Gov. Kathy Hochul has released new guidance for Empire State residents regarding COVID vaccines and more.

On Friday, Hochul announced new guidance recommending booster doses for all eligible New Yorkers. Hochul also announced new guidance for healthcare workers and nursing home visitors.

Hochul is now encouraging all New Yorkers ages 12 and older to get a COVID booster five months after their second dose.

The guidance, following action by the CDC, recommends that people, including the newly authorized 12-15-year-old age group, who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should receive a booster dose at least five months after their second dose.

Darren McGee- Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Darren McGee- Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
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Hochul announced new guidance recommending booster doses for all eligible New Yorker

"As we continue to battle this winter surge, I strongly recommend that all New Yorkers ages 12 and older get boosted as soon they are eligible," Hochul said. "With boosters now available for all adolescents, I especially urge parents and guardians to get their children in this age group a booster dose as soon as eligible. A booster dose will provide greater protection against severe outcomes from COVID-19 and help keep our kids healthy, protected, and safe."

Additionally, the CDC recommended the same change to a five-month booster interval for the Moderna vaccine, which is only authorized for people 18 years and older.

Jeffrey Hamilton
Jeffrey Hamilton
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Hochul is now encouraging all New Yorkers ages 12 and older to get a COVID booster five months after their second dose.

All New Yorkers older than 12 are now told to receive their booster shot five months after their second vaccine. The previously recommended interval was at least six months.

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In addition, moderately to severely immunocompromised 5 -11-year-olds can receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 28 days after their second dose. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children ages 5-11.

Governor Kathy Hochul holds a COVID-19 briefing in Albany.
Don Pollard
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All New Yorkers older than 12 are now told to receive their booster shot five months after their second vaccine

"Booster doses are a critical tool in our continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am grateful that they are now available for all New Yorkers 12 years of age and older. Data show that people who are vaccinated and boosted are more protected against serious illness from COVID-19, and we continue to urge all those eligible to act now. Do what you can to stay healthy and out of the hospital by getting vaccinated and boosted and wear a mask. If you have questions, talk to your health care provider or vaccine administrator," New York State Department of Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said.

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The previously recommended interval was at least six months.

Governor Hochul additionally announced her plan to require that all covered health care workers previously required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination under the Department's August 26th Emergency regulation must also now receive a COVID-19 booster dose within two weeks of becoming eligible, absent a valid medical exemption.

Nursing Homes Still Locked Down, Residents Meet Loved Ones Through A Glass Safely
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The Governor also announced new rules for nursing home visitations. Starting Wednesday, all visitors must wear "surgical"-type masks and must present upon entry a COVID negative test taken within 24 hours of their visit. Governor Hochul further noted that 952,000 tests and 1.2 million masks are being delivered to nursing homes late this week into next.

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