With the Delta variant showing no signs of slowing down, additional COVID-19 protection is on the way to fight off waning immunity across the United States.On Wednesday, U.S. health officials and the White House announced most Americans will be eligible to get a booster shot 8 months after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Experts say vaccine effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine does lessen over time. However, two new CDC reports show no significant drop when it comes to keeping people out of the hospital.
The rollout of the booster shots could start as early as the week of September 20, according to the Associated Press. Those who received the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine will also most likely need an extra dose, but experts say there isn’t enough data yet. Providers and doctors in Central New York are gearing up to administer those booster shots, but there are still many questions surrounding the guidance. Dr. Philip Falcone, St. Joseph’s Health Chief Medical Officer, has heard from patients who are immunocompromised. He said the main question folks are asking is if getting a third dose is the right decision.
NY Mandating COVID-19 Vaccine for All Health Care Workers
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that all health care workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons. To date, 75% of the state’s 450,000 hospital workers, 74% of the state’s 30,000 adult care facility workers, and 68% of the state’s 145,500 nursing home workers have completed their vaccine series.
Cuomo said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration was briefed prior to the announcement. “When COVID ambushed New York last year, New Yorkers acted, while the Federal Government denied the problem,” Cuomo said. “Now, the delta variant is spreading across the nation and across New York — new daily positives are up over 1000% over the last six weeks, and over 80% of recent positives in New York State are linked to the delta variant. We must now act again to stop the spread. Our healthcare heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine.”