A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer
Dear New York Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As of August 27, 2021, more than 38.3 million cases of COVID-19 and over 631,440 cumulative total deaths in the United States have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since the start of the pandemic. Over the past seven-day period, the state reporting the highest number of cases per 100,000 people is Mississippi (752.6); Maine reported the least (106.4). In comparison, New York State has 157.4 cases per 100,000.

The COVID vaccine rollout continues, with more than 365 million doses administered in the U.S. Approximately 61.1 percent of the population has received at least one dose, and 51.9 percent are fully vaccinated as of August 26. The CDC reports that 66.6 percent of New York State residents have received at least one dose, and 59.4 percent are fully vaccinated.

On August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine! The vaccine, which has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee) for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The approval has resulted in a cascade of government agencies, businesses, schools, and institutes of higher education (including New York Tech) mandating the vaccination for their constituents.
Updates for the New York Tech community regarding vaccination and testing are as follows:

Following President Foley's August 23 email announcing that all New York Tech students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated within 60 days (by October 22, 2021), please find more information about our vaccination and testing policies and how to upload proof of vaccination here. There are several options for New York Tech community members to get their COVID vaccines:
  • Academic Health Care Center, Long Island campus: Make an appointment to be vaccinated or to receive a booster when you are eligible by calling 516.686.1300.
  • On-campus Vaccination Events: As part of New York Tech’s participation in the White House COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge, several events in September will either offer free vaccines or vaccination incentives.
  • Find a Vaccination Site Near You: Go to vaccines.gov, text your Zip code to 438829, or call 800.232.0233.
New York Tech’s policy is that students, faculty, and staff returning in the fall semester who have not been vaccinated must be tested and receive a negative COVID test result within seven days of accessing campus. Here are resources for obtaining a COVID-19 test in Long Island and New York City:
  • Long Island: Visit the Academic Health Care Center to receive a rapid test, with results available within 15 minutes.
  • New York City: You can now make an appointment for a free rapid COVID-19 virus test at the Health Department's COVID Express sites throughout the city. Test results are available within 24 hours or less of your visit.
If you have any questions regarding the vaccine or testing policy, please visit our Covid Vaccination information page.
As a result of growing concerns regarding the effectiveness of Covid vaccination against the Delta variant, the New York City Department of Health has produced a report of data it has collected. The report indicates vaccine breakthroughs remain uncommon among people who are fully vaccinated but have increased in recent weeks as a proportion of all new cases. However, from January 17, 2021, through August 7, 2021, 96.1 percent of COVID-19 cases, 96.9 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 97.3 percent of COVID-19 deaths in New York City have been people who are unvaccinated. Additionally, here is information from the most recent week (August 7, 2021) for which data is available:
  • 0.33 percent of fully vaccinated New Yorkers have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • 0.02 percent of fully vaccinated New Yorkers have been hospitalized for COVID-19.
  • 0.003 percent of fully vaccinated New Yorkers have died from COVID-19.
Therefore, the vaccine remains very effective in reducing the likelihood of hospitalizations and death.

The CDC continues to monitor variants of SARS Cov-2. The Delta variant now represents a low of 82.8 percent of the variants in Oregon to a high of 97.3 percent of the variants in Missouri. The Delta variant is the most dominant in all states that are being monitored. In New York State, it has now increased to 91.9 percent of all variants, and in Arkansas, it represents 96.5 percent.

From a global perspective, the recommendation of a third booster vaccination has raised issues of global equity. Despite the clinical appropriateness of the recommendation, the World Health Organization has noted, “National vaccination program policy decisions to add a booster dose should take into account the strength of evidence regarding the need for these doses and global availability of vaccines. Offering booster doses to a large proportion of a population when many have not yet received even a first dose undermines the principle of national and global equity. Prioritizing booster doses over speed and breadth in the initial dose coverage may also damage the prospects for global mitigation of the pandemic, with severe implications for the health, social and economic well-being of people globally.”

New York Tech community members: Please remain at home if you are ill. Vaccinated individuals can still carry the coronavirus, and it is important to stay at home if you have flu-like symptoms so you do not put others at risk. We must all remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce the spread of this virus.

As always, those who may feel anxious or uneasy can reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make a virtual appointment.


Brian L. Harper, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
Vice President, Equity and Inclusion

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