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COVID Booster Eligibility Expands to All NYC Adults Ahead of Busy Travel Season



New York City’s top doctor said Monday that all New Yorkers age 18 and older can get a COVID booster if they want one — and he issued a commissioner’s order reminding providers not to deny anyone who wants that added protection.

The FDA and CDC have yet to authorize boosters for all adults, though that could come as early as next week, but Dr. Dave Chokshi, commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, says the city is making them all booster-eligible anyway. It comes ahead of what is expected to be a travel-packed Thanksgiving and Christmas season, with family and friends gathering in groups the size of which many haven’t seen for the last two years amid the pandemic.

It also comes as New York City finds itself in the midst of a COVID case uptick before the busy holiday season has even gotten underway. According to the latest city numbers, the rolling weekly COVID case average is up 13% compared with the rolling average the prior four weeks. Deaths and hospitalizations remain down, a testament to the power of vaccination to prevent serious illness, officials say.

Still, the holidays present a peak vulnerability time as the former epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic looks to continue its accelerated pace of recovery.

“I know that booster doses can provide one more layer of reassurance, allowing us to breathe a bit easier for ourselves or for our loved ones, particularly as we gather and travel around the holidays,” Chokshi said. “So let’s use every means at our disposal to make this a safe and healthy winter season.”


New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers

Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.

The federal government approved COVID booster shots last month for millions of Americans, including the mixing and matching of vaccine brands. Health officials say the latter is safe — and boosters are recommended for most of the population.

Chokshi said his commissioner’s advisory covers all three vaccine types as well. Asked whether his latest guidance is consistent with federal and state recommendations, the health commissioner said “yes.” He cited one of the key qualifiers — risk of individual exposure — as being among the reasons.

Exposure risk is a highly personal assessment, Chokshi explained, and while the city wants to prioritize people it knows will most benefit from a booster, it doesn’t want to turn anyone away either.

Chokshi, who has taken care of patients as a primary care physician at Bellevue Hospital since 2014 and battled COVID himself earlier this year, recently wrote an op-ed on COVID boosters. Read it below and learn more about boosters here.


What to Know About COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

By Dr. Dave A. Chokshi

Recently, important updates about the COVID-19 vaccine were announced — that certain people are now eligible for a “booster” dose. Since the beginning of COVID-19, our scientific understanding of the virus has constantly evolved, and many New Yorkers understandably have questions about this new development.

I would like to provide the “who, why, and where” about boosters.

Who should get a booster? All three brands of booster shots are available for many New Yorkers — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — and “mixing and matching” of the vaccines is safe. But who is eligible for a booster depends on the vaccine you originally received.

At this time, the Pfizer and Moderna boosters are approved for certain people vaccinated at least six months ago — specifically, people who are aged 65 or older, adults with underlying medical conditions (like diabetes) and adults at higher risk of exposure due to their job (like health care workers) or due to where they live (like nursing home residents).

The Johnson & Johnson booster is approved for anyone ages 18 or older who received [the vaccine] at least two months ago — as I did. Since “mixing and matching” is now authorized, Johnson & Johnson recipients can get a booster of any of the three authorized vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson). There is limited data showing that Moderna or Pfizer vaccines could result in higher antibody levels.

Why get a booster? The science continues to show that all three of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and save lives. That’s why getting more New Yorkers vaccinated with their first and second doses remains the most important thing. The booster adds another layer of protection — it is meant to “boost” your immunity. This is particularly important for people who are most at risk for severe illness.


Where can New Yorkers get a booster? In New York City, booster shots are available at sites in all five boroughs, and for in-home vaccination. To find a location near you, go to The vaccines are free at city sites to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status.

Already, over 250,000 New Yorkers have received a booster shot. That means thousands of New Yorkers will have stronger protection from COVID-19. They will be able to gather with friends, family and loved ones more safely. And for any New Yorkers who are still unvaccinated, I urge you to take the first step today — join 6 million other New Yorkers and get vaccinated. It is our single best way out of this pandemic and a return to normal life again.

New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers

Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Source: NBC New York


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