New Yorkers must validate underlying health conditions before getting vaccinated

People with underlying health problems that can worsen the impact of COVID-19 can start getting vaccinated Feb. 15, but how do they prove they have a qualifying condition?

Posted: Feb 8, 2021 12:31 PM
Updated: Feb 10, 2021 3:35 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (UPDATED) – People with underlying health problems that can worsen the impact of COVID-19 can start getting vaccinated Feb. 15, but how do they prove they have a qualifying condition?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday New Yorkers can present a doctor’s note, medical information or documentation showing evidence of their condition, or sign a certification stating they have a certain disease or health issue.

Local governments will define the exact criteria needed for proving an underlying health condition, and the state will audit the information using federal data from a system called Tiberius.

On Friday, the state said people with the following health conditions will qualify 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 [BMI] 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)
  • Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer's Disease or dementia
  • Liver disease

New Yorkers with any of these health conditions can schedule appointments state-run mass vaccination sites, like SUNY Polytechnic Institute, starting Feb. 14. Cuomo says the counties will have to release information on when and how these populations can get vaccinated at local sites.

However, there are still a number of questions local county governments want to be answered specifically regarding the documentation required.

"The list out there for what the governor is requiring for comorbidities so that's already been established. But what type of documentation will be requested. We will just tighten that up a little today hopefully, said Oneida County Public Health Director Dan Gilmore.

Cuomo said the leftover vaccines from hospitals will be set aside for those with pre-existing conditions. Gilmore said both the county and MVHS have used all of their vaccines and there are no leftovers to give. He said the only way to better accommodate those people is to get more of the vaccine.

"When it comes to leftover vaccines, right now, the Oneida County Health Department has used all that we have received. The supply of vaccine that we are being allocated this week will be exhausted by next week, I can say that fairly confidently. We will have another allocation for next week and hopefully, that will be increased -- I hope significantly. I realize that might not be possible, but if it is then we will be able to better accommodate people with comorbidities," said Gilmore.

Health workers have the rest of this week to get vaccinated before the excess doses designated for health care workers will go to people with underlying health conditions.

For information on how to schedule a vaccine appointment, click here.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2112129

Reported Deaths: 53614
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28090510462
Queens2775889966
Suffolk2012193401
Nassau1837873178
Bronx1837526584
New York1384504508
Westchester1297372291
Erie896141809
Richmond751121842
Monroe690691113
Orange48354843
Rockland46969963
Onondaga38980678
Dutchess29488445
Albany24718357
Oneida22641516
Niagara20048374
Broome18637366
Saratoga15393168
Ulster13916257
Schenectady13209205
Rensselaer11239143
Putnam1062293
Chautauqua8959145
Chemung7776136
Oswego762792
Ontario740893
Steuben6960145
Sullivan668376
St. Lawrence664997
Cayuga633892
Jefferson615668
Wayne578671
Cattaraugus572391
Genesee5438124
Herkimer5196109
Clinton483933
Madison456589
Livingston452460
Fulton442492
Tompkins435152
Montgomery4254127
Columbia4068104
Cortland392963
Tioga383663
Warren366757
Wyoming358453
Allegany355987
Chenango350476
Otsego346447
Greene340579
Washington316455
Orleans312183
Lewis281136
Franklin256312
Delaware238638
Seneca201156
Schoharie169417
Essex159326
Yates117926
Schuyler108014
Hamilton3132
Unassigned9516
Out of NY0250
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