Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots are now available to eligible New Yorkers, following the CDC’s endorsement of the doses for seniors and those with underlying health conditions.
The free boosters are only available to those who received the Pfizer vaccine shots initially, and at least six months must have passed since the second dose was administered.
According to the state health department, people 65 years or older, or residents in long-term care settings, should get the booster, as well as people 50 – 64 with underlying medical conditions.
Adults 18 – 49 with underlying health conditions, or 18 -64 with increased risk of COVID-19 due to their job or institutional setting may also be eligible to get a booster.
"After reviewing data from New York State, across the United States and around the world, our federal and state health experts including New York State's Clinical Advisory Committee agree: more vulnerable New Yorkers can keep their protection up by getting a booster dose at least six months after they complete their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series,” said state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “Eligible New Yorkers should receive their booster dose or consult with their primary health care provider if they have questions. There are many vaccines that require more than one or two doses for lasting protecting, including the tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella, and Hepatitis A and B shots."
People who received Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccines are not eligible at this time, but may be soon, according to the state health department.
The Pfizer booster shots are available at local pharmacies and hospitals.
To find a location near you, click here.
Monday was also the deadline for state health care workers to get mandatory vaccines, and Hochul said she would sign an executive order to call in the National Guard to address any staffing shortages.
“I will be signing an executive order to give me the emergency powers necessary to address the shortages where they occur. And that’s going to allow me to deploy the National Guard, who are medically trained; deploy people who’ve been retired or may have had a license lapse – bring in people from elsewhere. That is not my first position though, my friends. My desire is to have the people who’ve been out there continue to work in their jobs, work in them safely, and to all of the other health care workers who are vaccinated, they also deserve to know that the people they’re working with will not get them sick," said Hochul. "We now know that there are cases where people are re-infected. There are cases of breakthroughs. If that wasn’t the reality, this could be a different conversation. But even people who’ve been vaccinated, it’s a low percentage, but who wants to take that risk? Nobody. We’ve been through too much together. We don’t want to take risks and we just want to do what’s right.”