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Updated COVID vaccine expected to soon be available throughout New York as fall respiratory illness season nears

Published on September 14, 2023


ALBANY, NY- With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention giving approval this week, authorities are expecting so soon start witnessing the arrival of newly updated COVID vaccines throughout New York pharmacies, physicians’ offices and other health care providers.

“As we enter the Fall season, when respiratory viruses circulate, it is vital that New Yorkers consider getting this updated vaccine to protect themselves from this still dangerous virus,” said Governor Kathy Hochul, while she hosted a press conference this week.

Governor Hochul image.

“The vaccine has always been the best way to protect yourself and your community against COVID-19, and this updated vaccine addresses newer strains of the virus that are currently circulating."

The updated COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months or older who has not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past two months to protect against potentially serious illness.

Recommended dosages vary dependent on age and COVID-19 vaccine history:

  • Children 6 months through 4 years, who are getting the vaccine for the first time, should get two doses of a Moderna vaccine or three doses of a Pfizer vaccine.
  • Children 6 months through 4 years who have been previously vaccinated should get just one dose of either updated vaccine.
  • Those 5 through 11 are eligible to receive a single dose of the updated vaccine at least 2 months after their last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine regardless of previous vaccination.
  • Those 12 and older who have been previously vaccinated are recommended to get a single dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna updated vaccine.
  • Those 12 and older who have not been previously vaccinated are recommended to get a two-shot series.
  • Those who have been infected with COVID-19 within the last two months should speak with a health care provider.

“As we head into the fall and winter months, and once again see an uptick in COVID across the State, I urge all New Yorkers to remember that COVID is a treatable disease, and we now have an updated vaccine that will help reduce your chance of serious illness and hospitalization. Remember, it’s about personal protection, personal prevention, and personal wellness,” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald.

The updated vaccine, necessary due to waning immunity and mutated variants, was reformulated and developed in recent months following the FDA decision to target a subvariant of Omicron, called XBB.1.5, according to the Governor's Office.

According to CDC, more than 90% of the COVID viruses circulating are closely related to that strain, with tests showing the updated vaccine effective at increasing immunity to a more recent variant, called BA.2.86.

Coronavirus image.

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