COVID NY Update: Johnson & Johnson vaccine ships on anniversary of 1st confirmed COVID case in New York

NEW YORK (WABC) — Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the first coronavirus case confirmed in New York, and it comes as the first doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine are shipped out.

The first coronavirus victim identified in New York was a 39-year-old woman who tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Iran.

At the time, Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement saying, in part, “There is no reason for undue anxiety — the general risk remains low in New York. We are diligently managing this situation and will continue to provide information as it becomes available.”

Just twelve days later, Cuomo shut down Broadway as New York City became the global epicenter of the pandemic.

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The New York anniversary comes on a day of new hope in the fight against the pandemic: the first doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine start shipping today.

3.9 million doses are hitting the road Monday, after the FDA approved the one shot dose over the weekend.

The third COVID vaccine approved in the U.S. is easier to use and store.

It can stay in normal refrigerators and can even sit out at room temperature for up to a half a day.

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The shot was 72% effective preventing serious infections in U.S. trials, but 100% effective in preventing hospitalizations and death.

“We have three highly efficacious vaccines that are safe and efficacious. That’s the bottom line,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. “I would take the one that is available to me now, because the quicker you get vaccinated, the more quickly you will be protected, and you will add on to the overall protection in your county, in your country.”

A word of caution, though.

After today’s initial rollout, the next shipment may not leave Johnson & Johnson’s Baltimore plant until the end of the March, because the company says it is still trying to scale up production.

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