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Less than 5 percent of New Yorkers have missed getting their second coronavirus vaccine dose, the Big Apple’s health chief said Tuesday.
That’s compared to around 8 percent of vaccine recipients nationally, according to federal data reported over the weekend.
“It appears less than 5 percent of people are missing their second doses within the 42-day window that’s recommended for the follow-up with the second dose,” Dr. Dave Chokshi, commissioner of the city Department of Health, said during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s City Hall press briefing.
Chokshi, citing New York City stats, explained that the Big Apple is doing “significantly better” than the national average with getting both Pfizer and Moderna’s second-dose shots into arms.
“We are doing significantly better, however, we’re not resting on our laurels with respect to making sure that every single person who is due for a second dose is reached out to,” Chokshi said.
The health commissioner then hammered home the importance of getting the second vaccine dose.
“That is what gets us to the full immunity that vaccination affords and that’s a critical part of making sure we turn the corner on the pandemic,” said Chokshi.
Chokshi noted that New Yorkers who got their first dose at a site that isn’t run by the city can still get their second at a city-run location so long as they bring their COVID-19 vaccine record card.
“Either there has to be a vaccine record in the system we can access or they have their vaccine card on hand,” said Chokshi.
Additionally, Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, said, “We don’t believe if someone gets that second shot beyond the 42-day period — we don’t think there’s harm in that.”
“But we of course want them protected as soon as possible,” Katz said.
Currently, about 2.3 million New York City residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 3.4 million people — or 52 percent of adult New Yorkers — have received at least one shot, de Blasio said.
“In the last few days, we were seeing pretty steady results with second-dose appointments and we definitely want to keep it that way,” said Hizzoner.
“Our goal here is to keep reminding people to get that second dose, however it works best … and keep this progress moving because we still can get to the goals we need.”