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Hochul announces eligibility for second COVID-19 vaccine boosters


Sat, Apr 2nd 2022 02:30 pm

New Yorkers 50 years and older who received first booster at least 4 months ago are eligible

√ Adults 18-49 years who received Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, immunocompromised ages 12 years and older also eligible for mRNA booster 4 months after first booster

√ State Department of Health, CDC continue to ‘strongly recommend’ initial booster doses for eligible adults & adolescents

√ Schedule a free booster appointment at any state-run mass-vaccination site here, or find a nearby location here

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday announced eligibility for second coronavirus vaccine booster doses. Eligible New Yorkers may receive an mRNA vaccine – either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine – for their second booster shot.

Hochul’s team said, “Booster doses are free and widely available statewide, including at all state-run mass-vaccination sites.”

She said, "Getting vaccinated and staying up-to-date with all recommended doses is the most effective way to prevent severe illness and hospitalization, and move safely forward through this pandemic."

The New York State Department of Health released new clinical guidance on the administration of second booster doses for all providers enrolled in the New York state vaccination program. The guidance follows the Federal Drug Administration's approval of emergency use authorization for a second booster, and the updated recommendation from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to allow adults 50 years and older to receive a second booster of an mRNA vaccine at least four months after their first booster.

Additionally, adults ages 18-49 years who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for their primary vaccine and initial booster dose now may receive a second booster four months after their first booster dose. Also eligible for the second booster are New Yorkers 12 years and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "Providers statewide, including at the state's mass-vaccination sites, are ready to administer second booster doses for eligible New Yorkers. For each of us, vaccination remains our personal best line of defense against COVID. As we have seen with the recent increase of the omicron sub-variant BA.2, COVID is still with us. These safe and effective vaccines remain free, including the second booster."

The New York State Department of Health continues to share CDC's recommendation that all eligible adults, adolescents, and children ages 5 years and older get fully vaccinated and receive an initial coronavirus booster when eligible.

Hochul’s team said, “For eligible New Yorkers, a first booster dose is safe and continues to provide strong protection against severe outcomes. According to CDC data from the recent omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21-times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, and seven-times less likely to be hospitalized. In accordance with CDC's recommendation, the state's updated guidance acknowledges the increased risk of severe disease for certain populations, making a second mRNA booster available for those who may choose to increase their protection further.”

The state's booster and additional dose website includes information for New Yorkers about first and second boosters, additional doses, eligibility, frequently asked questions, and resources for providers on-the-ground. The state will continue its outreach to booster-eligible New Yorkers through SMS-based messages, traditional and digital marketing efforts, and push notifications through the state's Excelsior Pass platform.

All New York state mass-vaccination sites are administering second booster doses to eligible New Yorkers. To schedule an appointment at a state-run mass-vaccination site, New Yorkers can visit the “Am I Eligible page” or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. People may also contact their pharmacy, local county health department, or health care provider to schedule appointments where vaccines are available. New Yorkers can also visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations.

Hochul’s team said, “New Yorkers should make sure providers are administering second booster doses when scheduling their appointments.”

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