New Yorkers who have underlying medical issues and are at risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19 are being encouraged by state health officials to stay up-to-date with a bivalent booster shot. 

The state Department of Health on Friday announced the launch of a public service campaign to highlight the booster doses and their availability. 

The 12-week campaign will feature 30 and 15-second videos in both English and Spanish. 

“Serious illness and death from COVID-19 remains a very real possibility, particularly for New Yorkers who have weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses,” Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “This new campaign delivers an important message about who is most at risk and their need to get a COVID-19 booster as soon as possible and to stay current with a booster in the future. If you have not had a COVID vaccine after September 2022, you are not up to date.”

The booster dose can help people with underyling conditions such as pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, heart or lung disease or weakened immune symptoms from avoiding serious outcomes from COVID-19 such as illness, hospitalization and death. 

People who are age 65 and older are also encouraged to receive the booster dose. 

New York state has not seen a sharp uptick in COVID cases this winter. At the moment, there are 10.76 cases per 100,000 people in New York, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Thursday. 

The governor's office also reported 1,993 people hospitalized with COVID-19.