Monday, February 8, 2021

Governor Cuomo Announces New Yorkers with Comorbidities and Underlying Conditions Can Make Appointments at State-Run Mass Vaccination Sites Beginning February 14


First Appointments Will Be Scheduled for February 15

Local Health Departments Determine How, Where, When to Schedule Appointments in Their Jurisdictions, as Early as February 14, With Vaccinations Beginning February 15

New Yorkers With Comorbidities and Underlying Conditions Must Provide a Doctor's Letter or Medical Information Evidencing Comorbidity or A Signed Certification Determined by A Local Government; State Will Audit Local Systems

NYS DOH Will Host a Call with County Executives and Local Health Departments to Review Vaccinating New Yorkers with Comorbidities and Underlying Conditions

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions can make appointments at state-run mass vaccination sites beginning February 14, with the first appointments scheduled for February 15. Excess vaccine supply meant for hospital workers can be used to open eligibility for New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions. Local health departments will determine how, where and when to schedule appointments in their jurisdictions, and those appointments will begin as early as February 15. No local jurisdiction should accept appointments until the allocations are known, and no earlier than February 14.

"As the state's effort to vaccinate health care workers nears completion this week, we are now shifting those doses to prioritize those New Yorkers with comorbidities and pre-existing conditions - a group which has felt the brunt of COVID's destructiveness first-hand," Governor Cuomo said. "While this is a great step forward in ensuring the most vulnerable among us have access to this life-saving vaccine, it's no secret that any time you're dealing with a resource this scarce, there are going to be attempts to commit fraud and game the system. That's why it's been critically important that we put safeguards in place to prevent bad actors from slowing the distribution process and we have done just that. Again, I want to remind newly eligible New Yorkers to please be patient when beginning to schedule appointments - we can only administer as many doses as the federal supply allows and we're continuing to fight for more every day." 

To show they have comorbidities or underlying conditions, New Yorkers must provide documentation as required by the facility where they are getting vaccinated which must be either:

  • Doctor's Letter, or
  • Medical Information Evidencing Comorbidity, or
  • Signed Certification 

New York State will audit local systems. The New York State Department of Health will host a call with county executives and local health departments to discuss strategies and compliance associated with vaccinating New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions. 

The full list of comorbidities and underlying conditions is available below. The list is subject to change as additional scientific evidence is published and as New York State obtains and analyzes additional state-specific data.

Adults of any age with the following conditions due to increased risk of moderate or severe illness or death from the virus that causes COVID-19: 

  • Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes
  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2), Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or Thalassemia
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer's Disease or dementia
  • Liver disease

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