Governor Kathy Hochul urged all vaccinated New Yorkers who live in areas of high COVID-19 transmission rates to get a booster shot as the Thanksgiving holidays approach and infection rates climb, particularly upstate.
In any area with a positivity rate of 4% or higher, people should get the additional dose if they feel at risk, said the Governor at a press briefing in Buffalo, as rates in Western New York have risen to 8.5%, the highest in the state.
“This is reaching a situation that is untenable, the numbers are far too high,” Hochul said. “Anyone who lives in these areas and feels risk, that they’re at risk of catching this virus, they should go get a booster.”
New York City still has the lowest infection rate of any region in the state at just 1.41% citywide as of Nov. 15, according to the governor, but rates have been steadily increasing since they were at just under 1% at the start of November.
Rates vary locally though and there are three ZIP codes in the Five Boroughs have rates above 4% — all of them in Queens.
Belle Harbor-Neponsit/Rockaway Park (11694) and Breezy Point (11697) are tied for the top at 4.72%, followed by Bayside (11360) at 4.13%, according to city Health Department data.
Rates are also high in southern Brooklyn and Staten Island’s southern shoreline, the data show.
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi on Monday announced that all adults in the Big Apple who want to get a booster shot should get one, as long as it’s been at least six months since they received their second shot of the Pfizer or Modern vaccines, or at least two months since they got a one-and-done Johnson and Johnson dose.
As with last year’s holiday season and the cooler weather, cases have been on the rise in recent weeks, but this time around hospitalizations and deaths are declining, as three-quarters of all New York City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 68% are fully vaccinated as of Nov. 16.
The vaccines reduce the symptoms if someone’s infected with the virus and dramatically lower the chances of being hospitalized or dying.
However, breakthrough rates are starting to climb up very slightly with 1.2% of fully vaccinated residents of the state getting infected, up from 1.1% last week, and hospitalizations rising during that time from 0.07% to 0.08% among those who got their shot, Hochul said.