NYC health commissioner: Pfizer booster ready for younger teens as early as Friday


NEW YORK – As New York City continues its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s younger teens can receive the Pfizer booster shot as soon as Friday, according to the city’s top doctor.

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said on Thursday city officials are waiting on clinical guidance on the booster so they can train staff on protocols.

Chokshi said he expects the city will be administering boosters for children ages 12 to 15 as soon as Friday.

“This is great news,” he said.

The booster will be available for those 12 and older who received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least five months prior. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed an extra Pfizer shot for younger teens — those 12 to 15 — and strengthened its recommendation that 16- and 17-year-olds get it, too, on Wednesday.

The health commissioner additionally discussed hospitalizations, COVID testing and “flurona” while on the PIX11 Morning News.

Chokshi continued to urge New Yorkers to get vaccinated, boosted, tested and continue to wear masks as the city continues to see an uptick in infections and hospitalizations.

In terms of testing, the health commissioner said both rapid antigen tests and PCR COVID tests both play an important role in battling the pandemic.

Chokshi acknowledged rapid tests are not as sensitive as PCR tests, and early stage infections may not immediately be detected by a rapid test.

Anyone who feels symptomatic should seek out a PCR test. Find a COVID testing location near you.

Amid recent concerns of “flurona,” where a patient has both COVID-19 and influenza, Chokshi said he is not aware of specific cases in NYC, but won’t be surprsied if there are.

With increasing cases across the city, the health commissioner reiterated that schools are one of the safest places for children to be. Testing and getting vaccinated will further keep children safe.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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