New Yorkers 30 and Older Eligible for Vaccine Starting Tomorrow
(Bloomberg) -- New York expanded its vaccine eligibility, while New Jersey moved to encourage residents to gather outdoors, as U.S. officials warned of a looming fourth wave of Covid-19.
Residents of New York 30 years and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine beginning March 30, and those 16 and over will be eligible beginning April 6, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Because of limited supply, he encouraged residents to be patient and advised them not to show up at vaccine sites without an appointment.
“Today we take a monumental step forward in the fight to beat Covid,” Cuomo said Monday in a statement.
The U.S. is in a race to vaccinate enough of its population to stop a rise in Covid-19 cases. New York, the early center of the nation’s outbreak, has administered 171,419 doses in the past 24 hours, and 1.3 million in the past week.
Still, many states are lifting restrictions at levels the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wouldn’t recommend, director Rochelle Walensky said. She warned of “impending doom” as cases and hospitalizations begin to rise again, and pleaded with Americans to wear masks and remain socially distant.
New York state has 4,575 people hospitalized for Covid-19, down from more than 9,000 in January. Still, the state reported more than 200,000 new cases in March, for a total of more than 1.8 million.
In New Jersey, hospitalizations for Covid-19 have increased to 2,225, the highest since Feb. 17. The state has the highest rate of total Covid-19 cases in the past seven days among U.S. states, with 346 per 100,000, according to the CDC.
Governor Phil Murphy on Monday increased outdoor gathering limits, in hopes of encouraging residents to be social outside. He said fatigue, the variants and weather all are driving higher cases, as is the state’s density. New Jersey has more residents per square mile than any other state in the U.S. The state has 575 reports of variants of concern, most of the U.K. variety, Murphy said.
“We want to push people outdoors,” Murphy said. “We just are not in the position that a lot of states in the South are in right now,” with warmer temperatures allowing for events to take place beyond four walls.
The U.S. is on pace to soon administer 3 million doses a day as many states open up eligibility to more of their population. So far, 146 million doses have been given.
Covid rates have flattened or declined in the four countries where enough vaccines have been given to cover at least 30% of the population, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. The U.S. is 22.4% covered. New Jersey and New York are both ahead of the national pace, with 24.2% and 23.3%, respectively.
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