Effort To Keep Vaccination Rate Up; CDC, FDA Lift Johnson & Johnson Vaccine PauseBy Natalie Duddridge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — All COVID vaccine sites run by the city are now accepting walk-ins for anyone 16 and older, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.

The announcement comes on the same day as an emergency meeting of the CDC and FDA to address the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.

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“Convenience matters to New Yorkers,” de Blasio said.

Effectively immediately, anyone eligible for the COVID vaccine can walk into a center run by New York City. Residency restrictions are also lifted.

As for the 16 massive vaccine sites run by the state, no one 60 years or older needs an appointment. They can walk right in.

“She’s over 60 and it was hard, the website kept crashing down,” said Julissa Bradshaw, who was at Javits Center for her second shot. “I think that’s good for the older community. They’re not so tech savvy.”

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Health officials are trying to keep the vaccination rates up as hesitancy continues.

Officials are investigating the death of a Oregon woman in her 50s who developed a rare blood clot within two weeks of receiving the J&J shot.

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Medical contributor David Agus appeared on CBS This Morning and said the chances of complications are extremely low.

“We’re seeing this at a rate of about one in a million. So, once we start to get in the millions and tens of millions, rare side effects happen,” Agus said. “Hopefully there won’t be serious problems from the vaccine, but the vaccines are saving millions of lives.”

COVID VACCINE

After a meeting, federal health officials lifted the J&J pause Friday. The FDA revised the emergency use authorization to include a warning label about the “plausible” risk of rare but serious blood clots in adult women under 50, CBS News reported.

New Yorkers had mixed feelings.

“A personal friend, coworker of mine, his daughter took the Johnson & Johnson. She was in the hospital for two days,” said Rafael Gracia Jr.

“It makes sense to be hesitant, but if it’s brought back out again I would feel comfortable taking it,” said Carolyn Frankel.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Vaccinations are stagnating in several states – vaccine supply is even outpacing demand. A number of mass vaccinations sites in Texas are closing and more than half of the counties in Kansas have turned down vaccine shipments because it’s expected they’ll go unused.

Health officials stress getting the shot is the only way to control the coronavirus.

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The CDC is reportedly considering revisiting guidance on masks in the coming weeks, particularly outdoors and for those who have been vaccinated.

Natalie Duddridge