COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands to those with underlying conditions

A man arrives to receive the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine outside Citi Field, the home stadium of MLB’s New York Mets in Queens, New York
A man arrives to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside Citi Field on Feb. 10, 2021. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Those with underlying conditions can now book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the state’s website, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday, as infection rates continue to decline and the restaurant curfews are pushed to 11 p.m.

The announcement came as the state achieved 102,000 doses – first and second – being administered since Saturday while state vaccination sites reported 89 percent of first doses in stock have gone out to New Yorkers who qualify as the Biden administration green-lights higher allocations to states.

“We remain locked in a footrace between the infection rate and the vaccination rate, and while we are making significant progress on both fronts thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, but can’t become complacent – now is not the time to get cocky with COVID,” Cuomo said. “With more than 10 million New Yorkers now eligible for the vaccine, we have the infrastructure in place to get it administered quickly and fairly but continue to only be held back by the supply. Thankfully, with real leadership now in Washington, we’ve begun to see that supply increase and expect that trend to continue until New York is COVID-free.”

Eligibility for the vaccine as well as scheduling an appointment for a shot can be made through this link, where the state also provides demographic data on the percentage of people who have been jabbed as well as the state’s allocation at any given time. The Cuomo administration estimates that about 10 million New Yorkers are currently eligible as the vaccination effort enters its second month.

The federal government has increased the allocation to the state by 20 percent. State data shows that New York City has received 1.5 million doses and 1.2 million residents have received the first shot and the booster.

Businesses under COVID-19 restrictions such as restaurants, bars and gyms can also stay open an hour later than previously allowed under the state restrictions.

“Hospitalizations and the positivity rate continue to decline, and with the holiday surge now in our rear-view mirror, we must keep taking steps to further re-open the economy safely and responsibly,” Governor Cuomo said. “Accordingly, I have already signed an Executive Order to move the closing times for restaurants and bars to 11 p.m. statewide, and now we will do the same for gyms and fitness centers, casinos, billiards halls and any other location with an SLA license. As we move forward, we will continue to follow the science and data and take these kinds of steps to help us finally return to normal.” 

While the curfew was expanded for eateries on Friday, it now applies to gyms, other fitness centers, casinos, billiards halls, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment.

This story first appeared on amny.com.