One-third of Americans are vaccinated; ‘Joints for Jabs’ a hit in DC; Ted Nugent admits ‘pandemic is real’: Live COVID-19 updates

One-third of American adults are fully vaccinated and more than half have been jabbed at least once as pubic health officials scrambled Wednesday to fend off the latest surge in new infections and hospitalizations.

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 86 million Americans have been fully vaccinated. More than half of U.S. adults – 131 million – have received at least one shot.

The pace of about 3 million administered doses per day could pick up speed if the Food and Drug Administration lifts the “pause” recommendation that has halted Johnson & Johnson’s crucial, one-dose vaccine. Europe’s drug safety agency gave the J&J’s vaccine the green light Tuesday; the FDA could sign off as soon as Friday.

Also in the news:

►Italy is distributing 184,000 doses of J&J doses to regional vaccination centers and recommending it for people over 60. Blood clot issues that prompted a pause in J&J vaccinations involved women under 50.

►India’s Health Ministry reported 295,041 new cases on Wednesday with 2,023 deaths, taking total fatalities to 182,553. India has recorded 15.6 million cases, the second highest total behind the United States.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 31 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 568,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: more than 143 million cases and 30 million deaths. More than 272 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 213 million have been administered, according to the CDC.

📘 What we’re reading: Have a loved one who doesn’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s how to talk to them.

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‘Joints for Jabs’ a hit in DC

DC Marijuana Justice sponsored a one-day “Joints for Jabs” campaign Tuesday, but you had to sniff around to find the sites. “We are not publishing the locations of the #JointsForJabs giveaway locations because we do not want lines or crowding,” the group said on Twitter.

Later some individuals posted the location of some sites. And the group tweeted this: “A Big THANK YOU goes out to all the volunteers and donors who helped make today’s #JointsForJabs a huge success! ​​​​​”

1 in 4 New Yorkers were infected in first surge of virus, study says

Almost 25% of New York City residents were infected with the coronavirus in the first few months of the epidemic, a new study says. The number was above 30% for Black and Hispanic New Yorkers, according to the study by the city Health Department in cooperation with other agencies. Researchers reviewed antibody testing data from last spring for more than 45,000 New Yorkers. The presence of antibodies serves as evidence of past infection.

“Given disparities in infection risk, effective interventions for at-risk groups are needed during ongoing transmission,” the study’s authors said.

New York was overwhelmed by infections and deaths in the early days of the pandemic. More than 32,000 New Yorkers have died and more than 900,000 infections have been reported.

Nugent, recovering from virus, says ‘pandemic is real’

Rocker and gun rights activist Ted Nugent, who said on Facebook on Monday that he is feeling better after becoming so ill with the virus he had to “crawl out of bed,” says claims that he believes COVID-19 is a hoax are untrue.

“There’s been worst conditions and health problems in the past in this country, around the world, where nobody ever shut down mom and pop diners and shut down entire economic societies in the United States of America,” Nugent told ABC7 in Fort Myers, Florida. “I will continue to believe that that’s a hoax… but the pandemic is real and the people that are sick are real.”

Nevada woman improving after brain surgeries prompted by clots

An 18-year-old woman in Nevada who suffered seizures after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has received three brain surgeries related to blood clots, a spokesperson for her family says. Emma Burkey began feeling sick about a week after receiving the one-dose vaccine early this month, spokesman Bret Johnson said. She was one of about a half dozen women in the U.S. known to have experienced a serious clotting side effect after the J&J vaccine. One person died.

Burkey was taken out of an induced coma and off a respirator, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Her parents, Russ and Kathy, have visited Burkey only briefly each day because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“She is improving slowly,” Johnson said. “The word we got from her parents last night was ‘slowly, slowly slowly.’ ”

Hawaii to loosen requirements for travel between islands

Hawaii will allow people who have been fully vaccinated to skip pre-travel testing and quarantine requirements for flights between islands. The rule, effective May 11, is only for people who have received vaccinations in Hawaii and for travel within the state. Gov. David Ige said the state has been able to keep steady and hospitalizations low.

“We are ready to take this next step,” he said. “I know how important (it is) for residents to be able to travel to see their friends and family on other islands, and this provides a way for them to do that safely.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

Marijuana plant in a growing facility with overhead lights.

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