The city is preparing to administer booster shots as early as next month in anticipation of federal guidance recommending the extra doses to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant continues to spread, Mayor Bill de Blasio and health officials said on Tuesday.
The Biden administration is expected to make the announcement that people get the third dose eight months after receiving the second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration could come as early as this week.
De Blasio said the city plans to use its existing vaccination sites, as well as mobile and in-home vaccination teams.
“There will be more and more opportunities for folks to get boosters and we’re not only going to encourage it, but we’re going to make it easy and free as always,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Health commissioner Dave Chokshi emphasized that while the reports of booster shot guidelines are still preliminary, the city has been preparing for these additional doses to be administered either for certain sub-populations of eligible people or a broader population of New Yorkers.
“They will rely on the infrastructure that we have built up over the last several months and particularly the health care infrastructure—those are the hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, as well as the additional city sites and mobile options and in-home vaccinations that we’ve built up over the last few months,” said Chokshi.
He also said the city is prepared to begin administering these doses no earlier than September.
The mayor also announced a pilot program to work with businesses and help increase vaccinations now that proof of vaccination is required for indoor dining and other indoor activities.
The city is setting up 100 pop-up sites outside certain businesses, including sites at Bronx Terminal Market, Blink gyms in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, and Mojito’s and Laurelton Farmer’s Market in Queens.
In New York City, 4,709,591 people, or nearly 57% of the city's population, have been fully vaccinated.