Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: White House offers incentives to get vaccine

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The White House is also offering more incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

It announced that Uber and Lyft will provide free rides to and from vaccination sites from May 24 to July 4.

President Joe Biden said he would like to see 70% of Americans with at least one dose of the vaccine by the Fourth of July.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



NY, NJ, & CT expand vaccine eligibility to 12-15 year olds
The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced Wednesday their states would follow the CDC's endorsement and expand eligibility for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 12-15 year olds. The shots will let kids safely attend camps this summer and help assure a more normal return to classrooms next school year, concluded advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ohio governor announces $1 million lotteries over 5 weeks for vaccinated residents
The state of Ohio will be holding five separate $1 million lotteries for those receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that starting May 26, the state will announce a million-dollar winner each Wednesday for five weeks.

Some seniors struggling with mental health during pandemic while others are thriving
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the mental health of many different populations of people, including seniors. At Family and Children's Association (FCA) in Nassau County, they're helping seniors get counseling to cope with the feelings of depression and anxiety caused by the isolation of pandemic.

New musical 'Breathe' written during, about COVID-19 pandemic
A new musical written and produced during the COVID-19 pandemic will begin virtual showings this Friday. "Breathe" was born when best-selling author Jody Picoult, originally from Long Island, teamed up with top talent from Broadway during lockdown.

US health advisers endorse Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 and up
U.S. health advisers endorsed use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in kids as young as 12 on Wednesday, just as expected new guidelines say it's OK for people of any age to get the shot at the same time as other needed vaccinations.

The sprint to vaccinate millions of middle and high school students has already started in parts of the country, as a long line of kids rolled up their sleeves in suburban Atlanta for a first dose Wednesday. But much of the nation was awaiting recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Pfizer's vaccine, already used for months in those 16 and older, was a good choice for 12- to 15-year-olds, too. The CDC was expected to accept its advisers' recommendation.

Pressure builds for CDC to update indoor-mask requirements for vaccinated people
A growing consensus among public health experts that the U.S. could soon safely end mask mandates has put pressure on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update its guidance in the weeks ahead or risk losing credibility with the public.

All adult Americans who want to get a vaccine will have had the chance to do so in the next two months, the thinking goes, and they should then be able to make their own risk assessment based on the strong efficacy of the vaccines, which experts believe largely protects fully vaccinated Americans from getting severely ill with the virus and from transmitting it.

NYC opens Grand Central Terminal pop-up
New York City opened a pop-up vaccine site at Grand Central Terminal Wednesday, this as the city readies to vaccinate kids 12 and older with the CDC expected to authorize the Pfizer shot for emergency use in that age group.

The Grand Central site is among eight operating at train stations across the city, Long Island, and in Westchester County, with Johnson & Johnson vaccines available for all walk-ins.

New vaccine pass allows vaccinated residents to travel between Hawaiian islands
Starting this week, fully vaccinated Hawaii residents can skip COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements when flying between the islands.

According to the new rules, which Gov. David Ige announced last month, Hawaii residents who were vaccinated in the state are exempt from testing and quarantine on the 15th day after their final vaccine shot.

To participate in the inter-county travel program, island residents will need to provide their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination record card, as well as register with Hawaii's "Safe Travels" program and affirm they are fully vaccinated, to get a digital record card.

Travelers under the age of 5 can bypass the requirements, as long as they are on the same travel itinerary as a fully vaccinated parent or guardian.

Pets could experience separation anxiety as Americans return to work
As more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine and begin to return to work, veterinarians are concerned about what will happen to family pets.

Shelters have seen a major increase in pet adoptions throughout the pandemic. Many people became first time pet owners when they were forced to stay at home.

Now, experts warn pets could experience separation anxiety.

Curran wants changing of mask protocols in schools
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran requested that Governor Andrew Cuomo immediately reevaluate New York state school protocols as vaccinations increase and infections decrease.

"I am calling on New York State to immediately reevaluate and overhaul school guidance, including mask protocols and hybrid learning, to ensure that our students are receiving the best education possible," Curran wrote in a letter sent to the governor's office. "Our children deserve to have a normal education and to get their lives back as quickly as possible."

Newark expands vaccine sites in city
Newark will be bringing COVID-19 community vaccination sites to every ward across the city for residents ages 18+. Walk-ups are welcome.

NJ to allow Pfizer vaccine for those age 12-15 upon CDC approval
Upon CDC approval, Gov. Phil Murphy says all New Jerseyans ages 12-15 will be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

"This will be a big step forward for public health - in particular, for the health of our school communities," Murphy said.

NY state beaches, pools to reopen Memorial Day
New York state beaches and pools can open starting Memorial Day with six-foot social distancing, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. He says the goal is to reach 100% capacity by July 4.

NYC's Open Streets expands to include Open Boulevards
New York City's Open Streets will become a standard part of city life tomorrow when Mayor Bill de Blasio signs legislation making the program permanent. In addition, de Blasio announced Wednesday that the program is expanding to create Open Boulevards: multiple blocks in a row blocked off to vehicles and filled with restaurants, performances and other activities. The new program will start with ten boulevards opening on a rolling basis across all five boroughs.

NYC ready to vaccinate 12 to 15 year olds
New York City is ready to start vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds with the Pfizer vaccine as soon as the CDC issues emergency authorization, Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday. That authorization was expected Wednesday afternoon. More than 200 sites across the city currently administer the Pfizer vaccine, health officials said, including Citi Field, Empire Outlets and the Museum of Natural History. All 12-15 year olds will need consent from an adult to be vaccinated. The city is also working with community pediatricians to expedite availability.

NYC offers gift cards for vaccinations
Get a shot, get a gift card! That's the latest vaccination incentive being offered by New York City. Mayor de Blasio announced that gift cards for NYC Public Markets and Chelsea Market will be given out at some city sites.

CDC to meet about adolescent vaccines
The CDC is meeting about the COVID vaccine for adolescents. Once approved, the CDC director recommended kids not wait to get vaccinated. However, the shot is not required to attend summer camp in New York. But, it is required for SUNY and CUNY students.

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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