NEW YORK — New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying health conditions can now head to pharmacies for COVID-19 vaccinations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.
Before the change, pharmacies were able to give doses to New Yorkers over the age of 60 and teachers. Newly eligible residents can bring a doctor’s letter, signed certification or medical information evidencing comorbidity to a pharmacy to prove their eligibility for the vaccine.
“New Yorkers with comorbidities are among our state’s most at-risk residents, and access to the COVID-19 vaccine protects this vulnerable population as we work to defeat the virus and establish the new normal,” Cuomo said. “As New York receives more doses and more people receive the vaccine, we’re able to expand the population pharmacies can serve, and this is a commonsense step forward that will help make it easier to protect New Yorkers.”
People with comorbidities are more at risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19. Comorbidities include:
- 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