New York State Department of Health Launches Covid-19 & Flu Vaccine Campaign

Watch the English Advertisement Here and the Spanish Advertisement Here

Getting the Updated COVID-19 Vaccine and Annual Flu Shot in the Same Appointment is Safe and Convenient

CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccine for All New Yorkers Ages 6-Months and Older Who Are Two Months Past Last Vaccine

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 12, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health is launching its fall COVID-19 and flu vaccine public education campaign, encouraging New Yorkers to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community from respiratory viruses. The advertisements, which will run in both English and Spanish language start this week and will run for 11 weeks.

"This fall, we are once again encouraging New Yorkers to take the protective measure against respiratory viruses by getting the flu shot and updated COVID-19 vaccine," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "The new COVID vaccine is better formulated to target the circulating variants, just like the flu shot is targeted each year. With both flu and COVID-19 transmission expected to increase during the fall and winter seasons, getting both vaccines will provide meaningful protection against serious illness or hospitalization. Everyone who can should get both vaccines. And if you have a loved one in assisted living or a nursing home, encourage the facility to get them both vaccines."

With children back in school and respiratory virus season on the horizon, adults and parents are encouraged to get both their annual flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine for themselves and for children aged 6 months and older.

The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious, respiratory viral infections that can have similar symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish between the two illnesses. People with chronic conditions, including those that affect the lungs and heart, young children, elderly populations, and pregnant people have a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu and COVID-19.

Both vaccines can be given at the same time.

The updated 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccine is approved by the FDA and has been reformulated to target the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5. As most of the COVID strains currently circulating now are descendants of this variant, previous COVID vaccinations do not provide the same protection against illness from currently circulating strains like this updated formulation does.

The public campaign includes 15-second and 30-second videos in both English and Spanish:

30-second English language version.

30-second Spanish language version.

To improve access to the COVID-19 vaccine, State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald has issued two standing orders to authorize licensed pharmacists to administer the Pfizer and Moderna updated COVID-19 vaccines to individuals ages 5 years and older without an order from a physician.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans will cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccines, without the need for co-pays. Those who are uninsured, or whose insurance does not cover the updated vaccine, will have access to the vaccine free of charge through community health centers; local, tribal, or territorial health departments; and pharmacies participating in the HHS' Bridge Access Program.

The Department has the following resources to help New Yorkers make informed decisions about flu and COVID-19:

  • Information about the flu is available here, including fact sheets and other downloadable materials.
  • The COVID-19 webpage has information on COVID-19 symptoms & prevention, testing, and treatment.
  • Information about vaccine efficacy and safety can be found here.