ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — New Yorkers with underlying conditions will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, February 15.

Appointments at state-run vaccine clinics can be scheduled beginning Sunday, February 14. For county vaccination clinics, it will be up to local governments to determine the details — the how, where, and when — of inoculating this group.

Proof will be required to receive the vaccine. Patients will need one of the following:

  • Doctor’s letter
  • Medical information that is evidence you have the condition
  • A signed certification when the vaccine is received that is determined by a local government

The New York State Department of Health will be hosting a call with county executives and local health departments to discuss strategies and compliance associated with vaccinating New Yorkers with underlying conditions and comorbidities. New York State will be auditing the certifications.

Excess vaccine supply that was going to hospital workers will now be used to open eligibility for those with underlying conditions.

Below is a list of conditions eligible for the shot. New York State says this list is subject to change as additional scientific evidence is published and as it obtains and analyzes state-specific data.

Adults who are 16 and older with the following conditions is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine due to an elevated risk of moderate to severe illness or death from the virus.

  • 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)
  • Pregnancy
  • 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

Joint Statement from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Public Health Commission Dr. Michael Mendoza:

“Last Friday, New York State announced that it was expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to individuals with comorbidities starting Monday, February 15, 2021. This expansion added many more residents to the eligibility list, and tasked local health departments with determining how, where and when to schedule appointments and to validate eligible individuals with comorbidities.

We are currently reviewing the full New York State guidance on the vaccination expansion and are working with health care partners on local implementation. As soon as we are notified as to Monroe County’s allocation of doses for people with comorbidities, we will be able to work with the systems to make appointments available.

We understand residents are anxious to be vaccinated, and rightfully so. However, eligibility does not equal availability right now as demand continues to greatly outweigh vaccine allocation in our region and across the state.

Statement from the Finger Lakes Regional Vaccine Hub

“The Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Hub has made the following statement regarding expanded eligibility announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday, February 5, 2021:

New York State expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to people with many chronic conditions beginning Feb. 15.

The Governor has asked local health departments to determine how, when and where to schedule appointments in their jurisdictions. Local health departments and counties are working with New York State to create and implement a process for vaccinating people with comorbidities. That process is not in place yet.                

Until that process is in place, please do not call your doctor’s office or your local health department. They will not be able to offer information about the vaccine process until they receive guidance from the state. Keep in mind vaccine supply and distribution change  frequently according to state guidelines.

Vaccine doses remain extremely limited in the nine-county Finger Lakes region. Health care systems are focusing on vaccinating health care workers, as directed by NYS. Please refrain from calling your doctor or your health department until more guidance comes from the state.

We know many are eager to be vaccinated, and we ask for patience.”