Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: India tops 200,000 dead as virus surge breaks health system

NEW YORK (WABC) — India crossed a grim milestone Wednesday of 200,000 people lost to the coronavirus as a devastating surge of new infections tears through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelms health care systems on the brink of collapse.

The health ministry reported a single-day record 3,293 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing India’s total fatalities to 201,187, as the world’s second-most populous country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet.

The country also reported 362,757 new infections, a new global record, which raised the overall total past 17.9 million. The previous high of 350,000 on Monday had capped a five-day streak of recording the largest single-day increases in any country throughout the pandemic.

India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, is the fourth to cross 200,000 deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico. And as in many nations, experts believe the coronavirus infections and fatalities in India are severe undercounts.

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Here are more of today’s headlines:

NY Senate moving to end alcohol-with-food restriction on restaurants
The New York State legislature will move to suspend Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requiring the sale of food with alcoholic drinks at bars and restaurants. The Senate Democratic Majority will move to suspend that and several other executive orders put in place during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is time to begin removing certain restrictions and regulations that are no longer necessary, so we can safely reopen and rebuild our state’s economy,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

Children as young as 6 months old now in COVID-19 vaccine trials
As nearly 140 million American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and we inch closer to herd immunity, vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna have moved on to the next phase of the fight against the virus: studying to see if the vaccine will be safe and effective for children.

“Children under 18 make up 85 million people in (the) U.S. – about 20% of the population,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University, told ABC News. “Getting them vaccinated is a major contribution to reducing transmission of virus.”
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NY mass vaccination sites to allow walk-in appointments
Beginning Thursday, April 29, all New York mass vaccination sites will accept walk-in appointments for anyone age 16 and up.

“All you have to do is show up,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Javits marks milestone
The Javits Center has now given out half a million vaccine doses since it first opened in January. That’s one of the largest numbers of vaccines administered at any one site in the country.

LI Official calls for NY beaches to open at 100% capacity
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is set to announce Wednesday she is calling for the state to increase beach capacity to 100% starting Memorial Day weekend. She plans to make the announcement at 12 p.m. in Long Beach.

Archdiocese of New York schools to be fully open in September
As New York State continues its reopening process, the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York announced its plans to be open for a full five days a week of in-person instruction for all students beginning in September 2021, as long as health directives from federal, state, and local county health agencies allow, and the community infection rate remains at appropriate levels. This will eliminate the need for hybrid learning or remote classes next school year. Before and after care programs will also begin at the start of the new school year.

All Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York have been open for in-person learning five days a week since last September, with a limited number of schools operating on a hybrid model due to space considerations. As the Center for Disease Control and New York State publishes specific regulations, recommendations, and guidance, the schools will adapt their plans to ensure compliance with federal, state and local officials.

REAL ID deadline pushed back to 2023 due to pandemic
The deadline for Americans to obtain a REAL ID card has been pushed back once again due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday. The new enforcement date is now May 3, 2023. The federal government says air travelers 18 or older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card or another TSA-acceptable for security checkpoints to fly domestically. The regulation was put in place in 2005 to ensure that travelers’ identity in light of the 9/11 attacks, according to the DHS, but only recently did all 50 states come into compliance.

How many people in your area are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Most states have opened up COVID-19 vaccination to everyone 16 and older, but not everyone is lining up to get the shot. With the recent temporary pause on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, doctors worry about an increase in vaccine hesitancy that may not be warranted. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, the CDC found that as many as a third of adults in some areas reported being hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. These rates are highest in the states of Wyoming and North Dakota, and lowest in Massachusetts, Vermont and California.

When did you realize the COVID pandemic changed everything?
Many of us had a moment, most often occurring in March 2020, when we realized that COVID-19 had completely changed our lives forever. Even though we’ve managed to move forward and adapt to a new normal, that memory still sticks with us. Tell us: What was that moment to you?

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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