16+ means 1.7 million more New Yorkers eligible for COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday

Coronavirus

NEW YORK STATE (WTEN) — With vaccine eligibility expanding on Tuesday to New Yorkers ages 16 and up, 1.7 million more people in the state will become eligible.

Health officials say expanding eligibility to these ages is a big step in controlling the virus, particularly for those in their 20s who have been looked at as some of the most prolific spreaders of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.

“We know that they have a risk to spread to others that may be vulnerable,” said Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen. “We look to that population as an additional means of controlling spread.”

Some of this population will have additional factors to be aware of when making an appointment. The 16 and 17 year old age group must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when they go to get their shot. This age group is only allowed to get the Pfizer vaccine because it is the only vaccine currently authorized for people under 18.

With Tuesday’s expansion to 16 and older, New York State is a little less than a month early on President Biden’s directive to have total eligibility by May 1.

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