The best story you will hear today, plus other good news on vaccines – NJ Top news 2/4
Some good news for a change for New Jersey's devastated bar and restaurant industry as Gov. Phil Murphy lifts the 10 p.m. curfew and allows increased indoor dining capacity. There is also some better news on the vaccination front, which is detailed below.
But here is perhaps the best story you will hear all day. A dog saves a New Jersey man after having a stroke.
New Jersey 101.5's Patrick Lavery is telling the story of a German shepherd named Sadie. Sadie was at the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge when she found her forever home with new owner, Brian. When Brian had a stroke, Sadie rushed to his side. She cried and licked his face to keep him awake, and managed to drag him to his cell phone so he could call for help.
Brian made it to the hospital, and is now in rehab. He and Sadie have been face-timing until they can reunite.
Now, here is your N.J. vaccination update:
More worries about South African mutation — Current vaccines target the spike proteins found on the original virus. Mutations, particularly the South African variant, are showing changes in the targeted spike protein. ABC News is reporting two large experiments in thousands of people have confirmed our current vaccine approach is unlikely to be as effective against some mutations. A number of pharma companies have already begun looking at ways to combat the COVID-19 mutants, possibly with booster shots. White House Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, stressed mutations can only happen if the virus has enough hosts to replicate and the only way to eliminate those hosts is a robust vaccination program.
Rite Aide to offer vax appointments - As part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy program, a number of Rite Aide locations will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations as early as next week. Company officials are not revealing which locations just yet, “As supply becomes more available, Rite Aid will increase the number of stores offering vaccines,” the chain said in a statement. Rite Aid expects to begin receiving its doses directly from the federal government on February 11. CVS announced 14 New Jersey locations will begin accepting appointments on Tuesday. Walmart will offer the vaccine in 12 locations, but has not announced a start date.
Picking up the pace - To date, New Jersey has given about 700,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine. 145,000 have received their second dose. If New Jersey hopes for a full reopening this summer, the state will have to pick up the pace. With more vaccine flowing into our state over the next few weeks and approval of the J&J vaccine expected soon, there is hope. Still, New Jersey remains far off the pace of the goal of 4.7 million inoculations.
Don't post vax card - A lot of you are very happy to have received your COVID inoculation, and have been posting photos of your CDC inoculation cards on social media. Stop it. The Better Business Bureau is warning those cards contain information identity thieves would love to have. Scammers are also using those screenshots to make bogus copies of vaccine cards for sale on the black market.
New Jersey Top News:
- N.J. school kids reminded they can't ask Alexa for test answers when learning from home.
- School districts in N.J. paying teachers a full-time salary to work for the teachers' union.
- In time for Super Bowl Sunday, Gov Murphy lifts 10 p.m. bar and restaurant curfew.
- if you see a seal on the beach in New Jersey, don't take a selfie with it!
LOOK: The least obedient dog breeds