COVID Live Updates: Promising trials for Johnson & Johnson's 1 dose vaccine

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Johnson & Johnson says early-stage trials of its experimental vaccine show it created an immune response in nearly all volunteers.

Also, it had minimal side-effects after just one dose.

The company says it expects to release more details later this month.

It's hoping to apply for authorization from the FDA soon after that.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



Mount Sinai cancels vaccination appointments
Mount Sinai Hospital said it canceled public COVID-19 vaccination appointments from Friday, January 15, through Tuesday, January 19, due to supply shortages.

"Unfortunately, due to sudden changes in vaccine supply, we have been forced to cancel our existing public vaccination appointments from Friday, January 15, through Tuesday, January 19," hospital officials said in a statement. "We will inform our patients when more vaccine supplies become available and reopen vaccination appointments for eligible patients. For anyone with appointments scheduled after Tuesday, we will provide updates as soon as we know more."

Schumer says FEMA will pay all of NY's COVID costs
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced Thursday that after numerous discussions with President-elect Joe Biden and his team, his incoming administration's FEMA will deliver roughly $2 billion more to New York City and New York State for COVID-19 relief. Schumer said that while these funds are meant to help alleviate the mounting local costs associated with the pandemic, they will ultimately help both the city and state tackle COVID-related budget gaps. The money, Schumer said, is tied to the March 2020 FEMA Disaster Declaration declared by the Trump administration. Under that declaration and current policy, 75% of New York City and New York State's COVID-related expenses are covered by a Disaster Relief Fund Now, the expenses covered will be 100%, and this will deliver roughly $2 billion more to New York within the next several months.

Orange zone restaurants outside of NYC can resume indoor dining
Restaurants in some COVID-19 hot spots in New York can once again offer limited indoor dining in the wake of the latest lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo's virus restrictions.

George Foreman comes out swinging against COVID-19
George Foreman, the retired two-time heavyweight boxing champion, is coming out swinging against COVID-19 and doubts about the vaccine.

WHO team arrives in Wuhan to investigate COVID pandemic origins
A global team of researchers arrived Thursday in the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic was first detected to conduct a politically sensitive investigation into its origins amid uncertainty about whether Beijing might try to prevent embarrassing discoveries.

The 10-member team sent to Wuhan by the World Health Organization was approved by President Xi Jinping's government after months of diplomatic wrangling that prompted an unusual public complaint by the head of WHO.

Baby boom resulting from coronavirus pandemic quarantine, hospital finds
It probably doesn't come as a surprise to learn a baby boom seems to be starting nine months after coronavirus quarantines began.

Deliveries are up 30% compared to last January at Community Health Network in Indianapolis. Dr. Julia Kearney says they're expecting 70% more newborns by March.

After speaking with colleagues in other states, Dr. Kearney expects to see more babies born around the country, as long as people are stuck at home.

NY congressman tests positive for COVID
Congressman Adriano Espaillat of New York announced Thursday he has tested positive for COVID-19. Espaillat, whose congressional congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the northwest Bronx, released a statement saying in part, "I have been administered both shots of the COVID-19 vaccine and have continued to be tested regularly, wear my mask and follow the recommendation guidelines. I will continue my duties representing New York's 13th congressional district remotely until I have received clearance from my doctor."

Jones Beach drive-thru mega-vaccine center opens
New York State opened its third mass vaccination site in our area Thursday morning at Jones Beach. The site will operate as a drive-thru.
This comes as we are seeing more cases of the more contagious variant that was reported first in the UK. There are now at least 15 confirmed cases statewide. The Javits Center in New York City and a facility in White Plains also opened this week to the 7 million New Yorkers who are now eligible, that's groups 1a and 1b, which includes seniors 65 and older.

NJ vaccination expands to 65 and up, medical conditions, smokers
New Jersey has opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to residents 65 and older, as well as those from 16 to 64 with serious medical conditions or who are smokers. Seniors in Hoboken received their first shots Thursday morning at the Hoboken University Medical Center, with former Hoboken Fire Chief Richard Tremediti among the first in line.

"Over the last several months, our administration has built the infrastructure and laid the groundwork to support New Jersey's COVID-19 vaccination demand," Governor Phil Murphy said. "Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are ready to begin ramping up our vaccination efforts exponentially and are confident in our ability to provide every willing New Jersey resident with a vaccine when it is available and they are eligible."

Biden's $2 trillion COVID relief package to include $2,000 stimulus checks, aides tell congressional allies
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to unveil a major COVID-19 relief package on Thursday and his advisers have recently told allies in Congress to expect a price tag in the ballpark of $2 trillion, according to two people briefed on the deliberations. The Biden team is taking a "shoot for the moon" approach with the package, one lawmaker in close contact with them told CNN, though they added that the price tag could still change. The proposal will include sizable direct payments to American families, significant state and local funding -- including for coronavirus vaccine distribution and other emergency spending measures -- to help those struggling during the pandemic.

Dollar General will pay its workers to get coronavirus vaccine
Dollar General wants its employees to get COVID-19 vaccines, so it's offering to pay them to do it. The chain told CNN Wednesday that it will give its workers a one-time payment equivalent to four hours of pay after receiving a completed vaccination. The company, which had 157,000 employees as of Oct. 30, called getting a vaccine a "personal decision" and said it wouldn't require it.

"We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work," Dollar General said in a press release, noting that its hourly workers face hurdles to getting vaccinated, such as travel time, gas mileage or childcare needs.

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