How To Get A Vaccine Under New York’s New Eligibility Rules

On February 15, New York expanded eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccine to all adults age 16 and older with underlying medical conditions — the most far-reaching expansion of the vaccine since distribution kicked off in mid-December. The list of comorbidities, which ranges from cancer to moderate-to-severe asthma to pregnancy, can be found on ny.gov. If you qualify under this new phase, here’s how to get your shot.

First, you’ll need to prove eligibility. If you have a primary care physician, contact them for a doctor’s note. You can also provide documentation of medical records. If you don’t have access to a doctor, you can qualify by “self-attestation,” which requires a signed certification. 

Appointments are now open for eligible New Yorkers, but getting a slot has been tricky so far. New Yorkers can sign up at the state website, although many have encountered glitches and scheduling issues. NYC-run sites are currently only open for appointments Thursdays through Sundays due to supply shortages; New Yorkers can schedule online when slots become available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Due to high demand, pharmacies are currently restricted to vaccinating New Yorkers age 65 and older. 

If you’re not sure if you’re eligible under this new phase, the best thing to do is consult with your medical provider. Although the process has been frustrating so far, having been beset with supply shortages and scheduling snafus, New Yorkers have reason to be optimistic. Around 10% of the population in New York State has received their first dose, and with this expanded rollout, millions more New Yorkers are now on their way. 

photo: iStock

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