The New York variant of COVID-19 may be able to infect people who have been vaccinated or have antibodies from a previous COVID infection, according to the former head of the FDA.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb's says the variant may account for near-15 percent positivity rates in parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Gottlieb is concerned that the vaccines may be less effective against the New York strain, which was first identified last month in Washington Heights.
On Monday, New York removed cluster zones, increased limits on outdoor gatherings, permitted indoor fitness classes to resume and allowed city public high schools to return to in-person learning.
Gottlieb is warning the state to not let down its collective guard.
New Yorkers ages 16 and older with underlying conditions are now permitted to get the vaccine.
COVID-related hospitalizations dipped to their lowest level since December 4.
Closed to 5 million New Yorkers have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, about one quarter of the state's population.
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