As of September 23, 2021, more than 42.3 million cases of COVID-19 and 677,086 cumulative total deaths have been reported in the United States...
Brian Harper
Dear New York Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of September 23, 2021, more than 42.3 million cases of COVID-19 and 677,086 cumulative total deaths have been reported in the United States 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 Alaska (800); California reported the least (96.5). In comparison, New York State has 220.5 cases per 100,000 and New York City has 155.1 per 100,000.

The vaccine rollout continues, with more than 387 million doses administered in the U.S.: 64 percent of the population has received at least one dose, and 54.9 percent was fully vaccinated as of September 22. In New York State, the CDC reports that 70.3 percent has received at least one dose and 62.9 percent is fully vaccinated.

In regard to the effectiveness of the vaccine, a new CDC study reports that those who are unvaccinated are about five times more likely to contract the virus, more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus, and about 10 times more likely to die from the disease.

A third booster shot for Pfizer vaccine recipients has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the CDC makes the following recommendations:
  1. People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster.
  2. People who are 50–64 years of age with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot.
  3. People who are 18–49 years of age with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks.
  4. People who are 18–64 years of age and are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks.
Eligibility for boosters starts six months after receipt of the last dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Underlying medical conditions include people with cancer or who are immunocompromised; those with heart, liver, or kidney disease; those who are overweight or obese, diabetic, pregnant, or smokers; and those with sickle cell disease. See the entire list of underlying medical conditions.

It should be emphasized that these recommendations are only for those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. Booster approvals must still be obtained for both the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines.

President Biden and the White House estimate that the FDA approval will allow an additional 60 million people to eventually receive the booster vaccine, with 20 million people eligible right now.
As a reminder, all New York Tech students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated by October 22, 2021. Please find more information about our vaccination and testing policies and how to upload proof of vaccination here. It is important to upload your proof of vaccination so that we have a record for our health app database!
The CDC continues to monitor variants of SARS Cov-2. The Delta variant now represents a low of 92.2 percent of the variants in Oklahoma and a high of 99 percent of the variants in Vermont. The Delta variant is now the most dominant variant by far in all states that are being monitored. In New York State, the Delta variant represents 97.7 percent of all variants, and in Arkansas, it represents 96.9 percent.

From a global perspective, the nations reporting the most progress in fully vaccinating their populations include Portugal (84.2 percent), the United Arab Emirates (80.8 percent), Singapore and Spain (both at 77.2 percent), and Chile (73 percent). On the other hand, many poorer nations do not have access to the vaccine. As a result, President Biden announced at the United Nations General Assembly that the U.S. is purchasing an additional 500 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to donate to low- and lower-middle-income countries around the world. Again, in addition to this being the appropriate moral response to help those countries in need, it is also in our self-interest to reduce the transmission of this virus worldwide and to reduce the likelihood of more variants.

Within the New York Tech community, we continue to have occasional breakthrough cases (a COVID-19 case that occurs in someone fully vaccinated). Therefore, it remains important for employees and students to wear their masks on campus and remain at home when ill. Vaccinated individuals can still carry the coronavirus, so it is important to stay at home if you have any flu-like symptoms and do not to put others at risk.

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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