Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: 9% of Americans vaccinated, Pfizer ramping up production

New York News
NEW YORK (WABC) — The US is reporting fewer than 100,000 daily cases of COVID since November.

The vaccine rollout is slowly gaining momentum with 9% of Americans vaccinated with at least one shot.

Pfizer is ramping of production of its vaccine, cutting the time it takes to make a batch from 110 to just 60 days.

Variants of the virus are threatening progress.

South Africa has now suspended use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine after data showed it gives only minimal protection against mild-to-moderate sickness caused by the South African variant of the virus.

In the US, a new study, not yet peer reviewed, suggests cases of the highly contagious UK variant are potentially doubling every 10 days.

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Here are more of today’s headlines:

NY vaccine appointments for those with comorbidities
The New York State Department of Health announced that people with comorbidities can begin making appointments at state mass vaccination sites on Feb. 14 for appointments beginning Feb 15. Local health departments will determine how, where and when to schedule appointments in their jurisdictions beginning Feb 15.

NYC indoor dining to resume on Friday
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that indoor dining will resume in New York City earlier than expected. Indoor dining at 25% capacity will begin this Friday. It had been scheduled to begin on Valentine’s Day, but this gives restaurants a few extra days to get ready and hopefully benefit from a holiday weekend boost in business.

NYPD announces 50th COVID death
The NYPD announced its 50th coronavirus-related death Monday. Auxiliary Lt. Frederick King died of COVID-19 after 45 years of service to the department.

Citi Field Set to Open for Vaccines
Citi Field is set to open for vaccinations starting on Wednesday, February 10. Half of the doses there are reserved for Queens residents and the other half is for drivers with TLC licenses and food delivery workers.

* Open Wed-Sat 24hrs

* Sign-up: nyc.gov/vaccinefinder 877-VAX4NYC

Fleet Week cancels in-person events
The Navy announced Monday the cancelation of in-person events associated with Fleet Week New York 2021 due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19. For the second year, the Navy will host Fleet Week New York in a virtual environment on social media May 26-31.

New York City to reopen public middle schools
New York City will reopen public middle schools later this month for the first time since November. Teachers will report the week of February 22, with students returning to class February 25. Those teachers and staff who return to school buildings will be prioritized for vaccinations over winter break.

Vaccine centers reopen after snow
The 15 vaccination sites closed on Sunday due to the snow storm are back open for Monday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State has surpassed 2.1 million initial vaccinations, and they are just shy of having administered 1.9 million first doses.

President Biden wants to use NFL stadiums for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
President Joe Biden says his administration intends to take up the NFL on its offer to use all of the league’s stadiums as COVID-19 vaccination sites.

Biden mentioned the offer that came from Commissioner Roger Goodell in a letter this past week during an interview on CBS’ Super Bowl pregame show.

Pastor gets heartfelt sendoff
A Suffolk County pastor received a heartfelt sendoff this weekend from staffers at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Doug Jansson, 42, got sick with COVID-19 in December and was put on life support. He has fully recovered and now says he looks forward to getting back to the work he loves with the church.

Calls grow for US to rely on rapid tests to fight pandemic
With President Joe Biden vowing to get younger students back to the classroom by spring, some experts want the U.S. to refocus its COVID-19 testing system less on medical precision than on mass screening that they believe could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

As vaccinations slowly ramp up, they say turning to millions more rapid tests that are cheaper and faster but technically less accurate than the predominant genetic tests may improve the chances of identifying sick people during the early days of infection, when they are most contagious.

The case for widescale rapid testing is getting a boost from universities and school systems that have used the approach to stay open through the latest waves of the pandemic.

Pregnant mother survives COVID, gives birth at Staten Island hospital
A young woman was in an ICU on Staten Island fighting for her life last fall, but now she’s back after giving birth to a baby son.

Unwilling to wait, poorer countries seek their own vaccines
Some poorer countries are getting tired of waiting to get vaccines through a United Nations program, so they are striking out on their own.

Countries including Honduras, Serbia and Mexico have cut their own private deals. Experts are increasingly concerned that these go-it-alone efforts could undermine a United Nations-backed program to get COVID-19 shots to the neediest people worldwide.
Vaccine appointment tips for seniors
The competition to simply get a vaccine appointment has been called COVID’s version of “The Hunger Games” which is leaving the most vulnerable group, 65 and up, at a supreme disadvantage. But 7 On Your Side’s Nina Pineda has some tips on leveling the pandemic playing field.

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.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE

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