Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: Short-term speed bumps in race to vaccinate America by summer

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Thursday, February 18, 2021
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Megan Tevrizian has the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- President Joe Biden said that he expects all Americans will be able to get two doses of the COVID vaccine by the end of July.

But, there are some short-term speed bumps in the race to vaccinate the country.

Moderna is now reporting a production delay with a contractor, but the company insists it will be resolved quickly.

A bigger concern may be with Johnson & Johnson, whose vaccine has not yet been approved. The company is now reducing its initial vaccine-supply estimates, forcing Dr. Anthony Fauci to push back his timeline on when vaccines will be available to all Americans.

"It may take until June, July, and August to finally get everyone vaccinated," he said.

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Here are more of today's headlines:

Thursday opening of vaccine sites delayed

Due to the COVID vaccine supply shortage and shipments delayed by storms, NYC is delaying the opening of vaccination sites at Empire Outlets on Staten Island and Martin Van Buren High School in Queens that were originally planned for Thursday.

"I cannot be clearer: we have the infrastructure in place to deliver half a million doses per week," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "All that's missing is the supply to get it done. We need our the pharmaceutical companies to step-up and give us the doses we need to vaccinate the people of our city. There is not a moment to waste."

FBI investigating Cuomo's handling of nursing homes, sources tell ABC News

The FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo's coronavirus task force with a particular focus on his administration's handling of nursing homes early in the pandemic, two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The investigation, first reported by the Albany Times Union, is in its initial stages. Subpoenas have been issued, the sources said.

COVID vaccine site coming to Yonkers

Starting March 3, a COVID-19 mass vaccination site in Yonkers plans to deliver 1,000 COVID-19 shots per day. The joint New York State - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) vaccination effort will be located at the National Guard Armory building at North Broadway and Quincy Place. National Guard and CDC personnel will assist with staffing. The Yonkers site is one of four being set up in New York to get more residents living in socially vulnerable communities vaccinated.

The other sites are in Buffalo, Rochester and Albany. Yonkers residents who are eligible for the vaccine will be able to sign up for vaccination at the armory site.

Survivor helps cancer patients land COVID vaccine appointments

For those battling cancer, the pandemic has been a medical nightmare as they have been put in a new category for the COVID vaccine.

And like others, they have found the process of trying to get an appointment a battle of its own -- so that's where others have stepped in to help.

2 women start Facebook group for young COVID widows, widowers

The coronavirus pandemic has brought so much heartache and overwhelming loss to so many, but now, two women from New Jersey who lost their spouses are trying to help others who share their pain.

Weather wreaks havoc on NJ vax supply

The bad weather in the deep south and middle of the country has put a stranglehold on vaccine distribution in New Jersey, forcing officials in Bergen and Monmouth counties to push back appointments because the shipments haven't arrived. Predictions of snow in our area Thursday could means more delays. Monmouth County Board of Commissioners Director Thomas Arnone said those with appointments at the two county sites are being notified and everyone is being rescheduled.

Long Island school goes remote after party-fueled COVID outbreak; 38 students positive

Less than one week after we profiled how a Long Island school was working to resume sports safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced a spike in cases that is forcing all-remote learning and the halting of all after-school activities.

Manhasset Superintendent Dr. Vincent Butera sent a letter to families saying the Manhasset Secondary School, a six-year high school and middle school, will be fully remote through at least February 26. All extracurricular activities and athletics are suspended until at least that time as well.

What to know about $15 minimum wage proposal in Biden's COVID-19 stimulus package

President Joe Biden's effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour could provide a welcome opportunity for someone like Cristian Cardona, a 21-year-old fast food worker. Cardona would love to earn enough to afford to move out of his parents' house in Orlando, Florida, and maybe scrape together money for college.

More than 1,000 miles away in Detroit, Nya Marshall worries that a $15 minimum wage would drive up her labor costs and perhaps force her to close her 2-year-old restaurant, already under strain from the viral pandemic.

Biden says life may be back to normal by Christmas 2021

President Joe Biden would only commit to a return to normal by next Christmas during a CNN town hall on Tuesday, saying he did not want to boost Americans' hopes when he could not be certain of a still-early vaccine rollout.

The prediction of nearly another year in pandemic-dampened conditions was admittedly not optimistic. But Biden still said it was as good as he could offer with any level of confidence.

Holiday COVID-19 surge to blame for rising MIS-C cases in some US cities

In recent weeks, hospitals in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Colorado, Nebraska and New Jersey have reported an increase in cases of MIS-C cases, a rare inflammatory condition found in children.

The apparent uptick in MIS-C cases coincides with a decrease in COVID-19 cases nationwide, in the wake of a post-holiday surge. But experts interviewed by ABC News explained that there is often a lag -- sometimes three to four weeks -- between COVID-19 infections and the onset of MIS-C symptoms.

New York sues Amazon over worker safety during COVID pandemic

New York is suing Amazon, claiming the company failed to provide workers with a safe environment at two warehouses in the state as COVID-19 infections surged nationwide.

The suit from New York Attorney General Letitia James landed just days after Amazon preemptively sued to block the suit over its coronavirus safety protocols and the firing of one of its employees who objected to working conditions.

Indoor, outdoor amusement parks and summer camps update in NY

Indoor amusement parks in New York state can reopen on March 26 with 25% capacity, while outdoor amusement parks can reopen April 9 with 33% capacity, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Overnight summer camps in New York can plan on reopening as well. Cuomo said that doesn't start until June, but with the current trajectory, "they can plan on reopening." They will have to have a testing protocols.

Family says social media post used against them in battle over remote learning

A battle over remote learning has gotten personal in New Jersey after parents say a school official used photos from a private social media post of students without masks against them.

NYC set to run out of vaccines today or tomorrow

New York City has less than 30,000 first doses left and may run out today or tomorrow, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The city is holding off on scheduling 30,000 to 35,000 appointments because first-dose deliveries will be delayed by storms across the country.

New vaccine center opens in Brooklyn

A new vaccination site opens Wednesday at Teachers Preparatory High School in Brownsville, Brooklyn.It is for residents of the immediate neighborhood, and home health aides. On Tuesday the city released data showing wealthier, predominately white neighborhoods with vaccine rates above 20 percent. By contrast, in lower income, black neighborhoods like East New York, Jamaica and Bedford-Stuyvesant, just 3 percent of the population has gotten the first dose.

FEMA to open more vaccination centers in New York and Texas

FEMA will open additional vaccination centers in Texas and New York next week, part of its effort to potentially set up 100 mass vaccination sites nationwide. And if the military has to man each of these stations, it's possible that there could be 18,000 military personnel involved in putting in vaccines.


-- York College in Jamaica, Queens - will be able to vaccinate 3,000 people a day

-- Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn - will be able to vaccinate 3,000 people a day


--Houston - NRG Center will be able to vaccinate 6,000 people a day.

--Dallas - Fair Park Cotton Bowl Stadium will be able to vaccinate 3,000 people a day.

--Dallas -- AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington will be able to vaccinate 3,000 people a day.

Seattle woman, 90, walks 6 miles through snow for COVID-19 vaccine

A rare winter storm that dumped a foot of snow on Seattle couldn't keep a 90-year-old woman from her first appointment for the coronavirus vaccine.

The Seattle Times reports that Fran Goldman walked six miles round trip to get her shot.

Family says social media posts used against them in battle over remote learning

A battle over remote learning has gotten personal in New Jersey after a school official used a parent's private social media post of students without masks.

No ashes? Ash Wednesday takes new form amid COVID-19 pandemic

Wednesday marks the beginning of the six weeks leading up to Easter and one of the holy days for Christians -- Ash Wednesday.

It's a day that usually requires a lot of personal contact for believers who get ash in the form of a cross rubbed on their foreheads. But that all changes during the coronavirus pandemic, when such close contact with a stranger isn't exactly social distancing.

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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