TODAY'S PAPER
Good Evening
Good Evening
NewsHealthCoronavirus

Extra vaccine dose in vials like 'finding liquid gold'

LI hospitals discover another dose

Hospitals have started to draw a sixth dose from each vial after pharmacists noticed there was residual volume left over after the standard fifth dose was administered.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Prevention late Wednesday said "given the public health emergency, there is the potential sixth and potential seventh dose from each of the vials."

Dr. Jason Golbin, chief quality officer at Catholic Health Services, which operates six hospitals on Long Island, said the extra dose is like "finding liquid gold. The more vaccine we have, the quicker we can protect staff and the quicker we can protect the population."

Pfizer has said about 25 million doses would be available in the United States this month. A person needs two doses, 21 days apart, to be considered vaccinated.

Dr. Joseph Greco, chief of hospital operations at Mineola-based NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, said "there is often residual volume in a vaccine vial" and that Pfizer-BioNTech put on the vial "that there could be residual volume. This isn't unprecedented."

The number of new positives reported today: 853 in Nassau, 1,169 in Suffolk, 3,627 in New York City and 10,914 statewide.

The chart above shows what percentage of coronavirus tests were positive for the virus each day in Long Island's counties. Search a map of new cases and view charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

LI Remembers

We have lost so much, and so many.

More than 4,000 Long Islanders have died of the coronavirus, a staggering statistic. However, statistics are an inadequate measure of what this virus has taken as it rages on. To truly comprehend the magnitude of the pandemic's toll, one must listen to the voices of those left behind, Newsday's Barbara Barker writes for our special section LI Remembers, which will be in Sunday's paper.

"My mother was more than a number," cries a woman softly into the phone.

"My husband was the life of the party and now he's gone," a wife repeats over and over.

The isolating nature of the virus left so many to grieve alone, stripping the bereaved of the cultural rituals that help us cope during our most difficult times. There have been few nonvirtual bedside goodbyes, few large wakes, few safe ways to sit Shiva. In their absence, obituaries have been transformed into important proxies of mourning, one of the few remaining places where survivors can share the ordinary and extraordinary details of their loved ones' lives and deaths.

Read some of their stories and search for an obituary here.

NYC suspends elective surgeries in public hospitals

New York City has suspended elective surgeries in its public hospitals because of a rising number of COVID-19 patients and fears the hospitals could become overwhelmed, according to officials.

The city stopped the elective surgeries on Tuesday, the head of the hospital system, Dr. Mitchell Katz, said Thursday.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has told hospitals statewide to suspend elective surgeries if they are concerned their facilities may be perilously close to reaching or surpassing capacity because of an influx of COVID-19 patients.

A total of 128 people died Wednesday of COVID-19-related causes statewide, according to data released Thursday. They included 10 people in Suffolk County and three in Nassau.

During the summer the statewide daily total of deaths often was in single digits.

Aid bill would contain billions for NY

The coronavirus aid bill is expected to bring tens of billions of dollars to New York through cash payments to individuals and families, unemployment checks, small business loans and more than $10 billion for state government agencies, a source close to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday.

But the aid package is expected to drop the two most contentious measures that have stymied negotiators: Democrats' demand for funding state and local governments, territories and tribes, and Republicans' insistence on employer immunity against coronavirus lawsuits.

If that does not change, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will continue to face a large hole in his budget, despite an estimate of more than $10 billion through other streams of funding in the aid package, including $6 billion for education and $4 billion for the MTA.

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said he is "devastated" by the lack of state and local government funding and the negative impact that will have and that he will continue working through the moderate Problem Solvers Caucus to get the needed funding.

"I recognize, however, that too many people are suffering right now and there are many other important provisions in this compromise," he said in a statement. "We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

COVID 'decimated many sales people's pipelines'

For many businesses, sales came to a grinding halt during the height of COVID.

And they haven't completely bounced back, according to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business advocacy organization. It found that for about one in five employers, sales remain at 50%, or less than they were pre-COVID.

So those in the trenches selling need to work even harder to fill their sales pipeline, experts say.

"I've increased my number of outreaches three- to four-fold," says Jeff Goldberg, president of Jeff Goldberg & Associates in Long Beach, a sales coaching and training firm. That's with existing customers and prospects across all touchpoints including social media, says Goldberg, co-author of "Leverage Your Laziness."

COVID "decimated many sales people's pipelines," he notes, which means sales professionals have to work harder and smarter.

More to know

For many people, especially those working at home through the COVID-19 crisis, Thursday was a chance to finally get out of the house, let the kids go bananas in the snow and dig out. Here's our main story on the snowstorm.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose again last week — to the highest weekly total since September.

French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the presidential Elysee Palace announced Thursday. Its brief statement said Macron would isolate himself for seven days and "will continue to work and take care of his activities at a distance."

Ellen DeGeneres, who is recuperating from COVID-19, said Wednesday she feels "really good," but also this: "One thing that they don't tell you is you get, somehow, excruciating back pain."

News for you

Winter fun. Check out these snow photos.

Business, COVID-19 and surviving the second wave. Sign up and ask a question for our next Newsday Live, Friday at 8 a.m.

Newsday Live Author Series. Its next installment is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Join us and Long Island LitFest for a chat with TaraShea Nesbit about her latest historical novel "Beheld," her career and more. Register here.

Plus: Where to find carryout cookie and gingerbread house kits on the Island.

Sign up for text messages to get the most important coronavirus news and information.

Commentary

Ending the horror of COVID-19. This week, we've seen horror and hope as thousands of people die each day from COVID-19 while thousands receive the first doses of a vaccine against the virus, a Newsday editorial says.

The initial rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech drug, combined with the likelihood that a second vaccine, from Moderna, is likely to be approved this week, is a huge victory for science and for a better future.

So far, the vaccine distribution has been limited to hospitals. But we've been able to watch as front-line workers have received a shot in their arms, and become role models for the rest of us.

But that's the easy part. Hospitals can store and distribute the Pfizer vaccine, and doctors, nurses and other health care workers take the vaccine because they tend not to doubt the science. One health care worker's allergic reaction Tuesday isn’t cause for alarm and it shouldn’t stop thousands more from getting the shot.

We're all waiting, however, for what comes next. When will the public be able to receive its first doses of the vaccine?

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health