NEW YORK - The race to vaccinate continues amid concern over a potential new surge of coronavirus infections as New York and New Jersey remain at the top of the list for highest COVID infection rates.
"This is really a fourth wave," said Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm on FOX News.
"I don't think it's going to be a true fourth wave," said Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb during a televised interview Sunday.
There are mixed messages from health experts as coronavirus cases rise in more than 20 states and Washington, D.C. Some places are seeing the largest number among children for the first time.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!
Dr. Gottlieb says that's likely in part because young people are not getting vaccinated yet while 40% of American adults have received at least one dose.
"The infection is changing its contours in terms of who is being stricken by it right now," said Gottlieb on Face the Nation.
That could start to change as eligibility expands.
Starting Monday, New Jersey will allow people 16 and older who have intellectual or developmental disabilities can get the shot.
The Garden State is widening the age for eligibility to those 55 and older. In New York, everyone 16 and older can get vaccinated starting Tuesday.
Dr. Michael Osterholm is concerned about the short-term impact with states returning to in-person learning.
"No one was wrong in trying to get schools reopened now we have new data that it says the virus is a game-changer," said Osterholm.
"I think schools can be made safer and the benefits of being in school outweigh the risk," said Gottlieb.
Some states are easing COVID restrictions. In New York, the 11 pm curfew for places like bowling alleys and casinos were lifted Monday but stays in place for restaurants and bars.
Americans seem ready to get their old lives back TSA says the highest number of airline passengers since the pandemic began and while there are varying opinions among virus mitigation this time around, most agree vaccination efforts will prevent another devastating surge.
"We need to recognize that and we need to issue the guidance in a way people can conform to it against their aspirations which is they went to see family again they want to start socializing and they want to travel a bit," said Gottlieb.
"No one wants to be the person to die three days before they are supposed to get their COVID shot and that's what we are trying to avoid right now," said
The U.S. marked for the first time over the weekend more than four million vaccinations administered in a single day bringing the average to three million people daily for the first time.