California, New York among states using J&J vaccine again; 82 die in blast at Baghdad hospital ward: Live COVID-19 updates.

California and New York were among states administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine Sunday after their governors signed off on resuming use of the one-dose shot.

“After additional review of the J&J #COVID19 vaccine, CA will resume administering it immediately,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted late Saturday. “Grateful to count myself one of the 1 million Californians to receive this safe, effective vaccine.”

Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia also have given the green light to the J&J vaccine. Federal health officials recommended pausing use of the vaccine almost two weeks ago after a rare blood clotting disorder was associated with the shot. The government has uncovered 15 vaccine recipients who developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot out of nearly 8 million people given the J&J shot. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized.

Federal health officials dropped the recommendation Friday, saying the single dose vaccine is critical to fight the pandemic and that the small clot risk could be handled with warnings.

“The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war against COVID and allow everyone to resume normalcy,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Also in the news:

►”Mobile Vax” buses set to administer 500 COVID-19 immunizations per day have begun rolling in Boston. The buses, a joint effort of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, focus vaccination efforts on Black, Latino and non-English speaking communities in Massachusetts.

►Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Germans to accept nationwide pandemic restrictions resulting in a 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew and further limits on personal contacts and access to nonessential stores in regions with high infections.

►The United States’ land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain restricted to nonessential travel through at least May 21, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 32 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 571,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: More than 146 million cases and 3.1 million deaths. More than 290 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 225 million have been administered, according to the CDC.

📘 What we’re reading: As COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the state, many in CalifoSlab City – fondly called “the last free place” by residents – either don’t want to be vaccinated or remain hesitant to get their shot.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

A nurse (left) inoculates a metal worker on Wednesday with a dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine at a coronavirus vaccination site at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

82 die in blast at Baghdad hospital COVID ward

The death toll rose to 82 Sunday after an explosion and fire in the intensive care unit of an Baghdad hospital tending to severely ill Iraqi coronavirus patients.

Iraq’s Interior Ministry said 110 others were injured. Negligence on the part of hospital authorities has been blamed for the Saturday night blaze that initial reports suggest was caused when an oxygen cylinder exploded in the ward of Ibn al-Khatib hospital. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi fired key hospital officials hours after the catastrophic incident and demanded that the Interior Ministry complete an investigation within 24 hours.

Relatives were still searching anxiously on Sunday for missing loved ones.

“Please, two of my relatives are missing. … I am going to die (without news about them),” posted a young woman on social media. “I hope someone can help us find Sadi Abdul Kareem and Samir Abdul Kareem, they were in the ICU.”

The world isolates. A New Zealand band plays to 50,000 fans

While much of the world remains hunkered down, the band Six60 has been playing to huge crowds in New Zealand, where social distancing isn’t required after the nation stamped out the coronavirus. The band’s tour finale on Saturday night was billed as the largest concert in the world since the pandemic began.

Equally momentous for a band which met while playing rugby at university was getting to play the first concert ever held at the storied Eden Park rugby stadium. And finding themselves at the apex of world music came as a twist for Six60, which has enjoyed unparalleled success in New Zealand but whose forays abroad have ended without the breakthroughs they sought.

FDA, CDC have ‘full confidence’ J&J vaccine benefits outweigh risks

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine will be made available to the public again, ending an 11-day pause initiated after a rare blood clotting disorder was associated with the shot. The government has uncovered 15 vaccine recipients who developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot out of nearly 8 million people given the J&J shot. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized. Federal health officials said the single dose vaccine is critical to fight the pandemic – and that the small clot risk could be handled with warnings.

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “have full confidence that this vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years and older,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA’s acting commissioner.

Two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, which are made differently and haven’t been linked to clot risks, are the mainstay of the U.S. vaccination effort. But many states had been counting on the easier-to-store, one-dose option to also help protect hard-to-reach populations including people who are homeless or disabled.

– Elizabeth Weise and Karen Weintraub

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