WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - You’ve probably heard the term “comorbidities” getting tossed around in recent weeks, but what does that word mean?
Well, it’s just another way to say underlying health condition, and anyone who has one is able to get their Covid-19 vaccine.
What ailments count as an underlying condition? More than you may think.
Asthma, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are just a few examples.
Jefferson County Public Health Planner Faith Lustik says, “In Jefferson County, 66 percent of people are taking a medication for hypertension, high blood pressure. So if you’re taking a medication for it, guess what, you’ve got it! So those people are eligible as well.”
Public Health officials say you shouldn’t be shy about getting your vaccine if you have any of these comorbidities, because the sooner you get it, the faster you’re helping to stop the spread.
“Each week, we get more doses, and we’re going to be able to vaccinate new groups. So please, if you’re eligible to get your vaccine, get it,” Lustik says.
Officials say they’re running into the misconception that people need a doctor’s note confirming their condition before they can get their shot. They say that’s not necessary - you just need to sign a document saying you do have a comorbidity.
“We don’t wanna know which one you have, we just want you to sign it and say that you have one,” Lustik says.
For a full list of comorbidities eligible for the vaccine according to the state, see below:
• 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)
• 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