What to Know
- The federal government approved COVID booster shots for all Americans as early as Wednesday amid a delta variant surge that has sent new case and hospitalization rates soaring across U.S.
- NYers can expect to be administered booster doses no earlier than sometime in September, with healthcare workers, nursing home residents and the elderly likely to be among the first recipients
- Residents would be able to get their third shots at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, as well as the additional city sites, mobile options and through in-home vaccination programs
Federal health authorities are recommending an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for all fully vaccinated Americans and preparations are already underway in New York to start doling them out.
On Wednesday, U.S. health authorities announced an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans eight months after they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shot is recommended in order to gain longer-lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country.
The move is being driven by both the highly contagious variant and preliminary evidence that suggests the vaccine’s protection against serious illness dropped among those vaccinated in January.
In a joint statement, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Health and medical experts announced plans, pending formal FDA approval of a third dose, to begin administering booster shots beginning the week of Sept. 20.
The new urgency from U.S. officials reflects how quickly the variant has knocked the country back on its heels.
The Empire State already approved a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine for two-dose recipients who have weakened immune systems this week, allowing them to get their booster shot 28 days after receiving their second dose.
New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi on Tuesday said the city has been preparing for the possibility of a booster shot for some time and local officials are waiting on federal guidance before solidifying their plans.
U.S. health officials may recommend COVID-19 booster shots for fully vaccinated Americans as early as Wednesday. NBC New York’s Romney Smith reports.
“We do need the federal government to come out with its official guidance, particularly the FDA authorization. And that will likely require that all of the science be vetted, and it go through the official process before booster doses are formally recommended,” Chokishi said.
New Yorkers can expect to be administered booster doses no earlier than sometime in September. Residents would be able to get their third shots at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, as well as the additional city sites, mobile options and via in-home vaccination programs. Have questions? This explainer answers the top ones across the U.S.
Healthcare workers, nursing home residents and other older people are likely to be among the first to receive them since they were among the first groups to start getting vaccinated when the coronavirus vaccines rolled out. Last week, U.S. health officials recommended boosters for some people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and organ transplant recipients.
For now, only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been authorized for booster doses and people with the following conditions already qualify:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood;
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medications to suppress the immune system;
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system;
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection;
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, cancer chemotherapy that causes severe immunosuppression, or other medications that may suppress your immune response.
Not sure how the process works? Check out our handy tri-state vaccine site finder and FAQs here
New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers
Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Still unknown is whether people should get the same type of shot they got when first vaccinated. The nation’s top health advisers will be looking for evidence about the booster safety and how well they protect against infection and severe disease.
Officials are continuing to collect information about the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to determine when to recommend boosters. HHS said people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also likely need a booster shot, but more data is needed because the U.S. didn’t begin administering it until March 2021.
The push to shore up protection comes as unvaccinated individuals fuel the rampant spread of the delta variant locally and nationwide, leading to increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the board.
Nearly 85% of all U.S. counties, including all five that comprise New York City, are now considered “high transmission” rate areas by the CDC, with new case rates of at least 100 per 100,000 residents daily. More than 9.6% are deemed “substantial transmission” areas. Both classifications trigger a universal indoor mask recommendation by the CDC regardless of vaccination status.
The TSA extended its mask mandate for travelers into 2022 on Wednesday. Though no tri-state governor has reinstated the rule, mask-wearing is recommended indoors regardless of vaccination status. New York City also debuted its new proof-of-vaccine mandate for gyms, theaters and restaurants earlier this week.
Delta now accounts for 90% of all positive COVID samples sequenced in the city over the last four-week period, vaulting to the most prevalent strain in a matter of a few months after dominating the U.S. earlier this year. Nationally, delta accounts for at least 86% of all positive COVID samples tested, according to the CDC.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New York has risen over the past two weeks from over 2,400 new cases per day to nearly 4,200, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. New York City averaged 2,000 new cases of coronavirus per day over the past seven days, up from around 200 per day in late June.
The daily positivity rate is nearing 4 percent (3.94%), while statewide COVID hospitalizations are at 1,813, the highest total since mid-May and a 130% increase just since Aug. 1.
Washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks indoors can curb the spread of the virus, but the COVID-19 vaccine is the only tool that will prevent serious illnesses and death. Unvaccinated individuals are 20 times more likely to die from the coronavirus, Chokshi said, urging more New Yorkers to get their first shot.
Originally Appeared Here