Local counties gearing up as more residents are set to receive COVID boosters in the coming months

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As certain immunocompromised people begin receiving a third dose across the state, more will be able to get a booster beginning next month.

“If we had to fire up a mass vaccination site again we would. We don’t foresee that right now, I don’t think, but we’ll see,” said Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin.

Those who received the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose vaccine will be eligible to get a third dose eight months after full vaccination.

“The supply is there. The doctor’s offices, the pharmacies and your local public health department have all kinda figured out the kinks with this. As soon as we can get rolling on it with these additional doses, we will,” said Don Lehman, spokesperson for Warren County.

The announcement for boosters, which will still need to get approval from the FDA, comes as the state and country continue to deal with the spread of the contagious delta variant.

While vaccines have shown to be effective at preventing infection and serious illness from the new variant, and others, local health experts say boosters have always been a possibility.

“Already we have a good level of effectiveness, what we’re doing is adding another layer of safety here, and the immune response really does seem to do really well,” Dr. David Holtgrave, the Dean of UAlbany’s School of Public Health, explained.

Holtgrave also said an additional shot could help prevent the virus from further mutations in the future.

With more Americans set to roll up their sleeves again, counties in the Capital Region are getting prepared.

“We’ll be getting quite a bit of, large amount of people wanting the third shot. We’re just going to get ready, we’re going to be reaching out to our physicians,” said Mary Fran Wachunas, the Rensselaer County’s Public Health Director.

Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker released the following statement:

“As with previous FDA emergency use authorizations (EUAs) of COVID-19 vaccines and subsequent EUA modifications to date, following the FDA’s independent evaluation and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) official recommendations, I will immediately convene New York State’s Clinical Advisory Task Force. I will seek advice and recommendations from this group of independent experts to inform the State’s COVID-19 vaccination program guidance regarding the administration of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. When this FDA authorization and the ACIP recommendations are available, the Department will complete this process quickly as it has in the past and act swiftly, as we have already been planning for this development.”

Dr. Howard Zucker

The FDA authorized a third dose of the vaccine for certain immunocompromised patients last week, with the NYSDOH following suit on Monday.

In a study released today, the Department of Health also found the vaccines are over 90% effective at preventing serious illness, and also around 80% effective at preventing infection against the delta variant.

The increased rollout of an additional dose is pending FDA approval, and is set to begin September 20th.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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