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Cuomo: Mass vaccination sites to increase capacity for individuals with comorbidities & underlying conditions, who can begin to schedule appointments

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Sat, Feb 13th 2021 11:55 pm

Appointments coming online Sunday and throughout following weeks at state mass vaccination sites

Vaccine dashboard will update daily to provide updates on vaccine program; go to ny.gov/vaccinetracker; dashboard now includes demographic data

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday updated New Yorkers on the state's vaccination program and announced individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions can use the “Am I Eligible” website starting Sunday morning.

As of 11 a.m., New York's health care distribution sites have received 2,129,135 first doses and already administered 90% (1,923,259) first-dose vaccinations and 83% of first and second doses. The week 9 allocation from the federal government continues being delivered to providers for administration.

"Our vaccine supply is going up, the positivity rate is going down, and we're getting one step closer to winning the war against COVID each day," Cuomo said. "The numbers show that we're moving in the right direction, and to maintain this trajectory we must win the footrace between vaccinating New Yorkers as quickly and fairly as possible and keeping the infection rate down. We have the infrastructure in place to get shots in arms as quickly as possible – we just need the supply to do it – and with a new leader in Washington we're finally beginning to get more supply, allowing us to open vaccination appointments up to New Yorkers with comorbidities starting next week. We can almost see the light at the end of this dark tunnel, and it is critical that all New Yorkers continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and act responsibly so that we can defeat this beast once and for all."

The “Am I Eligible” screening tool will be updated for individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions at 8 a.m. Sunday, with new appointments released on a rolling basis over the next weeks. Starting next week, local health departments will also receive vaccine allocations for these individuals. People can use the following to show they are eligible:

√ Doctor's letter, or

√ Medical information evidencing comorbidity, or

√ Signed certification

Approximately 7 million New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine. The federal government has increased the weekly supply by more than 20% over the next three weeks, but New York's vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.

Vaccination program numbers below are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state's vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government's long-term-care facility program.

New Yorkers may also call their local health department, pharmacy, doctor or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments where vaccines are available.

The COVID-19 vaccine tracker dashboard is available to update New Yorkers on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The New York State Department of Health requires vaccinating facilities to report all COVID-19 vaccine administration data within 24 hours; the vaccine administration data on the dashboard is updated daily to reflect the most up-to-date metrics in the state's vaccination effort.

New Yorkers who suspect fraud in the vaccine distribution process can now call 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) toll-free or email the state Department of Health at [email protected]. Hotline staff will route complaints to the appropriate investigative agencies to ensure New Yorkers are not being taken advantage of as the state works to vaccinate the entire eligible population.

Cuomo also announced New York's seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 3.90%, the lowest since Nov. 29. The seven-day average positivity rate is down 51% from the post-holiday peak in early January and it has declined for 36 consecutive days. Hospitalizations dropped to 6,888, the lowest number since Christmas Day. Hospitalizations are down by 916 this week, a 26% decline from the post-holiday peak. The statewide positivity rate dropped to 3.46%, the lowest since Nov. 25. New York City's seven-day average positivity rate dropped to 4.63%, the lowest since Christmas Day and a decrease of 28% from the post-holiday peak.

Eleven additional cases of the U.K. variant were identified in New York. Eight were in New York City, two were in Suffolk County and one was in Rockland County, that county's first case. To date, there are 70 known cases of the variant in New York City and in the following counties: Saratoga, Warren, Onondaga, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Ulster, Essex, Jefferson, Tompkins, Allegany and Niagara.

"Hospitalization and infection rates are continuing to fall statewide and New Yorkers should be commended for all their hard work and sacrifice which helped make this a reality," Cuomo said. "If we are to win this war against COVID once and for all, we must keep driving down these rates, as well as to get as many shots into arms as possible. New York has the determination, toughness and vaccination infrastructure to make all of this happen, but our success will ultimately be determined by our willingness to keep making the right decisions and I have every confidence that New Yorkers will continue to do just that."

Western New York’s positivity rate was 3.50%.

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