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State health officials hope to boost COVID-19 vaccine participation in new push

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

State health officials are encouraging New Yorkers with underlying medical issues to get a bivalent booster shot in order to stay up-to-date with protection against COVID-19.

The New York State Department of Health announced on Friday the launch of a 12-week public service campaign to raise awareness about the booster doses and their availability. The campaign will include 30 and 15-second videos in both English and Spanish.

“Serious illness and death from COVID-19 remains a very real possibility, particularly for New Yorkers who have weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses,” said Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald. “This new campaign delivers an important message about who is most at risk and their need to get a COVID-19 booster as soon as possible and to stay current with a booster in the future. If you have not had a COVID vaccine after September 2022, you are not up to date.”

The booster shot is recommended for those with underlying conditions such as pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, heart or lung disease, or weakened immune systems to help prevent serious outcomes from COVID-19, including illness, hospitalization, and death. Individuals aged 65 and older are also encouraged to receive the booster dose.

As of Thursday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s office reported that the state has 10.76 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and 1,993 people hospitalized with the virus. Despite the relatively low numbers, state health officials are urging those at risk to get their booster shot as soon as possible.