ALBANY COUNTY — On Friday, Oct. 1, the nation reached a sad milestone of 700,000 officially counted deaths from COVID-19. An estimated 200,000 could have been prevented by vaccination.

Last week, Albany County was named as one of 11 local governments statewide that met criteria for the first time to be certified as part of New York State’s Climate Smart Communities program.

Bassett currently serves as director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“We are preparing to amass an army of people if necessary,” said Governor Kathy Hochul, of filling jobs vacated by unvaccinated health-care workers. While the National Guard has not been deployed, she said that “thousands of student nurses” are available as are “people whose licenses had lapsed because they had retired.”

ALBANY COUNTY — After weeks of debate and confusion over booster shots, on Monday, the shots started being given to eligible New Yorkers who had received their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months before.

The president of Albany Medical Center on Tuesday thanked Governor Kathy Hochul for issuing an executive order on Monday night that will allow out-of-state and out-of-country nurses and medically trained National Guard members to fill in for needed health-care workers. The order also expands the role of emergency medical technicians and lets retired health-care workers re-enter the workforce.

New Yorkers who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should receive their booster dose at least six months after their primary vaccine series if they are 65 years and older or residents in long-term care settings, and if they are between ages 50 and 64 with underlying medical conditions.

New Yorkers who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine may receive their COVID-19 booster dose at least six months after their primary vaccine series if they are 18 to 49 years old with underlying medical conditions, or if they are 18 to 64 years old and are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their jobs.

On Friday, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, took the unusual step of overruling the CDC’s advisory panel to align the CDC’s policy with the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation on more people being eligible for booster shots.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued its guidance for a more limited use than the Biden administration had called for, including people 65 and older, people at high risk of severe COVID-19; and people whose frequent occupational exposure to the virus puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson reports a second shot improves efficacy to 100 percent protection against critical COVID-19.