NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York got somewhat of a clean bill of health from the city’s health commissioner, who says he’s keeping his eyes open for any new variants that could pop up and knock us down this winter.

The best protection is being vaccinated, as well as getting the latest booster shot, Dr. Ashwin Vasan said.

“The time to get vaccinated is now and pair that with a flu shot,” Dr. Vasan said. “We’re beginning to see an increase in that seasonal virus.”

The health commissioner considers the COVID situation in the city good at the moment, but cautioned that it could change as people come indoors and gather for the holidays.

“We’re not seeing new variants in New York City, but watching that very carefully. We should not be surprised if there’s an increase in transmission into the winter,” he said. “I think everyone is tired of COVID we’ve been dealing with for nearly three years.”

The city’s doctor insists the best protection against any new strain is the bivalent COVID booster, which is currently being administered my more than 1,500  providers. So far, they’ve given some 360,000 boosts in the arm.

Dr. Vasan is hopeful we’ll see the day when COVID is not the worry it is now. 

“Eventually we will get to the point where treating this as a seasonal vaccination when it comes to COVID,” he said.

Dr Vasan also a positive report on monkeypox. 

“We have now turned the corner and now have the upper hand on this outbreak,” he said.

He also touched on polio. While only one case of it has been identified in the city, parents are being encouraged to have their children vaccinated. But adults who had polio when they were younger should be immune.

To further protect children, the FDA has now approved Pfizer’s booster for children ages 5 to 1, and Moderna’s shots for kids 6 through 17. The new boosters target the omicron variant and provide better protection against infection and disease.