Vaccine Update: People 65+ Now Eligible for COVID Vaccine, as Cuomo Adheres to New CDC Guidelines

By Carol Tannenhauser

People age 65 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday.

This is a head-spinning move coming so quickly after the Governor opened up eligibility for people 75+ on Monday.

It follows new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “We are going to accept the federal guidance,” Cuomo said, according to CNBC. “I don’t want New Yorkers to think that we are not doing everything we can to make them eligible for the vaccine, because I want to keep people in New York as calm as we can keep people in these anxious times….” But he also cautioned that Federal distribution levels of the vaccine are not currently meeting the state’s needs.

This may change. The federal government announced that it “will also no longer hold back vaccine doses to ensure that those who receive a first dose will have a second dose in reserve,” wrote The New York Times. “Instead, all existing doses will be sent to states to provide initial inoculations. Second doses are to be provided by new waves of manufacturing…That change comes just days after aides to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said his administration would make a similar adjustment by using more of the already procured vaccines for initial doses.”

Younger people who are immunocompromised may also be eligible for the vaccine, CNBC said. The state provided this link to see if you are eligible, find a location, and make an appointment.

This is a breaking story. We will update as more is known.

NEWS | 33 comments | permalink
    1. Leon says:

      We are going from one extreme to the other. It is a no win situation.

      Given the expected shortage, I really hope that those who absolutely must go to work such as police, fire and teachers get the vaccine. I know that quarantining is very hard but the rest of us, regardless of age, can wait a little longer – we are almost there. Those who are eligible but can wait should let others go first.

      • LK says:

        Not how it works. If everyone follows you and sits back, you’ll end up with vaccine going to waste or simply not reaching the intended target. People must not jump the line, but those who are eligible should absolutely get it! It benefits others more than it benefits you ( since one sick person can spread disease to many ). That’s how public health works… I remember when in early march on this blog I was saying that people need to wear masks and certain folks were saying – no it’s only for those who are sick…

        • Jay says:

          Vaccines aren’t going to waste.

          If you put too many people in the highest priority groups, no one is high priority.

          • Leon says:

            Exactly. As I noted, we went from one extreme to the other. Before we had plenty of vaccine but not enough eligible people. Now we have lots of eligible people and not enough vaccine. This is the preferable alternative but it is a huge swing so there suddenly are a lot of people eligible and not nearly enough vaccine. Which is why just because you are suddenly eligible doesn’t mean you should race to the front of the line. At the same time, if you check and there is an open slot tomorrow, go for it – agreed that we don’t want to waste anything.

            • Sarah says:

              It’s not clear to me that we are having a shortage yet. Every day a vaccine isn’t used for someone in a high-risk group (and these are all high-risk groups, for dying of it or for spreading it widely) may result in deaths. Under those circumstances, better to err on the side of over- rather than underinclusivity.

          • Rick says:

            There have multiple incidents of vaccine going to waste because there weren’t enough eligible recipients at a given place and time and the vaccination team wouldn’t give the doses to people down the priority list. It happens.

            • Jay says:

              Those incidents wasted very, very few vaccines. If you are worried about the waste of .00000001% then you are lucky.

    2. Rose VanDenburgh says:

      The site to sign up on has not been updated

    3. Chris says:

      Problem is lots of front line workers do not want Vaccine.

      • Dr says:

        Exactly. 50% of a major NYC med center non-MDs are refusing vaccination

      • LK says:

        Bingo. A lot of people take a wait-and-see approach, that is why those who are eligible and want to get vaccinated – should do it.

    4. Rick says:

      Couldn’t get an appointment for a vaccination on the NYC site (for a 65-and-older). It goes out as far as 6/1/21, but no dice. But on the NY State site, I got one for February at the Javits. Why the City and State can’t get together on stuff like this I will never understand.

    5. Amy Cook says:

      Smooth process getting an appointment today.

      • lynn says:

        Interesting. I’ve been trying for 2 days, Mt. Sinai and the city site. I don’t understand why so many people are having trouble scheduling an appt yet others are finding it a simple process. May I ask if you found something for this month or if you’re getting the July calendar?

        I just rec’d another notification (3rd one today) from the city stating that grocery store workers and congregate shelter residents and employees can be vaccinated. I hope someone is organizing that for them and assisting them in completing the process.

    6. Lisa says:

      Can someone who knows please explain how healthcare workers can refuse to be vaccinated? They’re putting the public at risk! How is this not a condition of their employment? When I took classes at FIT I had to show proof of various vaccinations. I am stupefied.

    7. Meridian says:

      Accepting the Trump administration science guidance by Gov Cuomo took a lot of courage.

    8. Chris says:

      My Sinai has many locations and openings. https://www.mountsinai.org/about/covid19/vaccine-information/schedule
      Fill out the form, choose your location (availability may vary) also choose the date for your second shot 3 weeks later. There is a place to indicate first and second shot at top of the screen. They say you should register for both and they must be in the same location. I made an error and had to reschedule. When I went back to the site, I was able to get a slot tomorrow. and another in 3 weeks.
      The reservation is though zoomdoc. It seems very organized and simple.

      • PK 74 says:

        This afternoon, I got a 2/22 appointment at Mount Sinai West for my first shot but there was nothing on the schedule for the second one 21 to 28 days later. Still isn’t tonight. And their form says it’s ESSENTIAL that I make my second appointment immediately.

        • Dan says:

          My understanding is that you get a card with proof of your first vaccine which will then get you priority on the second dose.

    9. BB says:

      Glad others had success. 311 useless (2:38 on hold) Pharmacies unprepared, not answering. ZocDoc appt cancelled after the fact. Just a mess. Good luck to all, happy for any suggestions.

    10. Frances Kelley says:

      Everywhere I try to make an appointment on line at 68 years old it states I have to bring proof of priority JOB….
      OR I won’t receive the shot…
      Example: Jones beach..

    11. James Russo says:

      I’m 66 years & I’m a NYCT worker and I can’t make an appointment for the vaccine This is being handled poorly

    12. Janice says:

      So this is great except for the fact we may run out of vaccines before giving the second dose rendering all the vaccines worthless ? That’s the plan? Releasing all the vaccines before there is enough to supply second and essential dosing? Can someone explain this to me?

    13. Cindy Corcoran says:

      Forget the link above with the locations listed to have the vaccine… THEY DON’T !!! Go to hospital sites. They have dates on the Mount Sinai site at the Fifth Avenue & 103rd location which I booked, but could not get the 2nd date 21-28 days later since the dates don’t seem to be loaded after March 12th yet. Will have to keep checking. You must book the same facility for the 2nd dose.

    14. Stephanie says:

      Why are vaccines being distributed at local family owned pharmacies? Shouldn’t they be given at large halls where there’s open space and good ventilation like school gymnasiums or even the Javitz Center with the help of the National Guard?

    15. susanS says:

      I tried to make an appt through Mt Sinai online, which referred me to Zocdoc, and I thought I’d secured a time in Feb, but I never rec’d a pending confirmation. Tried calling, but Zocdoc system overwhelmed. Feels like we’re living in a chaotic, 3rd-world country.

      • LK says:

        if you have a pending appt in zocdoc, which is not confirmed – see if you can change to another time that works for you ( by modifying it through zocdoc ). This happened to me and changing to an earlier time worked.

    16. Michele says:

      Hi everyone, just wanted to post a heads-up re: the current vax situation at Mt. Sinai.

      I went onto their site to look for an appointment and the homepage banner had a note about COVID vaccine cancelations. It looks like there are a number of appointments being canceled for lack of supply.

      The site says, “Per New York State guidance, we are continuing to vaccinate our eligible employees and our voluntary faculty and staff, and we will continue to honor appointments for second doses of vaccine.”

      And this is from a WPIX story: In a statement to PIX11, Mount Sinai said, “Unfortunately, due to sudden changes in vaccine supply, we have been forced to cancel our existing public vaccination appointments from Friday, Jan. 15, through Tuesday, Jan. 19.

      “For anyone with appointments scheduled after Tuesday, we will provide updates as soon as we know more,” the statement said.

      Hopefully they will figure it out but just didn’t want anyone to be caught off-guard!

    17. Maureen Ehlberg says:

      I am 75 years old, can I get the shot?