Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the latest prioritization for New Yorkers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning January 4, eligibility is being expanded to include all outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers who provide direct in-person patient care, as well as all public health care workers who provide direct in-person care, including those who conduct COVID-19 tests and handle lab specimens. Beginning this week, eligibility will also be expanded to include home care workers, hospice workers, and nursing home and other congregate setting workers who have yet to receive a vaccine through the federal nursing home vaccination program.
“While we’re trying to control COVID with one hand, we’re trying to defeat it with the other and the vaccine is the weapon that will win this war,” Governor Cuomo said. “Getting this vaccine out is going to be the single greatest operation government has ever had to accomplish and we’re taking bold actions to ensure it is delivered swiftly and equitably for all New Yorkers. Not only are all health care workers – the heroes who have taken care of us throughout this entire pandemic – now eligible to receive their first dose, but we are taking steps to ensure providers expedite vaccinations, resources are in place to vaccinate the general public, and bad actors looking to game the system are held accountable.”
Continued Expansion of Eligibility
Under the Department of Health’s most recent eligibility guidance, beginning January 4, all Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff in a position in which they have direct contact with patients will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Individuals who work in private medical practices
- Hospital-affiliated medical practices; public health clinics
- Specialty medical practices of all types
- Dental practices of all types
- Dialysis workers
- Diagnostic and treatment centers
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Speech therapists
- Behavioral health workers
- Student health workers
- Additionally, all front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including individuals who administer COVID-19 tests, handle COVID-19 lab specimens, and those directly engaged in COVID-19 vaccinations are also eligible to receive the vaccine.
Eligibility also expands this week to include home care workers, those in the consumer directed programs, hospice workers, and staff of nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities and other congregate settings who did not receive the COVID-19 vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.