Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a new expansion of Covid-19 vaccine eligibility in New York. Beginning March 10, all New Yorkers 60 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine, while public facing essential workers from governmental and nonprofit entities will be eligible beginning March 17. This expansion also includes public-facing essential building services workers.
Additionally, the Governor announced that with increased supply of the vaccine, restrictions concerning which segments of the eligible population specific providers can vaccinate will be relaxed to align with the expanded eligibility on March 17. Previously, certain types of providers were directed to focus their vaccination efforts on specific populations to ensure equitable vaccine distribution. For example, hospitals vaccinated health care workers, local health departments vaccinated essential workers and pharmacies vaccinated New Yorkers 65 years of age and older. Now, providers will be able to vaccinate any eligible New Yorker, with the exception of pharmacies, which will focus on individuals over the age of 60 and teachers, in line with federal policy. Pharmacies may begin vaccinating individuals over the age of 60 and teachers on March 10. As part of this effort, providers are being encouraged to vaccinate those New Yorkers most at risk, such as individuals 60 years of age and older and people with comorbidities and underlying health conditions.
“New York is marching forward expanding access to the COVID-19 vaccine, addressing underserved communities and getting shots in arms as we turn the tide in the fight against this virus,” Governor Cuomo said. “Supply is steadily increasing and we’re opening new vaccination sites and expanding eligibility to match it. New Yorkers over 60 years old and those who serve their fellow New Yorkers in the public sector are more vulnerable to COVID-19, and we’re addressing that vulnerability by providing access to the vaccine.”
Under this new expansion of eligibility, the following essential workers will now be eligible to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on March 17:
- Public-facing government and public employees
- Not-for-profit workers who provide public-facing services to New Yorkers in need
- Essential in-person public-facing building service workers
This includes workers such as public works employees, social service and child service caseworkers, government inspectors, sanitation workers, DMV workers, County Clerks, building service workers and election workers .
New York’s vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government. Due to this limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.
Eligible New Yorkers will be able to schedule appointments at state vaccination sites by utilizing New York’s ‘Am I Eligible’ website or by calling the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
New York is maintaining and expanding a vast vaccine distribution network. On March 8, Governor Cuomo announced that as the federal vaccine supply continues to increase, New York will establish 10 additional state-run mass vaccination sites in the New York City, Long Island, Hudson Valley, Capital, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and Western New York regions to further grow New York’s vast distribution network. The sites remain in development and are expected to launch in the coming weeks. Final details, including appointment scheduling information and hours of operation will be released in the coming days.
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