NEW YORK - New York City has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases in recent days, which doesn't surprise city officials. That is because COVID-19 cases are likely to rise as temperatures drop and people spend more time indoors, health experts say.
So now the city is recommending that all vaccinated adults — anyone 18 years or older — get a COVID-19 vaccine booster, too, if they feel they are at risk.
The CDC has approved boosters for people who received the Pfizer and Moderna series if they are 65 or older, 18 or older who lives in long-term care, 18 or older who has an underlying medical condition, and 18 or older who works or lives in a high-risk setting. The CDC also approved boosters for people who originally got the Johnson and Johnson shot if they are 18 or older.
But on Monday, Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city's health commissioner, said that adult New Yorkers shouldn't face any barriers to getting a booster. So he is advising clinicians to let patients evaluate their own COVID risk based on their circumstances.
"In practice, this means that providers should not turn a patient away if they request a booster, so as long as they're 18 and older, and it has been at least six months since the Moderna or Pfizer dose, or at least two months since a Johnson and Johnson dose," Chokshi said. "I'm advising that health care providers proactively reach out to their eligible patients, particularly those 65 and older, those with medical conditions, and those who received a Johnson and Johnson dose."
More than 630,000 people in the city have already gotten an extra dose, Chokshi said.
Kenneth Jordan went to his neighborhood walk-in clinic in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, on Monday to get a booster.
"I'm a flight attendant, I work with the public and I felt like I needed it," Jordan said. "Holidays are coming up and I want to go see my family so I wanted to get it done before then so I'm protected."
Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement saying she also strongly encourages adults to get the booster if they feel they will be in any high-risk setting.
"I am strongly encouraging all New Yorkers who live or work in a high-risk setting to get the booster," Hochul said. "I received the booster, and believe no one who feels they are at risk should be turned away from getting a COVID-19 booster shot. If you feel at risk, please get the booster."
Monday was also the last day the city held pop-vaccination sites at public schools for kids ages 5 to 11, though the city is considering continuing the program.
"In our schools alone, our public school sites alone, 22,500 doses," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
New York City residents can find vaccine sites by visiting www.nyc.gov/covidvaccine or by calling 212-COVID-19.