I have received several inquiries these past few days as New York State followed the updated CDC guidelines and announced that anyone over the age of 65 is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (This was one day after announcing that those over 75 were eligible, and that the 65-74 age group was probably 3 months away.) The federal government is releasing millions of vaccine doses that were being held in reserve for second shots.
In another announcement, those under the age of 65 with compromised immune systems are now also eligible for the vaccine. Those individuals will be added once such underlying conditions are formally defined.
We are all excited to see the priority groups expand and, of course are wondering “when can I get my first shot?”
To confirm whether you are included in the initial eligibility groups, use the “Am I Eligible” website on the New York State Department of Health website (https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/) and find where you can get vaccinated in your area.
(Note: If you are not yet eligible, you cannot yet schedule your vaccine and this website will not tell you when you will be eligible. The system is not designed to keep your information. The Department of Health will not be contacting you based upon previously entered data. Patience and persistence is what is needed.)
These announcements of expanded eligibility have created an immediate surge of 5 million New Yorkers seeking the vaccine. With so many trying to make an appointment at the same time, plus the limited amount of vaccine available, needless to say there is a backlog. Some have been able to schedule an appointment 2-3 months out, while others have not been able to schedule an appointment at all.
To help meet the demand, additional mass vaccination centers are opening throughout New York State this week, including SUNY Albany. More sites are scheduled to open next week including Plattsburgh Airport.
As a final piece of information, when you actually receive the first shot of the vaccine, you will be given an appointment for the second shot. You will not have to go through the website again.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Get the Facts
More information on the Phased Distribution and the eligible priority groups can be found here:
The full guidelines can be found here: