ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Executives from Erie County and Pegula Sports and Entertainment on Tuesday announced new vaccine requirements for attending Bills and Sabres games, as well as other events at the stadiums.
Fans 12 and older will need to have at least one shot of a vaccine to enter the stadiums starting Sept. 25, and they must be fully vaccinated to enter starting on Oct. 31.
So, if you have not been vaccinated yet, when do you need to get your first shot by to ensure you’ll be fully vaccinated by the deadline? Here’s a look at the cutoff dates for each vaccine.
What counts as being “fully vaccinated”?
You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final shot in your vaccine series.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has one dose.
How long do I have to wait between shots?
- If you get the Pfizer vaccine, your second shot will be three weeks after your first dose.
- If you get the Moderna vaccine, your second shot will be four weeks after your first dose.
- The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot.
More info from the CDC is available here.
So when do I need to get the first dose by?
- If you get the Moderna vaccine, you’ll need to get your first shot no later than this Sunday, Sept. 19, be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31. Your second shot would be four weeks later (Oct. 17), and then the two-week period before you are considered fully vaccinated brings you to Oct. 31.
- If you get the Pfizer vaccine, you’ll need to get your first shot no later than next Sunday, Sept. 26. Your second shot would be three weeks later (Oct. 17), and then the two-week period before you are considered fully vaccinated brings you to Oct. 31.
- If you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you only need one shot, so you can get vaccinated as late as Oct. 17 to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31. However, fans will need at least one shot to attend events in September, such as the Eric Church concert at KeyBank Center on Sept. 25 or the Sept. 26 Bills game against Washington.
Note that some facilities may not offer shots on Sundays. It is strongly advised that you do not wait until the last day possible.
How do I get vaccinated?
News 4 has links to vaccination sites in every Western New York county right here. Many pharmacies are also offering walk-in vaccinations.
Additionally, Erie County residents can sign up for a “Vax Visit” in which someone from the health department will come right to your house to provide you with the vaccine. You can sign up by calling (716) 858-2929.
How will I prove I’m vaccinated?
You can show your physical vaccination card at the gate, or use approved “vaccine passport” apps such as New York state’s Excelsior Pass or the CLEAR app. Photocopies of your card will not be accepted.
Using a fake vaccine card is a Class D felony.
Are other teams doing this?
Yes. The Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints also have vaccine requirements, any others may soon follow suit. The Seahawks and Saints are also accepting proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the game, but the Raiders and Bills are not.
Do I still need to wear a mask?
Due to the vaccination requirements, fans 12 and older will not be required to wear a mask. However, they remain strongly encouraged, especially in indoor areas.
What about children?
Those under 12 years of age are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Fans under 12 must wear a mask at all times.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as the Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook, Twitter and Threads. See more of his work here.