FDA limits Johnson & Johnson vaccine; New York City not ruling out return of mask mandates

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- There are growing concerns as new data shows hospitalizations and deaths from COVID are tracking higher for the first time in months.

Limits now placed on Johnson & Johnson are seen as good news for companies like Pfizer and Moderna.

The FDA said Thursday that the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine should only be given to those who either don't have access to the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or request only the J&J shot.

The recommendation was made after reports of rarely occurring but life-threatening blood clots that have appeared in the days or weeks after some have received the Johnson & Johnson shot.

Just days after New York City moved up to the medium COVID alert level, the health commissioner says the city is not ruling out the return of indoor mask mandates.

"Right now is the time, as we've moved into medium risk, where we're really encouraging New Yorkers to take more additional steps and use the myriad of tools that we have to manage their own risks, and also to manage the risk of those around them," said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, NYC Health Commissioner. "We're also looking at our policies and seeing when we may want to bring back citywide policies, but now is not that time."

The area is seeing some of its highest COVID rates in months.

Right now, New Jersey has an alarming 13.41 positivity rate, as rates climb across the Tri-State.

New York topped more than 10,000 cases a day for the first time in months, but that does not include the many who are testing positive at home.

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