 attendees outdoors can host up to 10 percent indoor or 20 percent outdoor capacity. All attendees must present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result or completed COVID-19 immunization prior to entry. Colleges and universities hosting spectators for sporting events at large-scale venues must notify and coordinate with their respective state or local health department, aligning with the state guidance for professional sports competitions with spectators.

Nurse details Cuomo family's COVID testing access in new report

There's a new report about Governor Andrew Cuomo and his family receiving priority access to coronavirus testing early in the pandemic.

A nurse dispatched to test patients found the situation "morally problematic." The nurse told the Washington Post they were dispatched from an operations center in New Rochelle to run tests in private residences and hotel rooms. The nurse says the governor's family was treated like royalty.

Cuomo signs law allowing more nursing home visitation during COVID pandemic

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law that allows more people to visit loved ones in New York nursing homes.

The law lets residents and their families select two or more personal caregivers who are exempt from any visitation bans put in place over the last year.

What happens if you only get one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna both require two doses to be administered, several weeks apart, for them to be fully effective.

But there has been some scientific debate about the urgency of that second dose, especially when there are still so many people who have yet to receive their first shot.

Increased use of vaccine passports could lead to scams, experts warn

As states continue to open up eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine and more services start to require proof of vaccination, experts are warning of a rise in fraudulent activity surrounding vaccine passports.

Vaccine passports and certificates are being touted around the world as a way for various industries to start returning to normal while minimizing the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Consumers are already being required to use the passes at venues ranging from sports arenas and movie theaters to services like international travel.

Paterson to begin vaccinating homebound residents for COVID

There is a plan to get more shots in arms in New Jersey, as Paterson focuses on residents who can't leave their homes.

The city plans to vaccinate homebound residents in the safety of their homes. Mayor Andre Sayegh previously said the city will use the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for this outreach.

Likely COVID-19 virus origin laid out by WHO, but concerns raised about report

The World Health Organization and China released a long-awaited joint report into the origins of COVID-19 on Tuesday, pointing to transmission from bats to another animal and subsequently to humans as the most likely way the pandemic began. At the same time, the United States and 13 other countries raised concerns about the report in a joint statement, arguing that the WHO team was "significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples."

The review, which was conducted by a WHO team of international experts in Wuhan, China, between Jan. 14 and Feb. 10, is considered a first step in what will likely become a years-long investigation into the virus' origins.

Free weekend bus rides in CT

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he is going to recommend waiving transit bus fares on the weekends this summer. Lamont said the state can use $3 million allocated in the American Rescue Plan to finance the free weekends, from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, and possibly a while longer.

Google partners with Hudson Guild on new NYC vaccination site

Google is partnering with the community services agency Hudson Guild to set up a vaccination site for residents of NYCHA's Robert Fulton Houses and Chelsea-Elliott Houses in Chelsea. The new vaccination site at 119 Ninth Avenue will open April 7 and offer more than 200 appointments per day, or over 1,000 per week, Mayor de Blasio announced Tuesday. It will be open 5 days a week, from Tuesday through Saturday.

Dog show will have no spectators

America's top dogs won't have their pack of fans on hand at this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

The club announced that spectators and vendors won't be allowed this year because of coronavirus limitations. No tickets will be sold.

It's the latest in a series of pandemic shakeups to the nation's most prestigious canine competition. It's been moved from its longtime February date to June 12-13, and from New York City's Hudson River piers and Madison Square Garden to an outdoor setting at a riverfront estate in suburban Tarrytown, about 25 miles (40 km) north of Manhattan.

NYC walk-up appointments

New Yorkers who are 75 and older plus one eligible New Yorker (such as a home health aide who accompanies them) no longer need an appointment to get vaccinated at three NYC vaccine sites.

NYC Test & Trace Corps announced that in an effort to reach more vulnerable older New Yorkers with the COVID-19 vaccine, those over 75 and their aide can get vaccinated together without appointments at the 24/7 mass vaccination sites operated by the NYC Test & Trace Corps at Brooklyn Army Terminal, Bathgate and Citi Field.

In order to qualify for the walk-up service, New Yorkers age 75 and older must show proof of age upon arrival at the vaccination site. Their accompanying escort may be any age, but must also be eligible to receive the vaccine due to age, medical condition, employment, or other reasons.

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?

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