COVID is Surging in Europe, but Vaccination and Boosters Will Protect NYC
By Yehudit Garmaise
When Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked what kinds of preparations New York City is taking as the COVID rate continues to rise in the UK and all over Europe again, the mayor said his health team is “watching the situation very carefully,” but he also pointed out several reasons why New Yorkers should not worry about another surge of the virus.
“We're concerned,” said Mayor de Blasio, “but we also have to note the differences [between New York City and Europe.]”
“Our focus on vaccinations, the mandates, and other health care actions have been, in many ways, more stringent in New York City than in many parts of Europe, and that's a big difference-maker right there.”
In addition, a larger part of the population in Europe, than in the US, is anti-vaccination.
While New York City is better prepared to fight yet another surge of COVID, what the mayor is worried about in the coming months are cold weather, which drives people inside, and more gatherings due to the upcoming winter holidays.
Now, Mayor de Blasio said the city needs to focus on accelerating the process of vaccinating the city’s 5 to 11-year-olds, giving shots to the unvaccinated, and providing boosters to all New Yorkers 18 and older: as quickly as possible.
“New York City is in a good position [for fighting COVID] but, of course, we won't rest on our laurels,” said NYC Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi, MD, who said as winter approaches, the city’s anti-COVID strategy is to continue vaccinating all New Yorkers, providing boosters to those who are already vaccinated, and to continue to promote “common-sense public health precautions: “such as wearing masks indoors, using COVID-testing, staying home when you're sick, ventilation, and hygiene.
“All of this is simple, but remains very important ahead of the cooler months.”
While H & H President and CEO Mitch Katz, MD, agreed with Dr. Chokshi’s points, Dr. Katz also emphasized the importance of booster shots, which are available to all New Yorkers who are older than 18 and who are at any kind of high risk: based on where they live, where they work, and their medical conditions.
However, just by virtue of living in such a highly populated city, Dr. Katz said that all New Yorkers should get boosters: both for their own protection and to prevent COVID surges, such as are happening in Europe.
“Living in New York City, in this very dense metropolis where we live, puts people at higher risk of COVID, which is one of the criteria for the vaccination, for qualifying for a booster, if you're over 18.
“One of the specific criteria is being at higher risk, and I view all New Yorkers, because of the density of our city, of being at higher risk.
“And I think by this order, this advisory explains to physicians that everybody should get a booster.
“If anyone wants a booster: It will get us a further and help us to prevent a similar situation as what is occurring in Germany.”
(Division of Military and Naval Affairs Video by Captain Mark Getman /New York Guard/Released)