Kate Middleton, Britain’s future queen, gets jabbed; VA lifts restrictions for vaccinated visitors to national cemeteries: COVID-19 updates

The Duchess of Cambridge has received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as Britain extends its inoculation program to younger residents.

The wife of Prince William formerly known as Kate Middleton, 39, received her shot at London’s Science Museum, a mass vaccination center near the couple’s home at Kensington Palace, according to a photo posted on their Twitter feed. 

Middleton got her shot Friday, a few weeks after her husband, Prince William, who contracted COVID-19 last year. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles are among other members of the royal family who received shots publicly to promote vaccinations. Britain is among world leaders in vaccinations.

“Yesterday I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at London’s Science Museum. I’m hugely grateful to everyone who is playing a part in the rollout – thank you for everything you are doing,” she wrote on  social media accounts.

Also in the news:

►The Department of Veterans Affairs lifted all restrictions on gathering sizes, as well as mask and social distancing requirements, for fully vaccinated people at national veterans cemeteries in time for Memorial Day weekend.

►Oklahoma state agencies will be barred from requiring a mask or coronavirus vaccination as a condition of being allowed to enter a state building or office under an executive order signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt. 

►CVS is offering a chance to win a trip to the Super Bowl, a Bermuda vacation or cash prizes to bring in more customers for COVID-19 vaccinations. Kroger is also offering customers, workers or individuals who get the shot the chance to win $1 million or free groceries for a year.

►The Missouri Supreme Court is lifting directives for the state’s courts aimed at protecting the safety of employees and the public during the coronavirus pandemic. Court officials said the restrictions were being lifted June 15 because of a decrease in the national and local levels of COVID-19 cases and the effectiveness and availability of vaccines, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported.

►The European Union’s medicines agency has approved the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-old children, making it the first vaccine allowed for this age group in the EU.

►Eli Lilly paused distribution of its monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 in eight states over concerns that it is not as effective against virus variants. The pause is not related to the safety of the treatment.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 33 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 594,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: Over 170 million cases and 3.5 million deaths. More than 134 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 40.5% of the population.

📘 What we’re reading: COVID-19 cases spiking again at some ICE detention centers. Critics say ICE failed to vaccinate detainees.

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