New York state is readying an effort to begin distribution of COVID-19 booster shots as soon as they are broadly approved by the federal government, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday said.
"We'll want to have the infrastructure in place to make sure everyone gets a booster," Hochul said during an event in Buffalo.
The plan includes providing $65 million to local health departments to administer the shots.
Meanwhile, New York state officials are also exploring an expansion of vaccine mandates to workers in state-run facilities. Already, health care workers are required to be vaccinated by Labor Day or face weekly testing requirements for COVID.
Driving the ongoing concerns over the virus is the spread of the highly contagious delta variant in New York.
At the moment, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved booster shots for people who are immunocompromised.
New York, like nearly all states, is seeing a surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations. The most serious cases requiring hospitalization are almost entirely among those who are not vaccinated.
More than 58.4% of New Yorkers have completed the current vaccine series, Hochul's office on Monday said.
Hochul at the event on Tuesday outlined her approach to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, pledging to work with local governments in the state while also putting a mask requirement in effect for schools across the state in a clear signal she is breaking from the style of her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo.
"I will not be micromanaging, but I will be making guidance based on your input," she said. "I will not be imposing state locations on you without consultation."
School personnel as well as students will be required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status once the school year begins in the coming days in New York.
"I'm willing to make tough decisions, any day, anywhere," she said. "We will take bold dramatic actions to protect people in our state, but particularly our children in our school."