Medical Technology

Officials in NYC Demand COVID-19 Boosters to Combat Rising Cases

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NEW New York (AP) — New York City health officials urged COVID-19 vaccine providers Monday to make booster shots widely available to most adults who want one amid a statewide spike in infections over the past two weeks.

U.S. health officials have yet to authorize booster shots for all adults. However, the current federal guidelines state that they are available to anyone who is 65 or older or who suffers from an existing health issue or works in the “high-risk” setting.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said patients are better placed than doctors to decide what qualifies as high-risk settings, and Dr. Chokshi advised doctors to provide booster shots to any adult who would like one so long as it’s been at minimum six months since they received their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or at least two months since they were given the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Dr. Mitchell Katz, the director of the city’s public hospitals, stated that the entire city of New York City was a high-risk zone due to its density.

Meanwhile across New York state, the number of people being tested positive every day for the virus has gone up 45percent since Halloween. New York had an average of 5,400 new cases per hour in the last seven days, as of Monday.

In a joint online briefing, Monroe and Erie county officials stated that they are particularly concerned about the effect of more stress on hospitals already at capacity.

“I know that pandemic disease is present. I’m feeling it too, and it’s intense,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. “We are experiencing another season of the holidays in the shadows of this pandemic. However, there is one important change. Now we have a safe and effective vaccine that can protect us all.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement that she believes that “no person who feels they are at risk should be turned away from getting a COVID-19 booster shot.”

Hill reported from Albany New York.

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