June 7 coronavirus news

By Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:01 PM ET, Mon June 7, 2021
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1:25 p.m. ET, June 7, 2021

New York governor close to lifting "virtually all" pandemic-related restrictions

From CNN's Lauren del Valle 

People visit Little Island Park on May 27, in New York City.
People visit Little Island Park on May 27, in New York City. Noam Galai/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to lift "virtually all" pandemic-related restrictions when 70% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, he told reporters Monday. 

New York is 1.4% away from hitting that goal, he said. 

"We're at 68.6, almost there, but this isn't horseshoes. We want to be at 70% — 1.4% to go. And then we can lift the capacity restrictions, social distancing, the hygiene protocols, the health screenings, the potential tracing," the governor said. 

"Masks will only be required as recommended by the CDC. There will still be some institutional guidelines, large venues, schools, public transportation, hospitals, nursing homes, but we hit 70%, we will be back to life as normal or as normal as you can be post Covid," he added.

When asked about vaccination enforcement at stadiums, state budget director Robert Mujica said large venues like stadiums should be verifying vaccine status and enforcing masks and social distancing in unvaccinated sections.

Some background: There were at least 799 Covid-19 hospitalizations statewide Sunday and at least nine Covid-19 fatalities were recorded.

The Covid-19 positivity rate in every region across the state is below 1%, Cuomo said. 

New York state schools will no longer be mandated to require that students wear masks outdoors on school grounds. Local school districts may now make individualized restrictions accordingly, Cuomo said, but still must require masks indoors per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. 

Cuomo's administration discussed the move with CDC officials with the goal of aligning school and summer camp guidelines, he added.

12:16 p.m. ET, June 7, 2021

UK will offer 25- to 29-year-olds Covid-19 vaccines starting Tuesday

From CNN’s James Briggs in London

A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in London, on June 5.
A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in London, on June 5. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Starting tomorrow 25- to 29-year-olds will receive text messages asking them to book their Covid-19 vaccines, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Monday.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the health secretary said, "I'm sure we've all been cheered by the images we've seen of so many eligible young people coming forward and lining up to get the jab, showing that enthusiasm for the jab is not just the preserve of older generations.”

The latest step in the UK’s vaccination rollout comes at an important milestone, as Hancock said Tuesday marks six months since the world started vaccinating people against coronavirus.

Hancock finished by saying, "I am confident one day soon, freedom will return.”

11:21 a.m. ET, June 7, 2021

Secretary of state: US will distribute 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to other countries by end of July

From CNN's Nicole Gaouette and Michael Conte

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US will start distributing 80 million Covid-19 vaccines internationally between now and the end of July.

“We have 80 million vaccines that will be distributed, either working through COVAX, and with COVAX, or directly by the United States… between now and early July, so this is happening, starting to happen as we speak,” Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday during a hearing on the State Department’s budget and priorities. “We want to make sure that anything we send out is safe and effective but it's, it's starting now, and it's going to roll out over the coming days and weeks between now and the end of July.” 

The State Department’s Coordinator for Global Covid Response and Health Security Gayle E. Smith told reporters Friday that an initial tranche of 25 million vaccines will be sent first. President Joe Biden pledged to share a total 80 million doses internationally.

On Monday, Blinken said that “about 75% of that first 25 million will be done in coordination with COVAX, the other 25% we’ll be able to do directly, making sure that we're taking the account of the science and the needs, where there are surges, where there are variants, where some countries need second shots, and have a deficit. All of this based on science, based on equity, and without political favor are being demanded in return, unlike some other countries.”

The remaining 75% of the first tranche of US vaccines will go to COVAX, the international group focused on the global vaccine distribution, Smith said Friday, and added that the Biden administration has “identified the countries we want these vaccines to go to.” 

Where the vaccines are headed: Roughly 6 million doses will be distributed across Latin America, including the Caribbean, 7 million will go to South and Southeast Asia, and 5 million to Africa, Smith said. “This is the first round, this is just the beginning,” said Smith. She was not able to say when the 55 million doses that make up the total 80 million vaccines would be delivered 

Going forward, the Biden administration will pursue a three-part strategy to maximize vaccine supply by sharing doses, encouraging US manufacturers to increase vaccine production “by the last quarter, if not earlier, of this year, and well into next year,” Smith said. The administration will also work to improve global vaccine production by increasing production capacity “so there are more places in the world, manufacturing, and able to distribute vaccines,” Smith said.

“Our goal is to end the pandemic and maximize that as quickly as we can,” Smith said. “It's in our interest to do this, our own health security is at risk… none of us is safe until all of us are safe.”

10:29 a.m. ET, June 7, 2021

US air travel records biggest day in more than a year

From CNN's Pete Muntean

Air travel just recorded its biggest day since March 7, 2020.

The Transportation Security Administration screened 1.98 million people Sunday, bigger than any day over Memorial Day weekend, which topped out on Friday, May 28, at 1.96 million people.

It continues the upward air travel trend during the Covid-19 pandemic — though far fewer people are flying than before the pandemic. On June 7, 2019, TSA screened 2.67 million people.

10:55 a.m. ET, June 7, 2021

India’s Delhi aims to vaccinate all above the age of 45 within four weeks

From CNN's Swati Gupta & Manveena Suri in New Delhi

A health worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, June 6.
A health worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, June 6. Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times/Getty Images

The government of India’s union territory of Delhi, which encompasses the national capital of New Delhi, aims to vaccinate all people above the age of 45 within four weeks by enlisting polling booth officials to carry out door-to-door surveys in their wards to allocate Covid-19 vaccination slots and turning the polling booths into vaccination centers for proximity, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Monday.

Kejriwal made the announcement during a news conference and explained that the decision had been made due to a drop in the number of people visiting vaccination centers.

"Few people are turning up at the vaccination centers in the over 45 age group. So, we have decided instead of waiting for people, we will go to them for vaccination," Kejriwal said.

The initiative will be implemented starting Tuesday with vaccinations taking place across 70 wards each week. Delhi has around 280 wards in total. 

According to Kejriwal, everyone over the age of 45 in Delhi could potentially be vaccinated within four weeks barring delays due to vaccine shortages.

Delhi has 5.7 million people above the age of 45, out of which 2.7 million have received their first dose.

"After covering all the 280 wards in four weeks, the government will be able to say that all those eligible (aged 45 above) have received the vaccines,” said Kejriwal, who added the process will be carried out twice to cover both doses.

The Delhi government plans to implement the scheme to vaccinate those aged between 18 to 44 once there are enough doses, added Kejriwal.

 

9:15 a.m. ET, June 7, 2021

India will provide free Covid-19 vaccines to all states for people 18 and older 

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a centralized Covid-19 vaccine drive wherein all doses will be procured by the federal government and provided for free to states to vaccinate those above 18 years of age, starting June 21.

This replaces the existing program, which came into place on May 1 where individual state governments were responsible for procuring 25% of Covid-19 vaccines directly from the manufacturers.

“From Monday, June 21st, across every state of the country, for all citizens above the age of 18, the Government of India will provide free vaccines. The Government of India will buy 75 percent of the total vaccines produced by manufacturers and give it for free to the state governments,” Modi said during a virtual address to the nation on Monday.

“No state government will have to spend anything on the vaccine. Till now, millions of people have received free vaccines. Now, people aged 18 years old and above will also benefit,” he continued.

Private hospitals can continue to buy 25% from vaccine makers, said Modi, adding that service charges have been capped at 150 rupees ($2) per dose for private hospitals with state governments still responsible for monitoring this.

More on India's vaccination campaign: The country launched its vaccination drive on Jan. 16, first prioritizing health care and frontline workers, followed by people above the age of 60 and those over 45 with existing health conditions. 

On May 1, the drive was extended to include everyone above the age of 18. However, several states have faced challenges due to a shortage of supplies.

“During this period, many state governments said that this work should be de-centralized and left to the states… Within two weeks, some (states) started saying that the earlier system was better. More states joined in, even those that had supported decentralization," said Modi.

Describing the pandemic as a “tragedy”, Modi said the fight against the second wave remains underway.

“Due to the continuous efforts and hard work of the country, vaccine supplies will further increase in the coming days. Today, seven companies in the country are producing different types of vaccines. The trials of three more vaccines are in advanced stages,” said Modi.

To date, at least 232,786,482 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been distributed in India with a daily vaccination rate of 1 to 3 million doses administered a day over the past month.

9:02 a.m. ET, June 7, 2021

All age groups can now get a vaccine in Germany

From CNN's Nina Avramova and Colin Ivory Meyer

A nurse fills a syringe with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at the vaccination center in Hanau, Germany, on May 19.
A nurse fills a syringe with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at the vaccination center in Hanau, Germany, on May 19. Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty Images

Starting today, anyone wanting to get a Covid-19 vaccination in Germany is eligible to apply for an appointment, according to the country's health ministry. 

And young people age 12 and up can also now get a BioNTech/Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. 

So far, 55 million vaccines have been administered in Germany, tweeted the country's health minister Jens Spahn. 

 

8:55 a.m. ET, June 7, 2021

Investigations into where Covid-19 came from are needed, CDC deputy director says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Principal Deputy Director Director of the CDC Dr. Anne Schuchat testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on May 19, in Washington, DC.
Principal Deputy Director Director of the CDC Dr. Anne Schuchat testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on May 19, in Washington, DC. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/Getty Images

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with NPR Friday that investigations into the origins of Covid-19 are needed and important. 

“I want all the questions to be answered,” said Schuchat. “There’s so much we need to learn about this virus and this pandemic so that we do better next time and prevent where we can.”  

Sometimes scientists have questions because they’re curious, she said, adding that she thinks “more is better, but I think there’s a lot we really do need to know here. So, understanding where this came from and how it spread so easily, I think is important.” 

When asked how seriously she takes the possibility that the virus may have originated in a Chinese lab in some form, Schuchat said, “I think we need to do the investigations, I think they’re important.”  

Asked if she doesn’t rule that possibility out, she said “I don’t think we have all the answers that we need and so I support the idea of additional investigations and, you know, getting to the bottom of that.” 

8:39 a.m. ET, June 7, 2021

Most US adults are at least partially vaccinated — but the US could still fall short of Biden's July 4 goal

Analysis from CNN's Harry Enten

A resident receives a Covid-19 vaccine at the Lake Square Mall in Leesburg, Florida.
A resident receives a Covid-19 vaccine at the Lake Square Mall in Leesburg, Florida. Cindy Peterson/Correspondent/USA Today Network

Most adults in the US have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. But still, the United States is in danger of not meeting President Biden's July 4 vaccination goal.

Biden wants at least 70% of all adults (i.e. those aged 18 and above) to receive at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by that date.

An examination of the latest stats and polling reveals that if we continue on the current trajectory, we will not reach Biden's goal.

The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data reveals that the vaccination rate is really slowing down. As of the CDC's June 3 report, 63% of adults had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. That was up slightly from 62% from the report a week prior (May 27).

An additional 1% of adults a week completing their first dose is the lowest since the CDC started tracking this statistic in mid-February.

On May 27 and before, the 7-day rolling average for new adults getting a first shot never dropped below 1.5%.

The slippage in new adults getting the vaccine isn't shocking, but it is a bit surprising. While fewer new people were getting vaccinated after hitting a vaccination rate peak in mid-April, the slide seemed to come to an end in mid-May.

Read more here.