Long Island renews push to get COVID booster shots in residents' arms

ByChantee Lans via WABC logo
Monday, October 10, 2022
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Long Island is renewing its push to get COVID bivalent booster shots in the arms of its residents heading into the colder months. Chantee Lans has the story.

EAST ISLIP, Long Island (WABC) -- There's a renewed push to make sure people get their COVID booster shot on Long Island, where residents have been hesitant to roll up their sleeves for another shot.

Nursing home resident Peter Nappi, 77, and his wife Virginia are getting the latest COVID vaccine, the bivalent booster, which specifically gives protection against the omicron subvariants.

"We got 20 grandkids running around. We want to make sure we got our shots," Nappi said.

Momentum at South Bay for Rehabilitation and Nursing is offering its own clinic to patients and their relatives in East Islip.

"We've been having an excellent response," said Melissa Donegain, Director of Nursing at Momentum. "People who have previously been here and refused all boosters are taking it."

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While this clinic is helping, other medical experts say the number of New Yorkers getting bivalent is low. Most haven't taken it.

According to the CDC, 11.5 million Americans have received the shot since becoming available last month.

It's a decision doctors say that's crucial for those with the highest risk for severe disease.

"That's why it's so important for people to go out now and get the bivalent boosters before we get into what I anticipate will be a rough respiratory season," said Dr. Matthew Harris of Northwell Health Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

Harris is the medical director for Northwell Health's COVID-19 vaccine program. He says there's an uptick in the number of COVID hospital admissions and diagnoses.

"Nearly 450 people admitted throughout the health system are COVID positive and that number has increased substantially over the past six weeks," Harris said.

With winter on the way and mask wearing eased, many Long Islanders Eyewitness News reporter Chantee Lans spoke with have not made it back into the chair.

"I have not got my booster yet," Merrick resident Raquel Knoll said.

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