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COVID: NYC expands vaccine mandate to include children

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Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani discusses new COVID-19 protocols for NYC including mandates of vaccines for children ages 5-11 when indoors in restaurants or other public places.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, New York City is expanding its vaccine mandate as confirmed cases of the omicron variant continue to tick higher. Mayor Bill de Blasio saying this morning that private sector employees will now be required to get vaccinated. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani, who is following that story for us. And Anjalee, it's not just about the private sector. There's a new mandate in place for kids as well.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right, Akiko. So in addition to that mandate, which Mayor de Blasio is touting as first in the nation, along with this mandate for kids 5 through 11 having to be vaccinated in restaurants or places like that, it seems like that's one strategy. We've seen also on the other coast, California mandated for schools the COVID-19 vaccine. So it's likely we're going to start seeing at least conversations about that as well.

Meanwhile, we know that, of course, the variant continues to show up as more sequencing is done in many states right now. We're tracking 17 states that have at least one confirmed case. Largely speaking, most of the people have been vaccinated, and we're seeing milder to moderate symptoms. And this is falling in line with what we're seeing from South Africa. But again, I know your previous guest already talked about it, but really just pointing to the fact that nothing has been confirmed about this new variant so far. And the Delta variant continues to drive cases.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci did say over the weekend that while we are seeing sort of signals, early signals, one of them is specifically that milder symptoms could be the one that stays. So here's what he had to say.

ANTHONY FAUCI: Thus far, though it's too early to really make any definitive statements about it, thus far, it does not look like there's a great degree of severity to it. But we really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or really doesn't cause any severe illness comparable to delta. But thus far, the signals are a bit encouraging regarding the severity.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Again, once more, cases are tracked and confirmed. Then the data will start to pour in based on that. So right now, just waiting and watching, just like last time. Back to you.

AKIKO FUJITA: OK, Anjalee. Thanks so much for staying on top of that.