‘Fully-vaccinated’ in New York could eventually mean having your booster

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — One year ago Tuesday the very first shot of the COVID vaccine in the United States was given to a nurse in New York.

Twelve months later, Gov. Kathy Hochul says we are in the middle of another holiday surge and she showed the numbers to back it up.

Hochul also said the definition of being fully vaccinated in New York might change.

Right now you’re considered fully vaccinated if you have your first and second shot. The governor said she believes that will change to include the booster shot.

Gov. Hochul said she wants to be "rational" about this change and not complicate the issue especially when 30% of eligible people in New York still don’t have their first shot.

"I believe at some point we’ll be making a determination that fully boosted constitutes fully vaccinated," Hochul said.

The Holiday Surge

This is why the governor calls this the holiday surge.

"Our state-wide New York State average has gone up 58% since Thanksgiving," Hochul said at her COVID briefing Tuesday. "Hospitalizations are up 70% since Thanksgiving."

The state rule of either masking indoors or requiring proof of vaccination started Monday. In her briefing, Governor Hochul invited people to join her including Danny Deutch.

Deutch owns Abilene Bar and Lounge downtown and has had this rule since May — you have to be vaccinated to get in.

"And we’re going to keep that going and we think it’s the right thing to do," he said.

Friday, we interviewed Don Swartz, owner of Veneto’s restaurant on East Avenue who says he will not ask for proof of vaccination.

"I don’t want to know what your vaccination status is," Swartz said. "I don’t want to know what your medical history is."

The governor’s data show the Finger Lakes region has the third-lowest percentage of cases per 100,000 people Upstate.

However, it has the second least number of available hospital beds.

The governor was asked why she didn’t pinpoint the masking and vaccination rules to hot spots in New York.

"According to the CDC the entire state is a high transmission [area]," she said.

The week after Thanksgiving, 31,000 people in the Finger Lakes region got their booster shot.

That is the highest week on record, but the data shows only 30% of people eligible for the booster have it.