State Health Department urges New Yorkers to get COVID shots as new variant spreads
The New York State Health Department is increasing its urgency in recommending New Yorkers get up to date on their COVID shots, as the new XBB.1.5 variant becomes more widely spread across New York.
According to the state COVID dashboard, the variant accounted for under 3% of cases on Nov 19. On New Year’s Eve, that number soared to 51.9%.
The state's reporting system shows reinfections are increasing, leading to a rise in new COVID cases and hospitalizations.
Their most recent data from late December shows unvaccinated New Yorkers are seeing COVID infections at nearly four times the rate of vaccinated New Yorkers. Hospitalizations have increased over seven times more.
The World Health Organization says the XBB.1.5 variant is "the most transmissible" descendant of Omicron.