People with underlying conditions eligible for vaccine soon, but officials ask for patience

People with underlying conditions eligible for vaccine soon, but officials ask for patience
Gov. Andrew Cuomo explains the rules for people with underlying health conditions to be eligible for a COVID-19 shot. (Source: WWNY)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - When COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens up for 3 million more New Yorkers this weekend, it’s going to be a repeat of other times more people became eligible.

As of Sunday, people with underlying health conditions – what doctors call comorbidities – will be able to sign up to get the vaccine.

If they can get an appointment.

“Everybody should go into this with their eye wide open,” secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa said. “It’s going to be frustrating. It is going to be a crush.”

“You have 10 million people chasing 300,000 vaccines,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, which is the number of doses the state gets each week. “That’s the reality. That’s not going to change for months.”

Seven million people are already eligible – health care workers, nursing home workers, nursing home residents, essential workers, and people 65 years and older.

About 25 percent of hospital workers have declined the vaccine, the governor said, so that excess is going to be allocated to people with comorbidities.

Those people can sign up through the state’s website or with their local health departments, which will decide for themselves how they’re distributing the doses.

But without additional supplies, the governor said, “people’s patience will get frayed more and more, because this is going on for months.”

People will need proof of their illness or condition.

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