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New Yorkers age 60+ eligible to get vaccine today

Vaccinations are also open to people with certain health conditions, and certain essential workers including teachers, health care providers and police officers.

News 12 Staff

Mar 10, 2021, 5:18 PM

Updated 1,194 days ago

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Beginning this morning more New Yorkers will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
New York is lowering COVID-19 vaccine eligibility from age 65 to 60, and soon loosen restrictions on vaccination sites that local officials have criticized, under a plan Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
Cuomo said that anyone who qualifies for a vaccine will be able to be vaccinated starting today. In addition to people who qualify for vaccinations because of their age, vaccinations in New York are open to people with certain health conditions, and certain essential workers including teachers, health care providers and police officers.
Cuomo said New York will allow additional essential workers to receive the vaccine starting March 17. Newly eligible workers include public and certain nonprofit employees who interact with the public. Public works employees, child service caseworkers, sanitation workers and building service workers are among the newly eligible workers, according to the administration.
"These are the people who are the everyday heroes,” Cuomo said.
And the governor said he's lifting most restrictions on where New Yorkers can get vaccinated.
Starting March 17, nearly all vaccination sites can vaccinate eligible New Yorkers. Current rules, for example, require local health departments to focus on essential workers and residents and staffers at group homes for people with developmental disabilities.
Pharmacies, however, will still be able to vaccinate only teachers and New Yorkers who qualify because of their age.
About 18% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of a vaccine, in line with the national average, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's a lower percentage than New England and New Jersey.
Public health experts hope increased vaccinations will drive down COVID-19 infections in New York, which has the nation's highest number of new cases and hospitalizations on a per-capita basis over the last seven days.
The Democratic governor said promises of more vaccine shipments have made him comfortable with increasing eligibility, even with overall supplies still too low to vaccinate everyone eligible in New York.
His office had previously estimated that 7 million New Yorkers were eligible before the list grew to include millions more with underlying medical conditions.
“But the supply is increasing,” said Cuomo, who spoke at a vaccination site in Syracuse. “If the supply is increasing we can then increase our distribution levels.”
Unfortunately, many people are still having trouble making those appointments. "How many people are going to log in if there's enough appointments? You understand? And then when there's nothing, then you go back to square one. Okay, there's no appointments available right now. It's all taken. It's all booked, and then what? We have to wait what? We don't know," says Janet Montvalvo, of Yonkers.
Some people tell News 12 that you basically have to sit in front of your computer, and when you go on the website, if it says no appointments available - ignore that and just keep refreshing. Another option is to come to the armory in Yonkers and they have people who will sit down with you and help you make an appointment. The state recorded nearly 50,000 new cases over the past seven days, with upticks in Staten Island and Rockland. Hospitals in Manhattan and the Bronx have disproportionately more COVID-19 patients than the rest of the state: 1,377 as of Sunday, compared with 1,410 for the previous Sunday.
AP wires were used in this report


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