Disneyland reopened on Friday and the mayor of New York City predicted the big city would be back up and running at full capacity by July 1, as the number of Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 approached 100 million.
Visitors cheered and howled with joy as the Southern California theme park opened for the first time in 13 months in a powerful symbol of the American rebound, even though the self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth only allows state guests for now and operating at only 25% of capacity.
The reopening and similar steps elsewhere in the country reflect growing optimism as deaths from COVID-19 collapse and the ranks of those vaccinated rise – in stark contrast to the worsening disaster in India and Brazil and the low availability of vaccines in many poor regions of the world. .
As the total number of lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States eclipsed 575,000, deaths have dropped to an average of around 670 per day, from a high of around 3,400 in mid-January.
As of Friday morning, more than 99 million Americans, or more than 38% of all adults, had been fully immunized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 55% of adults had received at least one dose.
However, about 8% of those who received a dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine did not return for their second injection, officials said. Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said taking the course was important to get maximum protection against the coronavirus.
“Make sure you get that second dose,” he said during a White House briefing.
CDC officials also reported on Friday that it was anxiety – not a problem with the injections – that had caused reactions in dozens of people at immunization clinics in five states in early April.
Many of the 64 people either passed out or reported dizziness. Some had nausea or vomiting, and a few had heartbeat, chest pain, or other symptoms. None fell seriously ill.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he expects the COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted and the city to “fully reopen” by July 1. He cited rising vaccination rates and decreasing hospitalizations.
“We are ready to open stores, to open businesses, offices, theaters, at full speed,” he said on MSNBC.
However, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has maintained throughout the crisis that such decisions are his own, and he said Thursday he would like to lift the restrictions even sooner if possible.
“I don’t want to wait that long. I think if we do what we need to do, we can be reopened sooner, ”he said.
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