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COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanded to include more New Yorkers 

click to enlarge On Dec. 14, 2020, transportation worker Carlos Rosa was the first of 10 employees at the University of Rochester Medical Center to receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY URMC

On Dec. 14, 2020, transportation worker Carlos Rosa was the first of 10 employees at the University of Rochester Medical Center to receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo again expanded the vaccine eligibility requirements in New York to include anyone over the age of 65.

Cuomo said Tuesday that the state is following new federal guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I don't want New Yorkers to think that we are not doing everything we can to make them eligible for the vaccine, because I want to keep people in New York as calm as we can keep people in these anxious times,” Cuomo said. “And I don't want people to think that people in any other state are eligible when they're not.”

People who are age 75 and older, along with a much longer list of workers — including transit employees, grocery clerks, teachers, police officers, firefighters and others — became eligible to get the vaccine Monday.

Those with compromised immune systems will also now be eligible, but Cuomo said the state will need a little time to define exactly what that means, since the federal government does not specify what conditions are included.

Cuomo has warned that it will take six months to vaccinate 7 million New Yorkers, less than half of the state's 19 million residents, if the state keeps only receiving 300,000 vaccine doses a week.

Juan Vazquez is digital engagement director for WXXI News, CITY's media partner.
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