COVID vaccine available Feb. 15 for people with comorbidities, underlying conditions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his 2021 State of the State Address in the War Room at the state Capitol on Monday, Jan. 11. (Darren McGee- Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Friday, Feb. 5 released the list of comorbidities and underlying conditions that New York state will use to determine eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. New Yorkers who have one of the comorbidities on the list will be eligible for the vaccine beginning Feb. 15.

“New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions exist throughout the state’s population — they’re our teachers, lawyers and carpenters, in addition to the doctors who keep us safe every day, and they are a highly affected population,” Cuomo said in a press release. “We’re committed to vaccinating vulnerable populations that have suffered the most as we distribute a strictly limited supply of vaccines.

People with comorbidities represent 94% of the state’s COVID deaths, according to the governor.

“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,” Cuomo said. “Local governments have a week to prepare for the new change — they need to get ready now.”

Below is the full list of comorbidities and underlying conditions. It is subject to change as additional scientific evidence is published and as New York State obtains and analyzes additional state-specific data.

Adults of any age with the following conditions due to increased risk of moderate or severe illness or death from the virus that causes COVID-19:

– 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 (body mass index higher than 40 kg/m2), Obesity (BMI between 30 and 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

Using the Am I Eligible app is the quickest way to see if someone is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and make an appointment: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.

People can also call the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). Once an appointment is successfully scheduled, people will receive a confirmation email that contains a barcode. They will need to bring this to the appointment.

Once an appointment is confirmed, people must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form. This form should be filled out online and people will receive a submission ID indicating completion. People will need to bring the submission ID to the appointment. If people cannot submit the form online, it will be available at the vaccination sites.

People must bring proof of eligibility to the appointment. Depending on the eligibility category, proof can include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, a pay stub, a driver’s license, passport, or any legal proof of your date of birth and residency. At the time of the appointment, people will be asked a series of clinical questions to ensure readiness for a vaccine. People will be asked for insurance information, but the vaccine is free and there will never be a charge. This information is for administrative use only.

The second dose appointment will be scheduled automatically when people receive their first vaccine dose. The second appointment will be scheduled for the same time and at the same location, three weeks following the first dose. They will receive a card onsite with the date and time indicated, and a confirmation email will follow a few days later. When scheduling the first appointment, people should keep in mind that their second appointment will occur at the same time of day.