NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a coronavirus briefing Tuesday afternoon from the Javits Convention Center to update New Yorkers on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts.
“Javits went from the largest field hospital in the country last year, to the largest mass vaccination site in the county,” Gov. Cuomo said. “More vaccines were given at Javits than any facility in the United States of America.”
The governor announced construction has been completed on the new Javtis Convention Center.
“Today were announcing the competition of the new, expanded Javits Convention Center, which is going to be an economic engine for years to come,” Gov. Cuomo said. “It is a 1.2 million square-foot expansion; it goes from 2.1 mill square feet to 3.3 million square feet, a 50% increase and it’s remodified for the needs of today. Its not just a convention center, with massive open space, which is what convention centers were 20, 30 years ago. $1.5 billion expansion, works in partnership with the hotel industry, the tourism industry. Will generate 6,000 new jobs and nearly $400,000 million in additional economic activity, and it could not come at a better time.”
The governor announced the following data Tuesday:
- 99,656 COVID-19 tests reported statewide Monday
- 1.52% overall positivity rate
- 32 new deaths Monday
- 2,026 viral hospitalizations statewide
- 491 in ICU
- 290 intubated
The state’s vaccination progress, as of Tuesday afternoon, is as follows:
- 16,938,242 doses administered statewide
- 9,698,337 New Yorkers with at least one dose, 60.4% of the 18-plus population
- 7,885,856 New Yorkers fully vaccinated, 49.4% of the 18-plus statewide
To make vaccination more accessibly, the governor said Uber and Lyft will offer anyone free rides to and from vaccination sites across New York from May 24 through July 4.
Expanding vaccine eligibility
The FDA announced Monday the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in adolescents 12 to 15 years old. Previously, only those 16+ were eligible for the vaccine.
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, vaccination for the 12-15 age group could begin in New York as soon as Thursday of this week. A statement from the governor Tuesday said:
“Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include people ages 12 to 15. This is an encouraging step in the ongoing battle against this global pandemic.
As we have with the authorization of each COVID-19 vaccine and subsequent changes, we will use science and data to determine the safest path forward for New Yorkers. Tomorrow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory committee, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), will meet publicly to review data and discuss whether to recommend the vaccine for this age group to the CDC director. Following that review, Dr. Howard Zucker will meet with our Clinical Advisory Task Force and make a final recommendation, which means we could have full authorization for vaccinations to begin for 12 to 15 year olds here in New York as early as Thursday.
The COVID-19 vaccine is our best weapon to defeat the virus, and we’re taking all the appropriate precautions to ensure the safety and effectiveness of our vaccine program.”
Studies conducted by Pfizer showed the vaccine not only was safe for teenagers, but also nearly eliminated all risk of catching COVID-19.
The company did note that some children have similar reactions to adults from the second shot including fever, chills, and aches.
New ad campaign
Gov. Cuomo announced Tuesday the launch of the new “Reimagine, Rebuild, Renew” multimedia campaign designed to support the state’s reopening and economic recovery.
Four new TV ads will begin appearing throughout New York State, each featuring a voice-over track from a globally-recognized New Yorker: Academy Award-winning actors Robert DeNiro and Whoopi Goldberg, and Grammy Award-winning musician Billy Joel.
“With more New Yorkers getting vaccinated every day, it’s time to turn the page, rebuild our state’s economy and look forward to a new economic future for New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new multimedia campaign will promote our state’s commitments to growing the economy, improving our infrastructure and helping small businesses with an assist from some of New York’s most famous residents. We’re highlighting new possibilities for the future as we reimagine a state that is stronger, fairer, greener, and more resilient than ever before.”