Coronavirus News Update – May 14: NIH Director Hopes New Mask Guidance Will Encourage More People to Get Vaccinated

By Anna Breuer on 14 May 2021
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Moynihan Train Hall, Amtrak’s home in N.Y.C.

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday relaxed face mask requirements, the head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said he hopes that the move will encourage more Americans to get vaccinated.  “We should all feel really good about this, but we’re not at the end of this story,“ he said in an interview on CNN.  “There’s [sic] still a lot of people who haven’t gotten that first shot. I hope this will encourage them to see this as a wonderful opportunity to be liberated, as I now am.”

As of Friday morning, the world has recorded over 161.9 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.36 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 139.7 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 1.37 billion doses as of Friday morning, the equivalent of over 17.3 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Friday, 154.6 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Approximately 58.9% of the population over the age of 18 – some 152 million people – has received at least a first inoculation, including 117.6 million people, or 45.6% of the same population, who have received both doses. Overall, 35.8% of the population, or 118.9 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Singapore reintroduced coronavirus restrictions on Friday, after 28 employees at the Singapore Changi Airport, 19 of whom who had already been vaccinated, tested positive for Covid. The city has banned dining and gatherings with more than two people after having previously lifted restrictions.

The oxygen shortage in New Delhi, which caused untold numbers of people to die in hospitals, has come to an end, health officials said there.  The city has sufficient resources now to share a small surplus with other parts of the country, which has been devastated by the coronavirus in recent weeks, with new daily cases in the hundreds of thousands and a rising death toll that has backed up crematoria.

Moynihan Train Hall, New York City’s new train terminal at Penn Station, announced it is offering vaccinations along with free train rides.  Individuals who get inoculated there will receive either a seven-day MetroCard or two one-way Long Island Rail Road or Metro North commuter rail tickets. Similar offers are available at other pop-up vaccination sites at subway stations across the Big Apple.

Jesse Sokolow contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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