“New Yorkers should get a flu shot and COVID-19 boosters”


“COVID-19 is still with us. Without the emergency of a few months ago. Not the fatalities. Not hospitalizations. We pass to a stage where we have many weapons to face it. Therefore, it is a propitious moment for massify vaccines”.

The previous sentence of Dr. Ashwin Vasan, commissioner of the City Department of Health (DOHMH), describes the moment the Big Apple is experiencing, after being the ‘epicenter of the epicenter’ of the pandemic. An expression that also makes clear the strategy to follow, when the cold days begin, which historically intersect with seasonal flu outbreaks.

For this reason, the Health authorities are promoting, from all fronts, that families access the free services available and ensure that get inoculated against the flu and have access to booster doses against COVID-19designed against subvariants such as omicron.

“We recommend New Yorkers seek information from their medical providers about these two vaccines. They can even be administered simultaneously.” Vasan remarked in a meeting with the Spanish-language media on Tuesday.

New York City has faced the coronavirus epidemic since 2020, but for decades it has managed outbreaks of seasonal flu (influenza) that on average they leave 2 thousand deaths a yeardue to complications that lead to severe respiratory infections.

“The flu vaccine can be the difference between spending two days in bed or in the hospitalor cope with the contagion in a more normal way”, indicated the main doctor of the City, who has been in that position for six months.

bivalent reinforcements

For all eligible people, the call to access the ‘booster’ of the injection against COVID-19 is also reiterated.

Called updated bivalent boosters, they provide new protection against subvariants of the virus and are recommended for all New Yorkers 12 years of age and older whose last vaccination was administered two months ago.

In New York City, these new reinforcements from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer are available for people over 12 years of age. And the doses of Moderna for people over 18 years of age.

“False information continues to spread, without any scientific basis, about these new drugs. Remember that this decision can also be the difference between contagion and mild symptoms. And a serious case,” Vasan stressed.

In Hispanic-majority neighborhoods of southern The Bronx and Upper Manhattanthe lowest percentages of people who have injected booster doses are observed.

“A human right”

Regarding the arrival in the city of more than 14,000 new immigrants seeking asylumDr. Vasan stressed that “this Administration offers health services, including free vaccines, to all equally.”

He clarified that immunizations are available as “a human right” for these people who mostly live in shelters and began to arrive en masse since last May.

“We have addressed this health issue for asylum seekers. They continue to be given vaccines and access to medical checkups. We have followed up to rule out diseases that may be communicable such as tuberculosis, hepatitis y HIV”he concluded.

Vaccine Finder:

  • All New Yorkers can check with their healthcare providers, community organizations to see if they offer updated boosters against COVID-19 and the flu vaccine. Also check in New York City Immunization Finder online: https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/
  • New York City continues to offer Pfizer at-home vaccines for those who are homebound and they are over 65 years old. Eligible New Yorkers can still sign up for any dose in the series, including the upgraded booster, online for a vaccination at home or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).

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