This story was reported by Robert Brodsky, Lisa L. Colangelo and David Reich-Hale. It was written by Colangelo.
As the state is poised to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 years of age and older, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday continued efforts to reach New Yorkers who are reluctant to get the shot.
"It is up to you to show up and roll up your sleeves and do your duty as a citizen of the state of New York," Cuomo said during a visit to Rochdale Village in Queens, where he announced a new vaccination pop-up site and unveiled an ad campaign touting the importance of getting inoculated. "We have an opportunity right now to crush COVID. We have it on the run."
The eligibility drops to age 16 and older on Tuesday. Starting at 8 a.m., this new cohort of New Yorkers can schedule vaccination appointments.
Previously, New Yorkers 30 years of age and older were eligible to receive the vaccine, along with health care workers, first responders, education professionals and others with jobs that require they interact with the public.
In this new phase, Stony Brook University said it will vaccinate 1,400 of its roughly 4,300 residential students with the first dose of the Moderna vaccine from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Spots for the one-day vaccination pod were first made available to students living on campus last Tuesday and were grabbed within 60 to 90 minutes, university officials said.
The university hopes to create more pods for students in the coming weeks, officials said.
Officials at Hofstra University said they received 2,000 vaccines for students through a partnership with Northwell Health. Students will receive their first dose this week.
"The question is whether 20- to 25-year-old people will make this their first priority," said Dr. Jason Golbin, senior vice president and chief quality officer at the Rockville Centre-based Catholic Health. "I hope it's important to them because it's not just about you. It's about older family members that may be more vulnerable and younger ones who aren't eligible yet."
Golbin said that the supply and demand imbalance could make it harder to get an appointment if there's an influx of younger vaccine seekers.
So far, about 6.6 million New Yorkers have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 4.1 million have completed their vaccinations, the state said. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses, and Johnson & Johnson is completed after one shot.
'Do not get cocky with COVID'
Cuomo's news conference with Queens politicians and labor leaders sought to highlight that even as communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by coronavirus-related illnesses and deaths, many have been hesitant to get the vaccine.
More than 76% of New Yorkers who have received at least one vaccine dose were white, while African Americans comprised only 10.2%, according to state data. Whites make up 70.4% of the state population 15 and older, while African Americans are 17.3%.
In recent weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases on Long Island has not dropped but instead reached a stubborn plateau.
Cuomo said the state's rate of positives over the recent seven-day span was 3.57%, with a daily level at 4.38% on Sunday. Long Island's rate was the third-highest of regions at 4.37% over a seven-day period, following Western New York and the Mid-Hudson.
The state recorded 6,583 new positives from 150,225 test results on Sunday, including 501 in Nassau County and 566 in Suffolk County.
Also on Easter Sunday, 57 people died across the state from COVID-19, and 4,400 remained hospitalized with the virus.
Health officials around the country have pleaded with people to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and take other precautions to limit the spread.
"Do not get cocky with COVID," Cuomo said on Monday. "There are variants. This virus changes on you, it mutates on you."
NYC shattered vaccination records
Meanwhile, New York City broke new single-day and weeklong vaccination records last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.
The city shattered its one-day record on Friday, issuing 100,669 doses while administering 542,520 doses in all of last week, the mayor said. To date, the city has administered 4.4 million doses, he said.
"This is amazing stuff," de Blasio said. He said the number of people getting vaccinated is "skyrocketing," with the supply growing rapidly.
The city is expecting a 77,000-dose increase in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week, de Blasio said.
Jay Varma, the mayor's senior public health adviser, said the city can make "tremendous progress over the next four to eight weeks," adding that at this week's pace "we are going to be at a level where the vast majority of New Yorkers have some form of protection."
GETTING COVID-19 VACCINES IN NY
- To complete a prescreening and find sites to schedule COVID-19 shots, people in the eligible lists can visit https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
- State residents may call the New York State Vaccination Hotline: 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829)
- Northwell Health is booking its COVID-19 vaccine appointments online at northwell.edu/covidvaccine
- Call or visit your local pharmacist to check for participation in the state's vaccination effort.
- The state's phase distribution guidelines can be found at: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine
Who qualifies for COVID-19 shots?
The State of New York has expended its eligibility list for vaccines against COVID-19 several times, expanding the groups of people included in the phases. This is a summary of the eligible groups. The following are the qualifying categories, as revised on March 29.
Group in Phase 1A
The state said about 2.1 million state residents belong in this group, including:
- Health care workers at hospitals who interact with patients.
- Residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- Dentists, psychologists and others deemed health care workers with direct contact with patients.
- Employees of Federally Qualified Health Centers.
- EMT volunteers and staff.
- Coroners, medical examiners, some funeral workers.
- Staff and residents of state facilities for people with developmental disabilities, mental health care and addiction services.
- Employees at urgent care centers.
- Individuals administering COVID-19 vaccines, including local health department staff.
- Staff at ambulatory centers.
- Home care and hospice workers.
- Residents and staff at other congregate care facilities.
Group in Phase 1B
The state estimated about 3.2 million residents belong in this group, including:
- People 75 years of age and older.
- Teachers and education workers, including in-person college instructors, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, support staff, contractors in schools and bus drivers.
- First responders, including police; firefighters; state police; sheriff’s offices; county, town and village police departments, and other law enforcement offices.
- Public safety workers, including dispatchers and technicians.
- Public transit workers, including airport, railroad, subway, bus, ferry and Port Authority employees.
- Corrections officers.
- Other sworn and civilian personnel, such as court and peace officers.
- Grocery store workers dealing with the public.
- Individuals living in homeless shelters.
Following federal recommendations:
- Since Feb. 15, people at risk of moderate to severe illness due to health conditions, immunocompromised status or comorbidities, including ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and chronic kidney disease. The full list of qualifying conditions is listed with the announcement on the state's website.
Added at the discretion of local governments:
- Taxi drivers.
- Restaurant workers.
- Residents of facilities for developmentally disabled people.
- Hotel workers who interact with the public.
Other expansions of eligibility:
- State residents age 60 and older (Since March 10, 2021).
- “Public-facing” government and public employees (Since March 17, 2021).
- Workers for not-for-profit organizations who provide “public-facing” services (Since March 17, 2021).
- Building service workers who are “public-facing” employees (Since March 17, 2021).
- State residents age 50 and older (Since March 23, 2021).
Since March 30, 2021:
- State residents age 30 and older.
Since April 6, 2021:
- State residents age 16 and older.
SOURCE: New York State, Northwell Health.
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