COVID-19 Reports and Vaccine Rollout: April 19-23

Rachel Hollander | April 19, 2021

A still from a PBS NewsHour Weekend segment on April 17, 2021.

THIRTEEN and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus pandemic’s COVID-19 cases and vaccine distribution, as well as repercussions on employment, social services, the economy and politics. Here is the most recent information from infectious disease doctors and medical professionals, government officials, and journalists who cover news about COVID-19 and its impacts. This page will be updated as reporting continues.

Recent COVID News and Numbers

Click for National, State, and City Hotlines and Resources

All individuals aged 16 and older who live, work, or study in New Jersey are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines as of April 19. See COVID-19 Vaccine questions and direct links to official New York, New Jersey and Connecticut sites with the most up-to-date information.

Mayor Bill De Blasio announced last week that New York City-run vaccine sites no longer require an appointment for New York City residents age 50 and older; companions accompanying them who are also eligible may also receive the vaccine. New York City pdf form listing addresses by borough.

Starting Friday, April 23, sixteen New York States mass vaccination sites will accept walk-in appointments for New Yorkers age 60 and older. See all site locations.

PBS NewsHour Reports

PBS NewsHour is broadcast weeknights at 7 p.m. and weekends at 6 p.m. and streams live. Listen to half-hour broadcasts on 88.3 WLIW-FM weeknights at 6 p.m.

April 23: Fauci on Brief J&J Pause, “Breakthrough” Infections and More


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Adviser to President Joe Biden, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the effect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause on U.S. inoculation numbers, post-vaccine “breakthrough” infections, and how the country plans to deliver more shots to people both at home and abroad.

April 22: Pandemic Pollution: Disposable Masks Are Hurting the Earth


As the world has become hyper-hygienic since the pandemic began, plastic is playing an oversized role in the world’s environmental problems. This Earth Day, Stephanie Sy looks at how many of the single-use pandemic items are piling up in our landfills and in our environment.

April 19: Americans 16 and Up Now Eligible for COVID-19 Shot


In our news wrap Monday, everyone over the age of 16 in the United states is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. India, meanwhile, reported nearly 274,000 new cases as New Delhi went under a one-week lockdown to try to stem the spread of the virus.

April 17: What Are My Chances of Hospitalization After Vaccination?


Johnson & Johnson shots continue to be on pause as health officials investigate extremely rare side effects; Moderna and Pfizer vaccination appointments are becoming easier to snag in many states; and what scientists are learning about the vaccine’s efficacy against variants and ‘breakthrough infections.’ ProPublica reporter Caroline Chen joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company

Left to right: Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Christiane Amanpour, Hari Sreenivasan

Amanpour and Company airs Monday – Friday at 11 p.m.; repeats at 4 p.m. Watch broadcast or livestream.

MetroFocus Interviews

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus airs weeknights at 6 p.m. (see schedule for late-night and weekends) and livestreams; listen weeknights on 88.3 WLIW-FM at 11 p.m..

NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi

NJ Spotlight News provides daily reporting on the coronavirus in New Jersey, as well as newsletters.

April 23: How many people get COVID-19 After Being Vaccinated?


A South Jersey realtor explains how the virus found him, even after a dose of Pfizer. Studies show it’s rare, but cases of COVID-19 breaking through vaccine immunity are probably more common than we know.

April 22: Is NJ Finally Turning the Corner on the Pandemic?


Numbers of COVID-19 cases are trending downward in New Jersey but demand for vaccinations also appears to be dwindling. Health officials claim that both numbers mark turning points: first, that getting shots in arms is helping to ward off infectious coronavirus variants and beat the virus; and, second, that reaching herd immunity could get a bit tougher.

April 21: Princeton University Will Require Vaccines for Students


The Ivy League school says COVID-19 vaccines will be required all undergrad, graduate and international students. But medical and religious exemptions will be allowed.

April 20: Lawmaker Says Vaccine Passports Could Lead to Discrimination


There’s no formal proposal to require a COVID-19 vaccine passport in New Jersey, but one Republican lawmaker is already seeking a ban on its use. Sen. Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean) introduced a bill Monday that would block any public or private entity from asking for someone’s vaccination status.

April 20: Pause on J&J Shots Slows Some NJ COVID-19 Vaccinations


As J&J’s paused COVID vaccine awaits judgement in the U.S. due to rare but severe side effects, some NJ programs that depended on the “one-and-done” dose have also put their vaccination outreach on hold.

April 20: J&J Reports $100M in First-Quarter COVID-19 Vaccine Sales


The disclosure was made in its quarterly earnings report, which also showed the New Brunswick-based company’s revenue and earnings beat expectations. Johnson & Johnson said that it’s working to restore confidence in its vaccine.

April 19: Ages 16 and Up Now Eligible for Pfizer Vaccine


Anyone aged 16 and up in New Jersey is eligible for vaccination as of Monday. Experts point to young people as the leading spreaders of COVID, and to rising hospitalization numbers among this population.

Government Sites and Resources

In New York State and New York City, all government-run vaccination centers require an advance appointment. Make one via the ‘Am I Eligible’ website or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline 1-833-697-4829.

See the groups that are now eligible for the vaccine in New York.

For a full list of New York State-operated vaccination sites, including Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sites in Brooklyn and Queens, see the New York State site. Sites are also listed according to whether they have appointments available.

National: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) page includes links to national case reporting, symptom information, advisories by health condition and occupation, and more.

For those who are fully vaccinated, the CDC offers guidelines of behavior and safety precautions.

New York City

NYC’s official COVID-19 site with information on testing, resources (including rent and housing and more), and announcements: www.nyc.gov/coronavirus.

For text updates from New York City, text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with helpful behavior tips and news related to the coronavirus. Text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.

COVID-19 Cases

For the latest number of cases, trends and a look at data by NYC neighborhood, see the New York City COVID-19 data page.

Vaccine Distribution

Text list of New York City-run vaccine distribution sites.

Image by City of New York.

At New York City-run vaccine locations, New Yorkers age 50 and older can now walk up to get vaccinated without needing an appointment. Eligible companions can also receive the vaccine at the above locations. See this City form for addresses.

Eligible New Yorkers can make their vaccine appointments using the City’s Vaccine Finder, which aggregates all vaccination locations including private providers like pharmacies. Those eligible can also call for an appointment at 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. See the NYC vaccine information page for City guidelines.

See the groups that are now eligible for the vaccine in New York.

The City’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity has expanded its Vaccine for All effort to 33 neighborhoods. The task force also released demographic information of vaccine recipients.

COVID Testing

COVID Express sites offer free rapid COVID-19 virus PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, by scheduled appointment. Learn more on NYC.gov.

Work, Resources and Assistance

To see all kinds of resources available to communities by zip code, begin by selecting a NYC borough on this City resource page.

New York City’s Vaccine for All Corps is hiring 2,000 New Yorkers to serve their communities’s vaccination efforts. Residents in the 33 Task Force for Racial Inclusion and Equity neighborhoods will receive priority in hiring clinical, support and administrative roles. Jobseekers should visit nyc.gov/vaccinejobs

The state has a web application to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits they may qualify for. “Find Services” is an easy starting point for first-time users of social programs that relate to unemployment, food insecurity, and housing, among other services.

For labor law information and more, employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC).

New York City Public Schools and Learning

Create a NYC Schools Account to sign up for Department of Education notifications and track your child’s education.

For free homework help from a teacher, K-12 students and their parents or caregivers can call 212-777-3380 or visit the Dial-A-Teacher website Mondays through Thursdays 4–7 p.m.

New York State

NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065
For all New York State updates and announcements from Governor Andrew Cuomo, see the state COVID site.

COVID-19 Testing

As of April 1, there will be 25 more low-cost, rapid testing locations for COVID-19, made possible by a public-private partnership in New York. Testing providers in the network must make rapid tests available for no more than $30, provide participants with their results within 30 minutes, offer a way for people to schedule in advance and report the results to the state. Find a test site and make an appointment.

Vaccine Distribution

The state documents its vaccination distribution through a vaccine tracker that includes first and second doses given.

To confirm eligibility and see instructions for vaccine appointments at state-run locations, see this New York State site.

Those eligible can call the New York State COVID vaccine scheduling hotline, daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.: 833-697-4829 (833-NYS-4VAX).

Starting Friday, April 23, sixteen New York States mass vaccination sites will accept walk-in appointments for New Yorkers age 60 and older. See all site locations.

See community pop-up sites in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County, on the New York State site.

The Excelsior Pass is a free and voluntary mobile app platform for businesses and individuals that can be used to easily access secure proof of a recent negative COVID test or vaccination.

The New York State Department of Health posts a daily COVID-19 tracker case tally by county.

New Jersey

NJ State COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-962-1253
NJ State Vaccine Appointments: 1-855-568-0545
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text updates.

The State of New Jersey coronavirus hub is covid19.nj.gov.

Vaccine Distribution

All individuals aged 16 and older who live, work, or study in New Jersey are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. See all who qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine and learn more about the vaccine distribution in New Jersey on the official state vaccine hub.

The state offers answers to more FAQs as well as outlines policies for health care providers on this COVID-19 vaccine page from the health department.

Remote Learning Resources from WNET Education

Although 20 percent of the city’s high school students returned to New York City classrooms on March 22, many families opted for in-person learning for the rest of the year. To better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic, The WNET Group offers At Home Learning educational programming. Help keep students learning at home with tools for parents and educators on WNET’s Education site. All resources are free and standards-aligned.

Let’s Learn weekday lessons led by NYC DOE educators for grades 3K- 2 are broadcast at 11 a.m. on THIRTEEN and at 8 and 9 a.m. on WLIW21, followed on WLIW21 by a NJTV Learning Live lesson for 3rd graders at 10 a.m., 4th graders at 11 a.m., and 5th graders at 12 p.m.

Broadcast schedules on WLIW21, WLIW World and PBS Kids were developed to help schools and districts bridge the digital divide and provide equitable access to learning for all students at home, regardless of access to the internet or computers.