COVID-19 Reports and Vaccine Rollout: April 12-16

April 12, 2021

A still from GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer on April 9, 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

See COVID-19 Vaccine questions and direct links to official New York, New Jersey and Connecticut sites with the most up-to-date information.

On Tuesday, April 13, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution. New York State will honor J&J appointments today and administer the first Pfizer does instead. As of April 12, 6.8m+ doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S. The CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. An audio press conference on April 13 at 10 a.m. is open to the public on the FDA YouTube channel.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on April 12 that New York State will provide a new allotment of 35,000 vaccines for the college student population at SUNY schools and private colleges, to be distributed at the state-run distribution sites at Suffolk County Community College and SUNY Old Westbury on Long Island.

GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer

Airs Saturdays at 6:30pm. You may also stream live at thirteen.org/live.

April 9: Vaccine Nationalism Could Prolong the Pandemic


Vaccine nationalism, where countries prioritize their own citizens before the rest of the world, has been effective for rich nations like the US. But leaving behind so much of the world isn’t just a humanitarian issue. It could prolong the pandemic. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the White House, joins the program to discuss.

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 15: Can Universal Health Care Save Lives During a Pandemic? 


More than 30 million Americans have gone without health insurance in the last year. Other high-income nations cover their entire populations for a lot less money than the U.S. already spends. But does a universal health care system help save lives in a pandemic? For answers, William Brangham looks to our northern neighbor Canada and its single-payer system.

April 15: News Wrap: Half of U.S. Adults Got At Least One COVID Shot


In our news wrap Thursday, the CDC reported nearly half of all American adults have now had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 30 percent are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, India recorded a staggering 200,000 new infections today, forcing lockdowns in New Delhi and Mumbai.

April 13: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Halted Across the U.S.


COVID vaccination centers have begun suspending the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after federal health officials recommended the move. The CDC and the FDA say they are reviewing extremely rare and severe blood clots in six women, out of nearly 7 million people who have received the vaccine in the U.S. Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.

April 12: News Wrap: 28 Percent of U.S. Population Fully Vaccinated


In our news wrap Monday, new numbers show 28 percent of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Yet infections are rising again – with Michigan leading states.

April 10: A Moral Case for Global Vaccine Equity


As vaccines continue to roll out globally, wealthier nations have been inoculating their populations at much higher rate than the global South, sparking the debate over “vaccine passports.” Northwestern University professor Steven Thrasher, instead, argues in favor of focusing on greater vaccine equity. He 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.

April 12: Former UK PM Gordon Brown on Vaccines, Prince Philip


While countries like the UK and the U.S. are moving quickly towards vaccine-backed herd immunity, too many other countries are nowhere near this goal. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown joins the program to discuss global mass vaccination — which he believes must receive highest priority — as well as the life and death of Prince Philip.

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..

April 7: Doctor on Call: Answering Your Questions About the COVID Vaccines


Governor Cuomo says one in three New York State residents has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Now, every New Yorker age 16 and older is able to get vaccinated. But worries persist as the region battles the spread of more contagious variants, and a third wave in the pandemic. New York and New Jersey, as well as Connecticut, all have some of the highest infection rates in the country. So, where are we in the race between getting more people vaccinated and a third wave? How long does vaccine protection last? Can the vaccine offer relief to COVID long haulers? And when can we expect to reach herd immunity? Tonight, Dr. Daniel Griffin, an infectious disease specialist at Columbia University and the Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at Prohealth New York answers many of the most commonly asked questions about the vaccine.

NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi

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

April 16: How Close Are We to a COVID-19 Vaccine for Adolescents?


With vaccinations of minors being a crucial part of reaching herd immunity, many parents are eager to know when they can get their children COVID-19 shots.

April 16: New Rapid Test Measures if COVID-19 Vaccinations Are Working


A new test designed by Abbott Labs measures whether your COVID-19 shot created antibodies to the virus. The so-called Quant test is highly accurate, but health experts worry people might think vaccines aren’t effective if they get a false negative.

April 15: Medical Center First to NJ to Offer Vaccine Immunity Test


Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus is now offering the first vaccine immunity response test in the state. It checks to see that you developed antibodies protecting you from the virus. It works similarly to a regular antibody test, but can detect those stimulated by vaccines. Results take about 3 hours and people should wait at least 15 days after they were fully immunized to get tested.

April 15: NJ Lab’s New Test Can Rapidly Identify Coronavirus Variants


A new test for infectious strains of COVID-19 can get results within just four hours at Atlantic Consolidated Health. That’s critically important, as health officials try to track the spread of mutated virus variants across NJ and medical researchers work to adapt COVID-19 vaccines to the new mutations.

April 13: NJ Pauses Use of J&J Vaccine Following Federal Guidance


NJ is halting use of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine at sites across the state. The decision comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a “pause” in administration of the vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” while they investigate six cases of women who developed rare but severe blood clots after receiving the vaccine.

April 13: AC Mega-Site to Vaccinate 25,000 Casino Workers By Summer


Staff scrambled to postpone or reschedule 200 appointments for the now-suspended Johnson & Johnson shots at Atlantic City’s COVID-19 vaccination mega-site. The setback put a temporary dent in concerted efforts to vaccinate 25,000 casino workers in the city by Memorial Day.

April 12: Why is Vaccine Equity Still Lagging in New Jersey?


Racial gaps persist in the effort to put more shots in the arms of Black and brown residents. The needle hasn’t moved much with just 15% of all doses going to Hispanic or Black individuals. Anchor Briana Vannozzi takes a deeper look at the barriers with Dr. Robert Johnson, the dean of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

April 9: Vaccination Vans on Boardwalk Proposed for NJ Shore Towns


Would offering free COVID tests and shots from vans parked on the boardwalk draw more tourists to go down the Jersey Shore this summer season? A GOP assemblyman thinks it just might and he’s sponsored a measure urging NJ’s Department of Health to schedule visits for vaccination vans at towns along NJ’s oceanfront this summer as a way to help businesses recover from last season’s pandemic lockdown.

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

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).

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.

The health department has new guidelines as of March 23 for visits at nursing homes and other long-term care centers. Indoor visits at facilities where 70% or more residents are fully vaccinated are allowed, regardless of COVID-19 statistics in a facility’s surrounding area.

Vaccine Distribution

New Jersey residents 55 and older, and those 16 and older who have medical conditions recognized by the CDC to increase the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus, are among those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination. See all who qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Eligibility will extend on April 19 to those over age 16.

Beginning March 29, additional frontline essential workers will be eligible to book vaccine appointments.

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.