One hundred million Americans have received their second of two shots or a one-time vaccine, marking “significant advances” in the fight against COVID-19, White House officials said Friday.
“That’s 100 million Americans with a sense of relief and peace of mind who know they are protected from the virus after a long and tough year,” said Jeff Zients, White House coronavirus response coordinator.
Zients said the next phase of the national vaccination program will focus on hard-to-reach Americans. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stressed the need to combat vaccine hesitation and build confidence in vaccines.
“This is one of those hands on deck moments,” Murthy said, adding that vaccinated people should encourage their family and friends to do the same.
Meanwhile, Disneyland opened for the first time in 412 days on Friday morning – the longest closure in the park’s 65-year history.
The reopening comes as the park’s home state recorded a rate of 33 cases per 100,000 people on Wednesday morning. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the rate in California is below a third of the US average of 116 cases.
Also in the news:
►Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for worldwide emergency use on Friday. This makes it the fifth vaccine that has received emergency validation from the WHO.
►Cruise Lines applaud the word that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are committed to resuming crossings in the United States by midsummer and tweaking some of the resumption rules.
►Canada will receive Pfizer vaccine doses from the US starting next week. The country had received Pfizer’s vaccines from its Belgian location. Vaccinations have increased in Canada in the past few months.
► It was fear – and not a problem with the gunshots – that caused dozens of people at coronavirus vaccination clinics in five states to faint, dizzy, and other short-term reactions, U.S. health officials have noted.
►The number of classified surveillance targets in national security investigations has declined sharply in the past year, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government report released on Friday.
►The Johns Hopkins University data shows the world has reported its 150,000,000th coronavirus case. And the US reported its 575,000th death.
►India set a global daily record for the number of new COVID-19 cases with more than 386,000 reported cases on Friday. The US sent supplies into the country this week to combat the massive surge, including COVID-19 tests, N95 masks and oxygen bottles.
► A record spike in COVID-19 infections in Costa Rica forced the government to announce new restrictions on Thursday that will restart the country’s economic reopening.
► According to recent data from the CDC, about 92% of people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine made it back for their second shot.
►Tucson Democratic Rep. Alma Hernandez, who was fully vaccinated, confirms that she has tested positive for COVID-19.
📈 Today’s numbers: There are more than 32.28 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 575,000 deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global total: nearly 150.1 million cases and 3.16 million deaths. More than 305.4 million vaccine doses have been distributed and 237.3 million administered in the United States, according to the CDC. Almost 99.6 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.
📘 What we read: Indian tribes have long struggled with high rates of diabetes. COVID-19 made the problem even more pressing.
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US restricts flights from India due to the surge in COVID-19
President Joe Biden’s administration plans to restrict travel between the US and India starting Tuesday due to an increase in COVID cases.
The move follows a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
“The policy is being implemented given the extraordinarily high number of COVID-19 cases and several variants circulating in India,” she said in a statement.
Details are not yet available on whether flights from India will be banned or whether foreigners will be banned from entering the country.
In India, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen sharply. Read more here.
– Dawn Gilbertson and Joey Garrison
According to experts, new CDC guidelines on wearing masks after vaccination could have an impact on color communities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidelines, which simplify outdoor masking recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals, may lead to unintended consequences, especially for people of color, according to health experts.
Science supports the agency’s new guidelines, but experts say easing mask restrictions could mean vaccination is just a matter of choice and could undermine the urgency of reaching vulnerable communities still awaiting access to vaccines .
“The changing perception that these are not problems means that attention to these populations is likely to decline,” said Rachael Piltch-Loeb, associate research scientist at New York University School of Global Public Health.
Some states have already started easing restrictions.
But many people across the country remain unvaccinated because they have no access to the internet, have more than one job, cannot speak English, are homeless, live in rural areas, or have chronic health conditions, Kiran Savage-Sangwan said. Director of the Pan-Ethnic Health Network in California. All of these are conditions that studies show disproportionately affect people of color. Read more here.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
Indian Americans feel helpless as the family in India becomes sick
From a distance of 13,000 kilometers, Radhika Iyengar, who lives in New Jersey, is worried about her 82-year-old mother in Bhopal, India.
Her mother suffers from COVID-19 but cannot get a hospital bed or oxygen tank as the pandemic reaches catastrophic proportions. Iyengar remains distraught in Millburn, New Jersey, unable to travel to India with much of the nation.
“It’s so overwhelming,” Iyengar said, sobbing in an interview this week. “Every house has COVID, sick people. People die in cars, their houses.”
As a second wave of coronavirus ravages India, Indian Americans try to reach loved ones, organize relief, and quietly worry about relatives caught in the world’s worst outbreak.
Stories of bureaucratic entanglements and breakdowns have become grim in India, where deaths officially climbed above 200,000 on Wednesday. The real death toll is believed to be far higher. The nearly 1.4 billion residents reported 362,757 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, shaking global records. That took the country’s total infections to over 17.9 million just after U.S. health officials blamed new, more contagious strains of the virus.
“India is experiencing its worst health crisis right now,” said Sapna Gupta of Short Hills. “Almost everyone is affected by the virus. Many lose loved ones and many cannot even say goodbye.” Read more here.
– Mary Chao, NorthJersey.com
New COVID-19 cases mostly appear in younger adults
Despite increased COVID-19 vaccinations and an overall decline in infections, San Bernardino County officials said most new cases occur in younger people, ages 18 to 49.
District data show that confirmed cases in the age group total 161,680 or more than half of the 295,806 cases reported so far. The median age for coronavirus cases as of Thursday was 37 years.
“A significant number of these people, including many young and otherwise healthy people, are suffering from the coronavirus and some are in need of hospitalization,” Andrew Goldfrach, interim public health director, said in a statement. “Some will even die – which is heartbreaking considering how easy it is to schedule a free vaccination appointment.”
The county’s trend appears to be part of a national pattern.
While people ages 18 to 49 make up about 43% of the California population, infections in the age group account for more than 57% – or more than 2 million – of the state’s total confirmed cases, according to the California Department of Health.
And the state is not alone. Washington hospital administrators said a fourth wave of COVID-19 is increasingly fraught with young patients and that some are suffering from more severe illness than they did earlier in the pandemic, the Seattle Times reported. In Texas, executives report that young people are less likely to be vaccinated and therefore more likely to develop COVID.
– Martin Estacio, Victorville Daily Press
Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City will reopen on July 1st
New York City, its bars, restaurants and attractions will “fully reopen” on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
“We are ready to bring New York City completely back on July 1st. All systems are up because you deserve it,” said de Blasio. He said Broadway shows might take more time because they were aiming for a return in September, but that “some of the smaller, more intimate shows will look more like July, August and we’ll move heaven and earth.” help them do it. “
De Blasio expects at least 400,000 jobs lost in the pandemic to return by the end of the year. The mayor cited the city’s vaccination rate as critical to the effort and said 6.4 million New Yorkers have already been bumped.
The city was hit hardest in the early stages of the pandemic, when long lines in hospital emergency rooms and ventilators were paramount. More than 32,000 New Yorkers have died and more than 900,000 have tested positive for the coronavirus.
“This will be the summer of New York City,” said de Blasio. “We will all be able to enjoy the city again. And people from all over the country will flock here to be part of this amazing New York City moment.”
Contributor: The Associated Press