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New York City’s top doc Chokshi gets Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Jane R. Zucker provides the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi on March 12, 2021.
Photo courtesy of NYC Health Department

Weeks after his own battle with COVID-19, City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi rolled up his sleeve and received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson version of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Jane R. Zucker, leader of the Health Department’s Bureau of Immunization, administered the dose to Chokshi, who tested positive for COVID-19 back in February after experiencing mild symptoms.

“Today I’m feeling grateful to have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Not just for myself and my loved ones, but also because I know that every shot brings us closer to a city that is protected from COVID-19. It’s up to us to roll up our sleeves, including New Yorkers who have had COVID-19—like I did—once they’ve recovered,” Chokshi said.

The commissioner took the opportunity to answer a question among New Yorkers about “which vaccine is best for them.” Regardless of whether they get the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, Chokshi said “the best vaccine is the one you can get now.”

“I’m proud to have received the safe, effective, and lifesaving Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine,” he observed. “As the City’s doctor, this moment feels especially meaningful when I reflect on the tragedy of the past year — and how close we are to turning the corner on this pandemic.”

More than 2.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in New York City, according to the Mayor’s office. The number of infections are far lower than they were at the start of the year, amid a post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases, but have leveled off across New York City, with 6.31% of city-dwellers tested on March 11 coming back with a positive diagnosis.

Over the past week, Mayor Bill de Blasio and city health officials have warned about the spread of several COVID-19 variants that are more contagious than “COVID classic,” as the mayor put it. They continue to advise caution and that the public follow social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines to help prevent another spike in cases.

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