What New Yorkers need to know about the Covid-19 booster shot

August 18, 2021

Courtesy of Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Flickr

President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday said most Americans who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus should get a third shot of the vaccine. Citing concerns over the highly contagious Delta variant and the reduction in the protection of the vaccine over time, officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said booster shots will be available to all residents as early as September 20 and administered to individuals eight months after receiving the second dose. In response, Mayor Bill de Blasio this week said New York City is more than prepared to deliver and administer the vaccine quickly to New Yorkers.

“Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout,” reads a joint statement from public health and medical experts from HHS. “For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.”

Individuals who were fully vaccinated in the U.S. first, including health care workers, nursing home residents, and seniors, will be eligible at the end of next month.

On Wednesday, Dr. Ted Long, the executive director of the city’s Test & Trace Corps, said New York City has a stockpile of at least 750,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, as well as the ability to order more daily and weekly if needed.

Long said the city’s strong immunization infrastructure, including the 30 mobile vaccine units and the at-home vaccination program, puts the city in a “really strong place” to administer the booster shots.

“We’re going to be ready for September 20 for sure,” Long said.

As of now, the third shot is only recommended for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, but the Biden administration said booster doses will likely be needed for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well, with a plan for J&J boosters forthcoming.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the third dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. According to the city, the list of conditions or treatments that qualify include:

  • Active treatment for cancer
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the past two years
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
  • Advanced or untreated HIV
  • Active treatment with a high dose of corticosteroids or other drugs that moderately or severely weaken your immune system

Third doses are currently being administered at all existing vaccine sites in the city for those who are now eligible. Find a vaccine site here and find more information about third doses here. As 6sqft reported, you will not need to show any documentation but will need to “attest that you have a qualifying medical condition.”

In addition to being offered at city-run sites, the booster shots will likely be administered at hospitals, pharmacies, and health clinics.


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