New York has declared a polio emergency in an effort to boost vaccination rates after evidence of the spread of the virus emerged when it was found in sewage samples in Nassau County. on Long Island.
The executive order, signed Friday by Governor Kathy Hochul, expands the vaccine administration network to include paramedics, midwives and pharmacists. The New York Department of Health said in a statement that licensed doctors and nurses will be able to place non-patient-specific orders for the polio vaccine.
Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said: “For polio, we simply cannot roll the dice. “If you or your child is not immunized or immunized on time, the risk of polio is real. I urge New Yorkers not to take any risks.”
New Yorkers who have completed their polio vaccine series should receive a lifelong booster after close contact with a person suspected of having the virus, the department said.
The department also recommends boosters for health care workers in Rockland County, Orange County, Sullivan County, Nassau County, and New York City who may be handling samples containing the polio virus or who treat patients who may have polio. People whose occupations are exposed to wastewater “could consider an enhancer.”