The city’s continuing to prepare for a mass campaign to provide booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to already fully-vaccinated New York City residents, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday morning.
The mayor didn’t provide a full outline of how that distribution would work just yet, as the administration continues to await further guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding boosters for individuals who received the two-dose Moderna vaccine or the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson shot.
De Blasio indicated, however, that the city would use the same tactics in encouraging booster shots as it did to get New Yorkers vaccinated in the first place — including public outreach and incentives.
Currently, the federal government has authorized booster shots to specific individuals who received the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, provided they received the second dose more than 6 months ago. Eligible recipients include all seniors 65 and older; individuals between 18 and 64 with underlying health conditions; and individuals between 18 and 64 who at higher risk of COVID-19 infection due to their occupation, including health care workers and nursing home staff.
Any Pfizer recipient eligible for a booster can make an appointment now at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov to get their booster, Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said.
Chokshi anticipates the CDC will eventually approve Moderna boosters under the same conditions and for the same categories of individuals as approved for the Pfizer booster shots. He also expects the CDC to authorize, as early as Friday, booster shots for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with eligible recipients able to get their next dose no fewer than two months after getting the primary shot.
At this point, federal health authorities have not approved “mix-and-match” vaccinations in which someone could receive two different versions of the vaccine. Chokshi stated that those seeking boosters should only get a shot of the vaccine they initially received.
Meanwhile, Chokshi said, the city’s Health Department is “working around the clock” to prepare for booster shot administration citywide.