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Gov. Andrew Cuomo Announced that Coronavirus Vaccine Will Open To New Yorkers With Underlying Conditions


Gov. Andrew Cuomo (NY Governor’s Office)


NEW YORK, NY — Vast swaths of New Yorkers with underlying health conditions that place them at heightened risk from COVID-19 soon will be able to get vaccinated, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.


Cuomo announced people with comorbidities can get coronavirus vaccine doses starting Feb. 15. He said the state is crafting a final list of eligible New Yorkers with CDC guidance.


The CDC’s list of underlying health conditions that increase risk during COVID-19 infections includes cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.


“If you take the CDC list, you have the basic list,” Cuomo said.


Cuomo’s declaration Friday represents a shift away from his hospitals-first approach toward distributing coronavirus vaccine doses. He has argued that vaccinating health care workers would avoid overwhelming hospitals and keep them staffed during potential future outbreaks of COVID-19.

Hospitals across the state have vaccinated 75 percent of their staff, Cuomo said, although he noted some hospitals — including some run by New York City’s government — have only hit 40 percent.

“These are your hospitals,” he said. “Please get the performance up.”


Cuomo gave hospitals another week to shore up their numbers before allocations of vaccine doses shift toward local health departments.


Health departments will handle vaccine distributions to New Yorkers with comorbidities, Cuomo said.


People with comorbidities accounted for 94 percent of COVID-19 deaths, Cuomo said.

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