Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: Adolescents begin getting shots; 1 state offers $1M vaccine lotto

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Kids ages 12 to 15 began receiving vaccinations for COVID-19 in the Tri-State Area and around the nation Thursday after the CDC authorized the Pfizer shot for emergency use in that age group.

Meantime, the state of Ohio is offering five vaccinated adults $1 million in a lottery in the hopes of getting more shots into arms.

To be eligible you must be over 18, an Ohio resident, and get at least one dose of the vaccine.

Federal coronavirus-relief funds will be used for the prizes.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



Bill Maher tests positive for COVID
HBO's Bill Maher has tested positive for COVID. The show made the announcement on Thursday night, tweeting that the Friday, May 14 taping of 'Realtime with Bill Maher' had been cancelled. Maher tested positive despite being vaccinated. According to the show, he is asymptomatic and no other staff or crew members have tested positive so far.


NYC, NYS reviewing new CDC mask guidance
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo say they are reviewing updated guidance from the CDC stating that fully vaccinated people can safely stop wearing masks in many indoor and outdoor settings. In a statement, de Blasio said masks "will still be important for schools, public transportation, healthcare and congregate settings and more. But the message is clear: vaccinations are the way to bring our city, our lives, back."

Cuomo announces resumption of Metro-North Penn Station Access Project
Development of the Metro-North Penn Station Access Project, which had been paused by the COVID-19 pandemic and MTA funding uncertainty, will resume, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday. The reopened process will select a firm to design and build four new Metro-North Railroad stations and make track upgrades in the Bronx.

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can ditch masks indoors
In a striking move to send the country back toward pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places. The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues - even removing the need for masks or social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated. The CDC will also no longer recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors in crowds. The announcement comes as the CDC and the Biden administration have faced pressure to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated people - people who are two weeks past their last required COVID-19 vaccine dose - in part to highlight the benefits of getting the shot.

EXPLAINER: What fully vaccinated people can, cannot do according to CDC's new mask guidelines
People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can ditch masks and social distancing both indoors and outdoors -- except under certain circumstances, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. The easing guidance is a major step toward resuming life pre-pandemic -- but is likely to open the door to confusion. Here is everything to know about the eased masking guidelines.

Yankees carry on through COVID-19 outbreak with 7 confirmed cases
The New York Yankees continue to be short-staffed due to a COVID-19 outbreak, but so far, the team has not had to interrupt its schedule. Shortstop Gleyber Torres was kept out of Wednesday night's starting lineup at Tampa Bay as a precaution, as the number of confirmed positive tests among the team's coaching and support staff reached seven. Third base coach Phil Nevin, first base coach Reggie Willits and pitching coach Matt Blake are among those positive, and all seven people who tested positive were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson shot on April 7.

Long Island CVS employee found with fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards
A CVS employee is facing charges after police say he was found in possession of fraudulent vaccine cards on Long Island. The arrest happened around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday in East Garden City, where police on a drug trafficking investigation spotted a man sitting in a gray Mazda with the engine running. The man, 21-year-old Zachary Honig, exited the vehicle when officers approached, and after they asked him for ID, they spotted brass knuckles in the car when he opened the passenger side door. Inside the vehicle, they found a controlled substance and 62 COVID-19 vaccination cards.

Kean University kicks off 10 in-person graduation ceremonies
The pandemic has led many schools to get creative when it comes to their graduation ceremonies, and Kean University in New Jersey is doing just that by celebrating the Class of 2021 with 10 separate in-person ceremonies. The smaller commencement ceremonies will all be at their Alumni Stadium in Union, with the first held Wednesday.

"You truly are an exceptional group," Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D., said in his remarks to the graduates. "Despite all of the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, we are here together today, and we have so much to celebrate. We are forever changed by this experience. But no matter how much our world changed around us, we made our way through together."

Jersey City marks Eid al-Fitr with pop-up vaccine site
A pop-up vaccine site opened in Jersey City Thursday to coincide with Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan. The Hudson County Vaccine Task Force and Hudson Regional Health Commission partnered with the Islamic Council of Hudson County to bring the mobile clinic to Lincoln Park, where thousands of local Muslims are expected to gather together to break their fast.

Where COVID-19 has and hasn't spread since states reopened: Analysis
Bars, gyms and restaurants are just a few settings health experts warned could become hotbeds for COVID-19 spread as states began reopening in the spring and summer of 2020 following the first and second waves of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Yet, public data analyzed by ABC News appears to tell a different story. The data from states across the country suggests those shops and retail locations only accounted for a small percentage, if any, of new outbreaks after the pandemic's initial wave in 2020. While experts believe that mitigation measures such as reduced capacity, gradual reopening and mask wearing contributed to keeping outbreak numbers low, they say more could have been done to push those numbers down further and make testing and tracing more robust.

US unemployment claims drop to 473,000, a new pandemic low
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low and the latest evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs as consumers ramp up spending and more businesses reopen. Thursday's report from the Labor Department showed that applications declined 34,000 from a revised 507,000 a week earlier. The number of weekly jobless claims - a rough measure of the pace of layoffs - has fallen significantly from a peak of 900,000 in January. Instead of cutting jobs, many employers are struggling to attract enough applicants for open positions. With hiring up, vaccinations increasing and the economy accelerating, consumers have grown more confident and, on average, are flush with cash after limiting their spending during the pandemic. Stimulus checks have also bolstered many bank accounts.

Vaccine with a side of fries
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an initiative with Shake Shack where vaccinated New Yorkers can get a card for a free Shake Shack burger and get free fries for a month if they show the Shack Burger Card while ordering a burger or sandwich.


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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