00:45 GMT16 January 2021
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    NEW YORK (Sputnik) - New York City could see another full lockdown because it might be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, despite the start of vaccinations for the virus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.

    "You've got to start shutting down the most sensitive areas," de Blasio told CNN in an interview. When asked about a possible lockdown, he said, “I think that's something we have to be ready for in the coming weeks, because this kind of momentum that the disease has right now, we’ve got to stop it before it causes too much damage, too much pain.."

    As of Monday, 5,712 COVID-19 patients were receiving treatment in hospitals across New York State, the state's governor said, compared to a spring peak of more than 18,000.

    Both de Blasio and New York State Governor Cuomo agreed to close indoor dining in New York City from Monday in a move to clamp down on the spike in hospitalizations. They have, however, differed on what it would take to order a full city-wide lockdown.

    New York on Monday became the first US state to administer the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in the United States after a nurse was inoculated with the drug following its approval by the federal government for emergency use.

    “This vaccine is exciting because I will believe this is the weapon that will end the war” against COVID-19, Cuomo said during a live-streamed event just before Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, was given the shot.

    Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser to the US COVID-19 vaccine program, said the United States hopes to give out the vaccine, developed by Pfizer under a joint-venture with Germany’s BioNTech, to 100 million Americans by spring 2021.

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    Tags:
    Bill de Blasio, lockdown, coronavirus, COVID-19, New York City, US
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