Amid omicron variant concerns, Hochul mandates booster availability at all NY nursing homes

New York News

A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Pennsylvania on Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

NEW YORK — New York nursing homes will be required to make booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available to all residents, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Sunday.

The governor’s order comes as officials and health experts around the world monitor the spread of omicron, a new “variant of concern.”

“We’ve got to do everything we can to protect vulnerable New Yorkers. That means making sure everyone is able to get a booster. All nursing homes and adult care facilities will now be required to make booster doses available to all of their residents,” Hochul said in a tweet Sunday morning.

The new COVID-19 variant called B.1.1529, or omicron, was first detected by scientists in South Africa. The World Health Organization held an emergency meeting on Friday, where it designated the new strain, a “variant of concern,” or VOC, a label applied when a particular strain is especially virulent, transmissible or able to defeat public health measures.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.

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