Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: India tops 200,000 dead as virus surge breaks health system

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- India crossed a grim milestone Wednesday of 200,000 people lost to the coronavirus as a devastating surge of new infections tears through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelms health care systems on the brink of collapse.

The health ministry reported a single-day record 3,293 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing India's total fatalities to 201,187, as the world's second-most populous country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet.

The country also reported 362,757 new infections, a new global record, which raised the overall total past 17.9 million. The previous high of 350,000 on Monday had capped a five-day streak of recording the largest single-day increases in any country throughout the pandemic.

India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, is the fourth to cross 200,000 deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico. And as in many nations, experts believe the coronavirus infections and fatalities in India are severe undercounts.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



Bayonne Hospital charges some residents for COVID vaccine
Bayonne Medical Center charged about 200 uninsured residents for COVID vaccinations. CarePoint released a statement regarding the error: "There was a systems error discovered regarding the billing for vaccinations. We will be sending out notices to those patients who received the invoices letting them know to disregard them. Any patient who already paid the bill will be reimbursed in full."

They say the 200 patients is about 1% of the 22,000 that the CarePoint system vaccinated. The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

NJ to allow summer camps
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced summer camps - both day camps and sleepaways - will open for the upcoming season.

"We're committed to a safe and fun summer for our kids," Murphy said.

NYC tourism industry decimated by pandemic
An official report released Wednesday details the full economic impact of the loss of tourism and business in New York City due to the coronavirus pandemic. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said a 10-year period of record growth in tourism came to an abrupt end in 2020, as 43.7 million fewer visitors came to the city because of COVID-19. Tourists spent only $13 billion in 2020, a 73% decline from the prior year, and in the end, that will cost the city $1.2 billion in lost tax revenues in Fiscal Year 2021. Employment in the tourism industry also saw a significant decline in 2020, as 89,000 jobs were lost from 2019, when employment reached a record 283,200 jobs.

Belmont Park opening to fans Saturday
Belmont Park will re-open to a limited number of spectators on Saturday, May 1. In accordance with New York State requirements, spectators must purchase track admission in advance and adhere to strict health and safety protocols designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.

"NYRA has been working collectively toward this goal since the start of the pandemic and we are thrilled to be able to welcome fans back to Belmont Park," NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke said. "We thank our fans for their loyalty and support over this challenging year and look forward to the spring and summer ahead."

In order to enter Belmont Park, in accordance with New York State requirements, all ticketed spectators must submit proof of a completed vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result.

Nassau County pushing for changes to capacity limits at beaches
Nassau County officials are urging the New York State Department of Health to expand capacity at beaches to 100% that's consistent with public health and safety protocols. As Memorial Day nears, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says local governments and businesses must be given time to plan and prepare for the summer months.

What happens if you get wrong 2nd vaccine shot? Doctor explains
It was the second shot California resident Veena Thomas had been for waiting for. Instead of relief what she felt was panic after the needle was pulled out. "She asked me 'did you tell them Pfizer?' and I said 'Well yeah! Sure. I told them Pfizer.' I got Pfizer for the first dose too and she said, 'Well your file is flagged as being Moderna, and I was like 'what!,'" described Thomas. A doctor is now explaining the impact.

NY announces end dates for restaurant curfews and more
Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced end dates for the curfews on food and beverage service in New York that were imposed across the state in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement came on the same day that the New York State legislature is moving to suspend several of the governor's executive orders, including one requiring the sale of food with alcoholic drinks at bars and restaurants.

Children as young as 6 months old now in COVID-19 vaccine trials
As nearly 140 million American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and we inch closer to herd immunity, vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna have moved on to the next phase of the fight against the virus: studying to see if the vaccine will be safe and effective for children.

"Children under 18 make up 85 million people in (the) U.S. - about 20% of the population," Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University, told ABC News. "Getting them vaccinated is a major contribution to reducing transmission of virus."

How many people in your area are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Most states have opened up COVID-19 vaccination to everyone 16 and older, but not everyone is lining up to get the shot. With the recent temporary pause on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, doctors worry about an increase in vaccine hesitancy that may not be warranted. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey, the CDC found that as many as a third of adults in some areas reported being hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. These rates are highest in the states of Wyoming and North Dakota, and lowest in Massachusetts, Vermont and California.

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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