As New York City Mayor Eric Adams received his own COVID-19 bivalent booster shot on Tuesday, he and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced the launch of a citywide campaign to promote COVID-19 boosters this fall.
In the next week, the mayor said print, television, radio and digital ads will go live across New York City promoting booster shots.
With the recent rollout of bivalent booster shots by the US Food and Drug Administration, Adams said the new campaign will encourage all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster shot for an added layer of protection for themselves and those around them.
In addition to promotion of COVID-19 booster shots, he said the campaign being launched in the next week will promote other annual vaccinations.
Adams and Dr. Vasan also on Tuesday announced more flexibility for New York City’s businesses by encouraging private businesses to put in place their own vaccine policies after making the private sector vaccine mandate optional.
As New York City’s students head back to school, Adams said the city created more flexibility for parents and encouraged families to ensure their children have their primary and, if eligible, booster shots after making vaccines optional for students who participate in extracurricular activities, including, among other activities, New York City’s Public School Athletic League (PSAL).
“I’m thrilled to roll up my sleeve and get boosted and encourage all eligible New Yorkers to do the same,” said Mayor Adams. “The new bivalent booster is here, providing better protection against variants we are seeing now and quite likely against variants in the future as well.
“We are launching a new campaign in the next week that encourages all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster shot for an added layer of protection for themselves and those around them,” he added. “And, with so many tools now more easily accessible to keep New Yorkers safe from COVID-19, the additional flexibility we are announcing for private employers, students, and parents puts the choice back into each of their hands.
“We urge all New Yorkers to make a plan to get vaccinated if they are eligible, and we are grateful to the millions of New Yorkers who have already stepped up to keep themselves and their community safe,” Adams continued.
“While we continue to adapt to the virus with these changes to vaccine mandates for private-sector employees and students participating in sports and extracurricular activities, we must continue doing our part to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom.
“The best way we can do that is to get vaccinated and get boosted,” she added. “I strongly encourage every New Yorker to reach out to their primary care physician, local pharmacy, or any city-affiliated site to schedule their vaccine or updated booster shot appointment today.”
“With updated boosters,” Dr. Vasan said, “we can head into the fall knowing we’re protected against whatever this season has in store.
“Let’s roll up our sleeves and do our part to protect ourselves, our city, and our communities against COVID,” he added.
New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks said vaccination is “our best defense against infectious disease in schools — from polio to the flu to COVID-19.
“We encourage everyone who is eligible to get their regular COVID-19 booster shot to keep our defense strong,” he said. “Additionally, we are proud of our work with DOHMH to increase vaccination amongst school-age children in parallel with the increased flexibility for extracurricular activities families will now have.”
“The mayor’s decision to allow individual employers to determine COVID-19 protocols is most welcome,” said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for New York City. “It will accelerate return to the office and encourage New Yorkers to move beyond the pandemic mentality.”
Adams said the private-sector vaccine mandate — along with the city’s additional mandates and incentives — has helped New York City reach high levels of vaccination and kept millions of New Yorkers safe and healthy.
He said the updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters are more effective at protecting against the latest variants and are recommended for all New Yorkers ages 12-and-up, whose last COVID-19 vaccination was more than two months ago.