December 22, 2021

Get Vaccinated, Get Boosted & Wear A Mask!  

Get Vaccinated, Get Boosted & Wear A Mask!  

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We've come a long way since the COVID-19 pandemic began almost two years ago, and much progress has been made. Just recently, we observed the first anniversary of the very first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine that was given right here in New York State.  THANK YOU to all of you who have been vaccinated and have encouraged your loved ones to be vaccinated as well. Working together, we've prevented illness and have saved lives. But our work is far from done.  Our concerted effort is needed now more than ever as we push back against the COVID-19 winter surge. As the weather turns colder, we hear the concerning numbers of new COVID-19 infections and learn of new variants. I appeal to you to get your booster shot as soon as possible if you've already been vaccinated and to get your vaccine if you haven’t yet done so. Free booster shots are widely available.

People with developmental disabilities and people with weakened immune systems continue to be among some of the most vulnerable when it comes to COVID-19.  Please help get the word out to your friends and loved ones about the COVID-19 vaccine and the booster. Every person we can get vaccinated and boosted helps protect the people we love. Attached, please find a COVID-19 In Plain Language flyer we've created to help you understand when you can get the booster and why it's essential. Feel free to share this widely.  Please keep a close eye on our OPWDD social media accounts for up-to-date information that you can like and share with your contacts. 

You can find all the latest information about the vaccine and the booster shot on the Governor's website here:  https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/booster-doses.

Working together, we will encourage widespread vaccination and beat this virus. I wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season.

Kerri Neifeld
Acting Commissioner