Mayor De Blasio to consider requiring COVID-19 booster shots for indoor eating, concerts

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he has been considering a COVID-19 booster shot requirement for people who want to attend concerts, restaurants, and other similar indoor venues. The announcement comes as the omicron variant has spread through the city.

“I think it’s a fair question that we’re going to analyze now – with all of our approaches to COVID, we’re going to update them, because we’re dealing with some new challenges at this moment,” de Blasio said on Friday during his weekly time on “The Brian Lehrer Show,” by WNYC radio. “So, that will be looked at along with a series of other actions, because it’s really dynamic right now.”

At this time, New York City only requires proof of a single shot to enter certain indoor establishments, which includes all indoor restaurants, entertainment venues, and gyms.

De Blasio’s remarks followed a question from Lehrer on whether the city should start requiring those people eating indoors or attending concerts to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated rather than just the one shot of a vaccine. The city also extended eligibility last month for additional booster shots to anyone 18-years-old and older. 

As of Saturday afternoon, eight cases of the omicron variant had been detected statewide, including seven in New York City. Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who discovered the new variant and chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, has said so far that most of the symptoms are “extremely mild.”

She added that her first patient with the variant did not report a sore throat, but instead a scratchy throat, and he never developed a cough or lost his taste or smell. Coetzee said she noticed similar symptoms in other patients who were testing positive for COVID-19. 

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