California and New York were among the states that administered Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine on Sunday after their governors approved the resumption of use of the single-dose shot.
Using the one-shot vaccine could speed up mass vaccinations as Americans get tired of wearing masks, and a new study shows indoor social distancing may not help much.
“After an additional review of the J&J # COVID19 vaccine, CA will resume administration immediately,” California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted late Saturday. “I am grateful to be one of the 1 million Californians who have received this safe and effective vaccine.”
Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia have also given the go-ahead for the J&J vaccine. Federal health officials recommended discontinuing use of the vaccine almost two weeks ago after a rare blood clotting disorder was linked to the shot. The government has uncovered 15 vaccine recipients who developed a highly unusual type of blood clot in nearly 8 million people after the J&J shot. Three died and seven remain in the hospital.
Federal health officials turned down the recommendation on Friday, saying the single-dose vaccine was critical to fighting the pandemic and the risk of small clots could be treated with warnings.
“The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war on COVID and allow everyone to return to normal,” said Andrew Cuomo, New York governor.
Also in the news:
► A Rhode Island man faces simple assault and other charges after police alleged 34-year-old Michael Caro of Woonsocket refused to put a mask on his young child and attacked a 16-year-old Walmart worker last week .
► In Boston, “Mobile Vax” buses have started carrying 500 COVID-19 vaccinations per day. The buses, a joint effort by Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, focus vaccination efforts on Black, Latin American, and non-English speaking communities in Massachusetts.
► Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the Germans to accept nationwide pandemic restrictions, which will lead to a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and further restrictions on personal contacts and access to non-essential businesses in regions with high levels of infection.
►The United States’ land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain restricted to non-essential travel until at least May 21, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 32 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 571,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 146 million cases and 3.1 million deaths. More than 290 million vaccine doses have been distributed and 225 million administered in the United States, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: As COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the state, many in CalifoSlab City – affectionately known as the “last free spot” by residents – either want not to be vaccinated or are reluctant to get their shot.
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MIT professors challenge the safety of the 6-foot rule
Six feet apart or 60 feet apart – it makes little difference indoors to avoid exposure to COVID as tiny droplets are dispersed indoors, according to an MIT study. Authors Martin Bazant, professor of chemical engineering at the school, and John Bush, director of MIT’s Applied Mathematics Laboratory, consider the extent to which the risk of transmission in large rooms with high air exchange rates is reduced, increased for vigorous breathing activity, and increased through the use of face masks drastically reduced.
“The current recovery in the American economy is based on social distancing, particularly the six-foot rule, a policy that offers little protection,” the study said.
82 die in the COVID ward of the Baghdad hospital
The death toll rose to 82 on Sunday following an explosion and fire in the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital treating seriously ill Iraqi coronavirus patients.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry said 110 others were injured. Negligence on the part of hospital authorities was blamed for the Saturday night fire, which initial reports said were caused when an oxygen cylinder exploded in the Ibn al-Khatib hospital ward. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi sacked key hospital officials hours after the disastrous incident and asked the Interior Ministry to complete an investigation within 24 hours.
The relatives were still anxiously looking for missing relatives on Sunday.
“Please, two of my relatives are missing. … I’m going to die (with no news about it), ”wrote a young woman on social media. “I hope someone can help us find Sadi Abdul Kareem and Samir Abdul Kareem, they were in intensive care.”
The world isolates. A New Zealand band plays in front of 50,000 fans
While much of the world is still huddled together, the band Six60 has played in New Zealand in front of large crowds where social distancing is not required after the nation wiped out coronavirus. The band’s tour finale on Saturday night has been billed as the biggest concert in the world since the pandemic began.
Equally significant for a band that met while playing rugby at university was to play the first concert ever to be held at the famous Eden Park rugby stadium. And being at the forefront of world music was a twist for Six60, which had unprecedented success in New Zealand but whose stays abroad ended without the breakthroughs they sought.