Kathy Hochul

These 4 Groups of New Yorkers Are Now Eligible for COVID Boosters

Don't forget that flu shot, either, says New York Gov. Kathy Hochul

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The New York State Clinical Advisory Task Force has officially endorsed the CDC's recommendation on COVID-19 booster shots -- and four groups of Empire State residents are eligible right now, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday.

The Democrat has launched a new website replete with information around eligibility, how to schedule an appointment and where to walk in for a free shot and other questions that have been top of mind as the U.S. ramps up its rollout anew.

So, are you eligible now? And should you prioritize getting a vaccine booster dose?

First off, only New Yorkers who have received the Pfizedr=BioNTech COVID-19 are eligible for booster doses. Those people should get a booster dose at least six months after they completed their primary vaccine series if they are at least 65 years old or live in a long-term care setting, Hochul's administration says.

People age 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions should also get a booster dose as well if the necessary time window has passed since they completed their initial series, New York health officials say.

What about people who completed their Pfizer series six months ago, at least, but don't fall into one of those two categories? If you are between 18 and 49 years old with an underlying medical condition that qualifies you for a booster, you're eligible.

What counts as a qualifying underlying health condition? Here's a list from the CDC:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD, asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
  • Substance use disorders

If you are between the ages of 18 and 64 and are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure because of your job, you may also be eligible for a booster shot. Have more questions about which jobs qualify or anything else? See this FAQ here.

New Yorkers who have gotten the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not currently eligible for a booster dose, but that could change sooner rather than later.

And the Empire State is actively planning to develop and maintain an ongoing supply so all New Yorkers are able to get boosters when they become eligible. Hochul recently announced $65 million in funding to county health departments to build the infrastructure needed to support rapid, reliable shot distribution.

All New York state mass vaccination sites are now open to booster-eligible New Yorkers. If you're not sure where to go, take a look at the map below, call your local pharmacy, doctor or health department or try 1-833-NYS-4-VAX for details.

EMTs are also now authorized to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, which adds more than 2,000 fully trained vaccinators to the state's program. Another 50,000 basic EMTs are eligible to receive the training required to do the same.

Not sure how the process works? Check out our handy tri-state vaccine site finder and FAQs here

New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers

Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC

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