Coronavirus

What to know about preexisting conditions and vaccines

New York has opened up eligibility to another group of people.

New Yorkers getting vaccinated at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.

New Yorkers getting vaccinated at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

It seems like every day, a new group of New Yorkers becomes eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, even as appointments remain hard to book as demand far outpaces supply. Despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s warnings about opening vaccine eligibility up to more people –“It’s a cheap, insincere discussion,” he chastised when asked about expanding the pool to restaurant workers – he has continued to do it. When the federal government said it was sending slightly more doses to New York, Cuomo said restaurant workers and taxi drivers could get the jab (just a day after making the previous comment). 

The most recent group of people to become eligible are those 16 and older with certain underlying conditions and comorbidities. This time, the governor said the state will reallocate vaccines that hospitals did not use on staff and make those available to this new pool of people. All told, the new addition will make about 10 million New York residents eligible for the vaccine – two-thirds of the state’s total age-appropriate population (neither vaccine is approved for children and teens under 16). If you fall into this new category, here’s what you need to know about how to get inoculated.

What conditions make you eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The list is fairly expansive, but subject to change, so if you have a condition that is not currently listed, keep an eye out for new inclusions. Currently, it includes:

Cancer (current or in remission) 

Chronic kidney disease

Pulmonary disease, like COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or cystic fibrosis (this does not include smokers who have not developed a lung disease)

Intellectual and developmental disorders

Heart conditions, like high blood pressure, heart failure or cardiomyopathies

Immunocompromised state, including those on immune-weakening medications

Obesity or severe obesity 

Sickle cell anemia or thalassemia

Type 1 or 2 diabetes

Cerebrovascular disease

Neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s 

Liver disease

When will doses become available?

People with underlying conditions can start getting shots on Feb. 15, with appointments on the state-run site opening up on Feb. 14. Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, said that slots should become available just after midnight, but warned that the state scheduling website may get overwhelmed by the flood of new people seeking vaccine appointments. “There will be a crush,” DeRosa said. “This will not be perfect.” DeRosa said that those seeking to make appointments can also go through their local health departments, to which the hospital vaccines were reallocated.

Where can I get the vaccine?

Starting on Feb. 15, you can get the shot at any state-run site. Those include the Javits Center in Manhattan, Jones Beach on Long Island and SUNY Albany. However, Cuomo left it up to the counties and New York City to determine how and when to open up availability at their locally run sites, so that answer may vary. For example, when Cuomo gave similar flexibility to counties when it came to opening up vaccine eligibility to restaurant workers and taxi drivers, several counties chose not to make those available due to supply limitations. At the very least, no locality can open up scheduling earlier than Feb. 14, because local health departments won’t know before then just how many vaccines they’ll get. In New York City, officials said sites run by the city will begin making appointments available on Feb. 15, the same as for the state. It remains unclear if private hospitals and hospital-run sites will offer the vaccine to people with preexisting conditions, or if that’s another decision that local officials will make, although the governor seemed to indicate they would fall under the purview of local officials.

Do I need to prove that I have one of those conditions?

Some sort of verification is needed, although like the decision about when to make doses available at locally-run vaccine sites, local officials will make the final decision about what verification is required. For state-run sites, you must provide a doctor’s note, some form of medical documentation or a signed certificate attesting that you have a qualifying condition. Whether the certificate is something that is printed at home and brought with you, or something that is provided at the vaccination site, remains unknown. Localities can choose any or all of those verification methods, which the state will then audit. Right now, New York City will permit any of the options available when it opens up vaccine appointments next week to ensure they have options.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.