Utica, N.Y.— Starting Sunday, February 14th, people with comorbidities and underlying conditions will be able to make their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
Vaccinations will be available starting February 15th, and documentation to prove you are eligible will be required at the facility you are receiving the vaccine. In a press release sent out last week Governor Andrew Cuomo said this documentation could be a doctor’s letter, medical information evidencing comorbidity, or signed certification but he ultimately left it up to the county health departments to decide the requirements.
“How documentation for that will be provided is still being worked out,” Daniel Gilmore, Oneida County Director of Health said. “The public health directors in the state had a conference call yesterday with New York State Department of Health there was a lot of discussions there, there was still no clear tool that will be used so that is still being worked on.”
The list of people eligible to receive the vaccine are adults of any age who fall under the following categories:
- 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)
- 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
If you do not have documentation to prove that you’re eligible Gilmore encourages you to still register.
“I would encourage people that are eligible and if they are able to sign up online to do so,” Gilmore said. “And the documentation is not required when you register online and then work on obtaining documentation from your primary care provider or your medical records.”
The state has had issues in the past with not having enough vaccines, which now begs the question if more people are eligible to receive the vaccine will there be enough? Gilmore admits this is a valid concern.
“The big issue is not so much the people that are eligible, although that is certainly positive, the more people are eligible to receive the vaccine, the issue is the supply of the vaccine,” Gilmore said. “We simply don’t have a supply adequate to vaccinate the population that is eligible right now.”