Statement From New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker

"Today, the Biden administration's public health and medical experts announced that a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability, recognizing that many vaccines are associated with a reduction in protection over time, and acknowledging that additional vaccine doses could be needed to provide long lasting protection.

As with previous FDA emergency use authorizations (EUAs) of COVID-19 vaccines and subsequent EUA modifications to date, following the FDA's independent evaluation and the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) official recommendations, I will immediately convene New York State's Clinical Advisory Task Force. I will seek advice and recommendations from this group of independent experts to inform the State's COVID-19 vaccination program guidance regarding the administration of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. When this FDA authorization and the ACIP recommendations areavailable, the Department will complete this process quickly as it has in the past and act swiftly, as we have already been planning for this development.

We are proud that the Department's study, 'New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Among Adults, by Vaccination Status' published today by the CDC, which demonstrated the vaccine's effectiveness against severe outcomes such as hospitalization caused by COVID-19, contributed to our federal health experts' national guidance today. The vaccines remain the best way for New Yorkers to protect themselves, their families and communities from COVID-19 and its most severe outcomes, and I continue to urge all eligible New Yorkers to get vaccinated as soon as possible. I thank the millions ofNew Yorkers who have already done so."