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COVID-19 and Flu Resource Page

CAI’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Ferry Good Health Project uses a community-led approach to help to reduce chronic illness among African American/Black residents in five underserved ZIP codes in Buffalo, New York. As part of that work, they share guidance and resources about preventing and treating the flu and COVID.

We update this page regularly to share the most recent guidance from the CDC and other sources.

On this page:

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

CDC Recommends the First Updated COVID-19 Booster

On September 1, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC recommendations for use of updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older.

In the coming weeks, CDC also expects to recommend updated COVID-19 boosters for other pediatric groups.

In a media statement, Walensky said: “The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant. They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants. This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion. If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”

Read the full media statement on the CDC website.

Closeup shot of an unrecognizable pharmacist assisting a customer in a chemist

COVID Treatment Update

New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 can now seek new treatments that help prevent severe disease. COVID-19 treatments work best when you receive them as soon as possible after becoming sick, so it’s important to get tested and talk to your doctor right away to find the treatment that is best for you.

Each of these treatments have proven to be effective against COVID-19 and are available throughout New York State.

There are currently two types of treatment options available:

  • Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
    • Given soon after positive COVID-19 diagnosis to help fight infection and shorten recovery time, or as a preventative to those who are not COVID-19 positive but who have immune system issues or who are unable to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Administration: Via intravenous (IV) drip or via injection (preventative).
  • Antivirals
    • Given soon after positive COVID-19 diagnosis to help fight infection and shorten recovery time.
    • Administration: Either via intravenous (IV) drip or as a tablet or capsule.

All treatments require a prescription. You should talk to your provider to see what is right for you.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and do not have a regular health care provider, you can be evaluated for treatment by either:

Erie County Department of Health COVID Treatment Program

  • Symptomatic patients, with a positive COVID-19 rapid test result from an ECDOH operated COVID-19 test site (see COVID Testing for locations), will be asked to contact their primary care provider as a first step to access a prescription for COVID-19 treatment.
  • Individuals without a primary care provider, or whose primary care provider is not available to prescribe COVID-19 oral treatment, will be screened and offered a prescription if eligible.
  • This program is not available to those tested on Fridays after 12 p.m. Those individuals should contact their healthcare provider for treatment options.
  • For questions about this program, talk to staff at the testing site.
  • For medical related questions and/or additional questions about treatment please contact your healthcare provider.

ECDOH COVID-19 Testing Locations

The ECDOH testing locations offer PCR and rapid testing. PCR results take from 1-3 business days and results are given by phone. The rapid test takes about 20 minutes and the result is given onsite. No appointments taken; walk in only.

  • Jesse Nash Health Center, 608 William St, Buffalo, NY 14206: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
  • Erie County Emergency and Training Operations Center, 3359 Broadway: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

More Information

Find additional “Test to Treat” locations.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Parents and caregivers can now get their children 6 months through 5 years of age vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines to better protect them from COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccine dosage is based on age on the day of vaccination, not on size or weight. Children get a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine than teens and adults that is the right amount for their age group.

Primary series vaccination for children 6 months through 4 years of age

  • Pfizer-BioNTECH: 3 dose primary series
  • Moderna: 2 dose primary series
  • Johnson & Johnson Janssen: Not authorized

Primary series vaccination for children 5 years old

  • Pfizer-BioNTECH: 2 dose primary series
  • Moderna: 2 dose primary series
  • Johnson & Johnson Janssen: Not authorized

For more information, please visit the CDC website.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Update

Initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants.

As of May 24, 2022, the CDC has issued the following information and recommendations regarding booster shots.

Three COVID-19 vaccines are used in the United States to prevent COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (COVID-19 mRNA vaccines) are preferred. You may get Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in some situations.

Who can get a booster?

Recommended one booster:

  • Everyone ages 5 years and older should get 1 booster after completing their COVID-19 vaccine primary series.

Recommended two boosters:

  • Adults ages 50 years and older
  • People ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromise

Adults ages 18 years and older

Pfizer-BioNTech – 1st booster

CDC recommends a booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for:

  • Most people, at least five months after the final dose in the primary series
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, at least 3 months after the final dose in the primary series

Pfizer-BioNTEch – 2nd booster

CDC recommends a 2nd booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the 1st booster for:

  • Adults ages 50 years and older
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised

Moderna – 1st booster

CDC recommends a booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for:

  • Most people, at least 5 months after the final dose in the primary series
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, at least 3 months after the final dose in the primary series

Moderna – 2nd booster

CDC recommends a 2nd booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the 1st booster for:

  • Adults ages 50 years and older
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromise

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen – 1st booster

CDC recommends a booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for:

  • Most people, at least 2 months after the primary dose of J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, at least 2 months after the additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen – 2nd booster

CDC recommends a 2nd booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the 1st booster for:

  • Adults ages 50 years and older
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised

People ages 18 through 49 years who got a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for both their primary dose and booster can choose to get a 2nd booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after their 1st booster. The 2nd booster is not required to be considered up to date for people ages 18 through 49 years who got a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for both their primary dose and 1st booster.

Children and teens ages 12 – 17 years

Pfizer-BioNTech – 1st booster

CDC recommends a booster of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for:

  • Most children and teens, at least 5 months after the final dose in the primary series
  • Children and teens who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, at least 3 months after the final dose in the primary series

Pfizer-BioNTech – 2nd booster

CDC recommends a 2nd booster of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the 1st booster for children and teens who are moderately or severely immunocompromised

Children ages 5 – 11 years

Pfizer-BioNTech – 1st booster

CDC recommends a booster of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for:

  • Most children, at least 5 months after the final dose in the primary series
  • Children who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, at least 3 months after the final dose in the primary series

Pfizer-BioNTech – 2nd booster

CDC does not recommend 2nd boosters for anyone in this age group at this time.

Are you up to date with vaccination?

You are considered up to date if:

  • You’ve received all boosters recommended for you OR
  • You have completed your primary series but are not yet eligible for a booster OR
  • You have received 1 booster but are not recommended to get a 2nd booster OR
  • You have received 1 booster but are not yet eligible for a 2nd booster

Stay up to date by getting recommended boosters when you are eligible.


Worried young woman looking through window at home in quarantine.

COVID Quarantine & Isolation Information

As of August 11, 2022, the CDC is streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus.

About Quarantining

About Isolation

The CDC is:

  • Recommending that if you test positive for COVID-19, you stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days. Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others at home and in public.
  • If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms, you may end your isolation after day 5.
  • Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11.
  • You should wear a high-quality mask through day 10.
  • Recommending that if you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing) or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19 or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
  • Recommending that if you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you. If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
  • Clarifying that after you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.
  • Recommending screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures will no longer be recommended in most community settings.
  • Emphasizing that physical distance is just one component of how to protect yourself and others. It is important to consider the risk in a particular setting, including local COVID-19 community levels and the important role of ventilation, when assessing the need to maintain physical distance.

 


New cases file folder

COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths by Vaccination Status

People who are unvaccinated have higher risk of testing positive, being hospitalized, and dying from COVID-19 than people who are vaccinated.

COVID-19 Cases & Hospitalizations in New York

As of data received through July 18, 2022, the New York State Department of Health is aware of:

  • 1,967,593 laboratory-confirmed breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated people in New York State, which corresponds to 14.7% of the population of fully vaccinated people 5-years or older.
  • 62,051 hospitalizations with COVID-19 among fully vaccinated people in New York State, which corresponds to 0.46% of the population of fully vaccinated people 5-years or older.

Please visit the New York State’s COVID-19 Breakthrough Data information page for more information about COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New York

Figure 1: New cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 since February 2022 among fully vaccinated (blue line) and unvaccinated adults (orange line), and estimated vaccine effectiveness (gray line), age 18 years or older in New York State.

 

Figure 2: New hospitalizations of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 since February 2022 among fully vaccinated (blue line) and unvaccinated adults (orange line), and estimated vaccine effectiveness (gray line), age 18 years or older in New York State.

Risk of dying if not vaccinated in the United States

  • In May 2022 (latest available data), unvaccinated people ages 5 years and older had had 6x risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to persons vaccinated with at least a primary series in the United States.
  • In May 2022 (latest available data), unvaccinated people ages 12 and older had had 6x risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to persons vaccinated with a primary series and 1+ booster dose in the United States.
  • Please visit the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for more information about COVID-19 deaths by vaccination status in the United States.

Figure 3: Rates of death of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among vaccinated with at least a primary series (blue line) and unvaccinated adults (orange line), age 5 years or older in the United States.

 

Figure 4: Rates of death of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among vaccinated with a primary series and 1+ booster dose* (dotted light blue line) primary series without any booster doses (green line) and unvaccinated adults (black line), age 12 years or older in the United States.

*Because data on the immune status of cases and associated deaths are unavailable, an additional dose in an immunocompromised person cannot be distinguished from a booster dose. This is a relevant consideration because vaccines can be less effective in this group.

 

Woman wearing with protective face mask

COVID-19 Mask Guidance

Certain masks provide more protection from COVID-19 than other masks (e.g., N-95 masks provide more protection than cloth masks). The CDC has released new guidance regarding mask wearing as of March 21, 2022.

What mask should I wear?

Along with getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose in indoor public settings or crowds is crucial to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Experts recommend you upgrade your mask to a high filtration respirator if you want optimal protection. Read more mask guidance at the CDC website.

When should I wear a mask?

Know the COVID-19 Community Level where you live.

COVID-19 Community Levels are a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Find out your local COVID-19 Community Level.

Low level

Medium level

High level

Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness.

 


Tips for Conducting an At-home COVID-19 Test

COVID-19 testing kits have become available for at home use and it is important to conduct the test correctly in order to get the most accurate result.

How to use a self-test

Read the complete manufacturer’s instructions for use before using the test. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about the test or your results.

Prepare to collect a specimen

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Open the box and follow the instructions included with the self-test to collect your own nasal or saliva specimen.
  • If you don’t collect the specimens as directed, your test results may be incorrect.

Perform the test

  • Follow the instructions exactly and perform the steps in the order that they are listed. The manufacturer may also provide other resources, such as quick reference guides or instructional videos, to help you perform the test correctly.
  • Most self-tests require the collection of a nasal specimen. A few self-tests require a saliva specimen. (Read more about self-testing at the CDC site.)
  • Once collected, use the specimen as described in the instructions to complete the self-test.

Tips

  • Store all test components according to the manufacturer’s instructions until ready for use.
  • Check the expiration date. Do not use expired tests or test components that are damaged or appear discolored based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean the countertop, table, or other surfaces where you will do the test.
  • Do not open test devices or other test components until you are ready to start the testing process.
  • Have a timer ready because you may need to time several of the test steps.
  • Read test results only within the amount of time specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. A result read before or after the specified timeframe may be incorrect.
  • Don’t reuse test devices or other components.

After you have the results, discard the specimen collection swab or tube and test in the trash, clean all surfaces that the specimen may have touched, and wash your hands.

For more information about at-home testing please visit the CDC website.

Nurse gives flu shot vaccine to patient at pharmacy.

Flu Update

Getting the flu shot is important for protecting yourself, your loved ones, and the community.

This season it’s especially important to get a flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu. Read more about the flu vaccine at the CDC site.

Protect yourself

Flu vaccines can prevent millions of people from getting flu. During the 2019-2020 flu season, flu vaccines prevented an estimated 8.7 million flu illnesses, 105,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and 6,300 flu-related deaths.

Protect your time

People who get flu are usually sick for about a week. Being protected against flu and staying healthy means you can be there for loved ones who depend on you.

Protect your community

People with certain chronic conditions are at higher risk of getting very sick from flu, including being hospitalized or even dying. Getting a flu vaccine can reduce the risk of giving flu to people with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and sickle cell anemia.

Protect your loved ones

A flu vaccine helps protect the people around you who are more likely to get very sick from flu, like babies, young children, pregnant people, and older adults.

FAQs about getting both the flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine

Can you get a flu vaccine after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, there is no required time interval in between the two vaccines. You can get a flu shot after getting a COVID-19 vaccine or you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and then get a flu shot. You can even get both vaccines at the same time.

Why should I get a flu shot if I’m not around as many people as normal due to COVID-19?

A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from the flu. It’s important to protect people around you, particularly people at higher risk of severe flu illness, like young children, older adults, and people with underlying health conditions.

Does a fly vaccination increase your risk of getting COVID-19?

No, there is no evidence that getting a flu shot increases your risk of getting COVID-19.

What is the difference between flu and COVID-19?

Flu and COVID-19 are both infectious respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with an influenza virus.

 

Doctor is holding a vaccination record card and corona virus vaccine vials. Passport of immunity to the coronavirus in the hands of a male doctor. Health passport.