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NYC Health Commissioner expands COVID-19 booster eligibility for all adults 18 and older


New York City’s Health Commissioner announced on Monday that all adults are now eligible to get COVID-19 boosters and advised providers not to turn away healthy younger adults who ask for the shots, although CDC and FDA guidelines have not changed.

‘Today I’m issuing a Commissioner’s Advisory to all health care providers,’ Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi tweeted. ‘Clinicians should allow adult patients to determine their own risk of exposure based on their individual circumstances.’

New York joined California, New Mexico, and Colorado in expanding eligibility requirements to receive a COVID vaccine booster for adults 18 and older as COVID-19 cases are expected to spike ahead of the busy holiday winter season.

Per FDA and CDC guidelines, booster shots are currently available for adults 65 and older, adults with a high risk of exposure to Covid, adults with underlying health conditions, and those who got the Johnson & Johnson shot.

But that could change as early as next week after Pfizer asked FDA approval of its booster shot for anyone 18 and older and Moderna is expected to do the same.

The approval could come by Thanksgiving, making more than 180 million Americans eligible for the booster shot.

In New York, about 630,000 people have received boosters so far – 9.5 percent of the eligible population after Chosky’s advisory.

Chosky was backed by Governor Kathy Hochul and president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Dr Mitchell Katz, who agreed all New Yorkers needed to prepare for the expected rise in COVID-19 cases during the holidays.

‘Today I’m issuing a Commissioner’s Advisory to all health care providers,’ Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi tweeted. ‘Clinicians should allow adult patients to determine their own risk of exposure based on their individual circumstances’

In New York, about 630,000 people have received boosters so far - 9.5 percent of the eligible population after Chosky's advisory

In New York, about 630,000 people have received boosters so far – 9.5 percent of the eligible population after Chosky’s advisory

After Choski's advisory, New Yorkers 18 and older are now eligible for the shot six months after having received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, or two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson shot

After Choski’s advisory, New Yorkers 18 and older are now eligible for the shot six months after having received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, or two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson shot

New York joined California, New Mexico, and Colorado in expanding eligibility requirements to receive a COVID vaccine booster for adults 18 and older as COVID-19 cases spike ahead of the busy holiday winter season

New York joined California, New Mexico, and Colorado in expanding eligibility requirements to receive a COVID vaccine booster for adults 18 and older as COVID-19 cases spike ahead of the busy holiday winter season

'In practice, this means that providers should not turn a patient away if they request a booster as long as they are 18 and older and it has been at least 6 months since a Moderna or Pfizer dose or at least 2 months since a Johnson & Johnson dose,' Choski said

‘In practice, this means that providers should not turn a patient away if they request a booster as long as they are 18 and older and it has been at least 6 months since a Moderna or Pfizer dose or at least 2 months since a Johnson & Johnson dose,’ Choski said

In a statement later on Monday, Gov Hochul said: ‘I am strongly encouraging all New Yorkers who live or work in a high-risk setting to get the booster. 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.’

‘We know the vaccine not only slows the spread, but also improves outcomes and reduces the stress placed on our hospitals and health care system,’ Dr Katz said.

‘Dr. Fauci recently noted that making the booster shot available to all is ‘absolutely essential’ to fighting this deadly virus – especially as people start to congregate indoors for holiday gatherings,’ he added.

After Choski’s advisory, New Yorkers 18 and older are now eligible for the shot six months after having received the Pfizer or Moderna second dose, or two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson shot.

‘Clinicians should allow adult patients to determine their own risk of exposure, based on their individual circumstances,’ Choski said.

‘In practice, this means that providers should not turn a patient away if they request a booster as long as they are 18 and older and it has been at least 6 months since a Moderna or Pfizer dose or at least 2 months since a Johnson & Johnson dose,’ he added.

It’s the city’s latest effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, as cases are expected to soar ahead of the colder months, when people spend more time gathering indoors and tend to travel for the holidays.

COVID cases have already gone up 13 percent this week compared with the prior four weeks, NBC reported, but hospitalizations and deaths remain decreasing.

More than 30 million people have received a booster shot in the US, with 36.1 percent being of age 65 and older.

There are currently over 47 million confirmed COVID-19 cases nationally, and more than 760,000 Americans have lost their lives to the disease since the pandemic started. More than 67.7 percent of Americans have now received at least one dose of the vaccine. 

But while New York has effectively contained the spread of COVID compared to the same time last year – in huge part because of vaccine rollout – De Blasio’s vaccine mandate and some city workers’ refusal to get the shot have led to a staff shortage of 9,000 municipal workers.

More than 30 million people have received a booster shot in the US, with 36.1 percent being of age 65 and older

More than 30 million people have received a booster shot in the US, with 36.1 percent being of age 65 and older

There are currently over 47 million confirmed COVID-19 cases nationally and more than 760,000 Americans have lost their lives to the disease since the pandemic started

There are currently over 47 million confirmed COVID-19 cases nationally and more than 760,000 Americans have lost their lives to the disease since the pandemic started

More than 67.7 percent of Americans have now received at least one dose of the vaccine

More than 67.7 percent of Americans have now received at least one dose of the vaccine

As of November 2, 23 percent of the FDNY’s 11,000 firefighters are still not vaccinated and few have been given religious or medical exemptions, meaning 2,530 who haven’t had the shots yet cannot report for duty.

More than two thousand are on sick leave, meaning nearly a third of the force’s 11,000 uniformed firefighters aren’t on the streets.

Of the 300 fire companies across the city, the Fire Commissioner said 12 were out of service yesterday – less than half of the 31 the unions claimed were down.

Firefighters across the board who are working say they are overstretched and understaffed. The FDNY has not released 911 response times for the three days since the vaccine mandate took effect, and it is the only agency that has the data.

One five-alarm fire in Harlem which ripped through five businesses was dealt with quickly; units arrived within four minutes, a minute quicker than the average 5 minutes before the mandate came into effect.

De Blasio has also threatened to fire firefighters who have called out sick but are ‘faking it’, a claim firefighter unions have strongly denied.

More than 2,000 firefighters are on sick leave and the FDNY said earlier this week the majority are unvaccinated, with some submitting bogus claims to avoid missing out on pay.

While 2,530 firefighters remain unvaccinated, the true number who are out of work is unclear because the FDNY won’t confirm how many have taken unpaid leave.

It’s unclear how many of the 2,300 out sick have other injuries too.

Fire unions on Tuesday said that the sick leave claims are genuine and include 9/11 survivors battling cancer. 

Ladder 106 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, was closed on Tuesday because of the mandate which has taken firefighters out of work

Ladder 106 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, was closed on Tuesday because of the mandate which has taken firefighters out of work

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough - who earns $8million a year - encouraged de Blasio to fire all 26,000 city workers who still haven't received the shot

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough – who earns $8million a year – encouraged de Blasio to fire all 26,000 city workers who still haven’t received the shot

These were the total number of vaccinated cops, firefighters and EMTs on Tuesday morning

These were the total number of vaccinated cops, firefighters and EMTs on Tuesday morning 

Daniel Nigro, the fire commissioner, said 18 of the departments’ 350 companies, or five percent, were out of service on Monday. The Uniformed Firefighter’s Association tweeted a photo of a protest sign and unused uniform on Monday

‘We have firefighters that put their lives on the line that are battling cancers, some WTC-related. We also have some operating at a fourth alarm fire in the Bronx.

‘We have a very dangerous job, firefighters get hurt in the line of duty… the assertion that thousands are faking medical leave, we reject,’ Andrew Ansbro, President of the UFA, said.

Among the firefighters sent home on Tuesday was Mark Keating.

‘Tonight my husband went in for his shift, like he has done over and over again throughout this pandemic. But today he was told to go home because he’s fighting for his right to choose, and for the right to choose for our children.

‘I’m sick to my stomach over what this city has become,’ his wife Danielle said in a Facebook post.

Thousands are expected to gather at a protest against the mandate on Wednesday near City Hall. 



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