COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to Expand to Individuals with Underlying Health Conditions

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New York residents living with underlying health conditions ranging from cancer to diabetes will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Feb. 15.

For the second time this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expanded the list of individuals allowed to become immunized, despite continuously noting for weeks how the current slate over seven million eligible New Yorkers heavily outweighs the vaccine supply the state receives from the federal government.

“We’re committed to vaccinating vulnerable populations that have suffered the most as we distribute a strictly limited supply of vaccines, and people with comorbidities are 94 percent of the state’s COVID deaths,” Cuomo said on Friday. “That’s why we’ll open eligibility to people with comorbidities starting February 15 and give hospitals the ability to use extra doses they have to address that population.”

With Friday’s announcement, he warned local governments to prepare to serve the new wave of eligible recipients, which makes up a reported four million people.

But local governments, such as Westchester County, are already scrambling to ensure those in Phases 1A and 1B are inoculated with appointments booked for weeks and months at county facilities, along with the occupations that were added to the 1B prioritization list by Cuomo earlier this week.

After announcing the state would see a 20 percent bump in its supply allocation on Tuesday, Cuomo granted local governments the power to authorize restaurant workers, taxi drivers and developmentally disabled facilities to receive the vaccine.

The 1B group currently consists of police, firefighters, public safety workers, educators, transit personnel and people 65 and up. Health care workers, who have been eligible since the vaccine rolled out in December, are categorized as Phase 1A.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said this week that officials are working to survey just how many people in each eligible occupational group want to be immunized to organize a system that gets them vaccinated more efficiently when the supply is available. The more doses of the vaccine the county has, the more cohorts of people can receive it, he said.

Latimer also announced on Thursday that Westchester Community College in Valhalla would soon serve as the area’s second mass vaccine distribution site. The County Center in White Plains opened as the first state-run location on Jan. 13, with the facility immunizing about 1,000 people daily.

Latimer said the extra space is necessary with individuals now due for their second dose of the vaccine, on top of those receiving their first dose.  

“We need some additional space in order to help people,” Latimer said. “We are now facing giving out second shots to those people who three or four weeks ago received their first shot and so now we have to have additional space.”

The county has been distributing the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, which is a two-dose shot that needs to be administered 28 days apart.

It was not specified when the vaccination site at Westchester Community College will be up and running. The expectation is the clinic will operate six-days-a-week, with the setup inside one of the education buildings.

Individuals of any age with underlying conditions listed below will become eligible to register for a vaccination appointment starting Feb. 15:

  • 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 of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Neurological conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia
  • Liver disease

Click HERE to see if you’re eligible to make an appointment. 

The Latest COVID-19 Data in Westchester County, Putnam County & New York on Feb. 6

COVID-19 Hospitalizations 2/4/21Coronavirus cases in Westchester County increased by 476 on Friday, bringing the total number of positive cases to 96,465 since the start of the pandemic. 

There are now 8,895 active cases, a decrease of 448 over the previous day, state data shows. 

The county’s daily positivity rate is 4.48 percent with 10,614 tests administered Wednesday. Overall, over 1.82 million COVID-19 tests have been dispensed in Westchester since March.

The county reported four more deaths on Friday, bringing the COVID-19-related death toll to 1,952, according to the state tracker. There have been 58 virus deaths this week, with 277 fatalities since Jan. 1.

As of Tuesday, there are 521 virus patients in Westchester hospitals.

Putnam County’s total caseload reached 7,500, with 44 additional positive cases recorded on Friday, state data shows. The county’s daily positivity rate is 4.54 percent, with 969 tests administered on Wednesday.

Putnam currently has 752 active cases, a decrease of 34 over the previous day. 

There have been 82 coronavirus-related deaths since March, state data shows. One person has died from the virus this week, with 15 overall fatalities since the start of 2021. 

No new deaths were reported on Friday.  

Statewide there were 8,777 new positive cases on Friday, with the daily positivity rate clocking in at 4.31 percent, state data shows.

There were 153 additional COVID-19-related fatalities, bringing the death toll to 35,920.

Statewide hospitalizations stand at 7,937, an decrease of 30 over the previous day. Across New York there have been 1,449,495 positive coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

Vaccine Update 

As of Friday, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 1,661,290 first doses and administered 93 percent of those or 1,539,355. Eighty percent of first and second doses have been administered.

The county government has directly administered 29,852 vaccines to eligible residents, Latimer said, with 24,798 individuals inoculated since the County Center became a distribution site on Jan. 13. The county health department has immunized 5,054 people, he said.

Westchester Active Coronavirus Cases by Municipality 

Here are the active cases by municipality in Westchester as of Friday. With a lag between the total number of cases confirmed by the state and the tally of cases by town, the total number of municipal cases might be slightly different than what the county’s active cases reflects.

  • Ardsley – 32
  • Bedford – 130
  • Briarcliff Manor – 33
  • Bronxville – 42
  • Buchanan – 15
  • Cortlandt – 247
  • Croton-on-Hudson – 40
  • Dobbs Ferry – 88
  • Eastchester – 171
  • Elmsford – 48
  • Greenburgh – 319
  • Harrison – 168
  • Hastings-on-Hudson – 62
  • Irvington – 37
  • Larchmont – 46
  • Lewisboro – 53
  • Mamaroneck Town – 64
  • Mamaroneck Village – 146
  • Mount Kisco – 85
  • Mount Pleasant – 206
  • Mount Vernon – 714
  • New Castle – 55
  • New Rochelle – 810
  • North Castle – 101
  • North Salem – 24
  • Ossining Town – 50
  • Ossining Village – 278
  • Peekskill – 242
  • Pelham – 44
  • Pelham Manor – 38
  • Pleasantville – 60
  • Port Chester – 269
  • Pound Ridge – 19
  • Rye Brook – 58
  • Rye City – 86
  • Scarsdale – 74
  • Sleepy Hollow – 157
  • Somers – 157
  • Tarrytown – 115
  • Tuckahoe – 63
  • White Plains – 524
  • Yonkers – 2,312
  • Yorktown – 331

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