ERIE COUNTY, NY— Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent update to COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) approval, the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is offering free second booster doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to all who are eligible.
These doses are available through ECDOH vaccine clinics and mobile outreach sites, and through the Vax Visit program, where Erie County residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine at home. Visit www.erie.gov/vax for the clinic schedule or call (716) 858-2929 for a Vax Visit.
Generally, this updated guidance allows a second COVID-19 booster dose at least four months after receiving a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine for: people who are age 50 years or older, and people age 12 and older with certain immunocompromising conditions, such as a having had a solid organ transplant.
“The guidance around who needs what type of booster doses can be complicated, but the simple message around COVID-19 vaccines is that they are safe and most effective when you are up-to-date with the suggested schedule,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “From NYSDOH data, about 64% of eligible Erie County residents are up to date with a COVID-19 vaccine booster, so we still have work to do to encourage first, and now second, booster doses.”
She continued, “These vaccines reduce the risk of moderate and severe illness caused by a COVID-19 infection. If you have questions about your risks and the benefits of COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, your doctor or a pharmacist is a trusted source to help you make that decision.”
From a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis of nationwide data: “During the recent Omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21-times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, and 7-times less likely to be hospitalized.”
ECDOH continues to offer regular, free, COVID-19 vaccine clinics, and will be expanding its clinic schedule and mobile outreach this spring and summer. Eligible individuals can get a COVID-19 vaccine free of charge, regardless of insurance status or residence. “We are committed to vaccinating all who are eligible and willing to get this vaccine series,” explained Dr. Burstein. “ECDOH will continue to work with community organizations, schools, municipalities and businesses to improve access and provide evidence-based education about COVID-19 vaccines.”