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Erie County DOH outlines plan to vaccinate residents with certain medical conditions

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Sat, Feb 13th 2021 11:55 pm

NYS defines comorbidities that qualify New Yorkers to receive COVID-19 vaccine

ECDOH will prioritize at-risk patients and distribute next week's allotment for eligible individuals with comorbidities to hospitals

New York state has announced that, beginning Monday, Feb. 15, residents with certain comorbidities and underlying medical condition will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The state will provide the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) with a limited weekly allocation of COVID-19 vaccine to administer to county residents who qualify for a coronavirus vaccine based on having a qualifying medical condition.

A press release noted, “After consulting with local infectious disease and medical experts, ECDOH decided to distribute next week’s NYS-directed vaccine allocation to hospitals for people with comorbid conditions. As of this media release, ECDOH has not been notified of the vaccine allotment for this population for the week of Feb. 14. Hospitals will evaluate inpatients during their hospital stay and vaccinate those who are most at-risk due to one or more comorbidities. Hospitals will also identify outpatients with significant comorbidities, such as those accessing specialty clinics, and offer them COVID-19 vaccine.”

Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said, “By providing vaccine to Erie County’s hospitals, we are setting up a system where physicians with a deeper knowledge of their patients’ medical histories determine who is most at risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 infection and in critical need of this limited resource. This population includes people who are most at-risk for more serious COVID-19 complications.”

ECDOH points of distribution are currently providing first doses to individuals whose appointments in January were canceled due to lack of supply, and to individuals residing or working at The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities/ Developmental Disabilities Service Organization facilities. Once those previously canceled appointments are rescheduled, ECDOH will announce new first-dose appointment availability. This process will take at least until March.

ECDOH is following state direction on administering COVID-19 vaccine. New ECDOH POD appointments will be offered to worker groups listed within phase 1B. As vaccine supply expands, ECDOH may also open appointments to individuals with comorbidities. ECDOH is developing a self-attestation form that Erie County residents can use to demonstrate they qualify due to an underlying medical condition. A physician’s note that documents a medical condition will also be accepted.

More resources:

Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 website (http://www.erie.gov/covid19) and information line: (716-858-2929); foreign language interpretation available

New York State Department of Health vaccination hotline: (833-697-4829/833-NYS-4VAX), vaccine tracker (https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine-tracker) and phased distribution – including comorbidities list (https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine#phase-1a)

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