St. Lawrence County preparing for expansion of COVID-19 vaccine distribution to residents with underlying health conditions

ABC50 NOW

A rendering of the coronavirus (Getty Images).

CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — During the first week of February 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a list of underlying health conditions that the State will now use to determine further eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine.

St. Lawrence County Public Health Department announced that they, and local providers, are preparing for the expansion of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

According to Dr. Andrew Williams, MD, the county is excited for this expansion as it will help to support individuals considered higher-risk.

“The medical community is very excited that the eligibility criteria has now expanded to include individuals with relevant co-morbid conditions,” shared Dr. Williams. “These individuals are more likely to have serious complications, require hospitalizations and even die when infected with the COVID-19 virus. Vaccination will help prevent this.”

According to the recent New York State guidelines, the adults of any age with the following conditions are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning February 15, 2021.

  • Cancer; current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases
  • Intellectual Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension
  • Immunocompromised state, including but not limited to solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Obesity; Body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher, or Severe Obesity; Body mass index 40 kg/m2
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease of Thalassemia
  • Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Neurologic conditions, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia
  • Liver disease

Those with any of these conditions are required to verify their eligibility but completing an online attestation. SLCPH shared that this form is sufficient documentation in confirming eligibility. Individuals do not need a doctors note.

Additionally St. Lawrence County Public Health Director Dana McGuire shared details on how the region is working with New York State to expand vaccine eligibility.

“Counties in the North Country region collaborated with others in the Capital Region on the documentation required for this expanded eligibility group,” stated McGuire. “We wanted to make the process as easy as possible without creating barriers to receiving the vaccine.”

Those looking to be vaccinated in St. Lawrence County are required to schedule an appointment online. Once an appointment is booked, individuals will receive a confirmation and patients must then complete the NYS COVID-19 vaccine form.

Public Health added that individuals are required to bring proof of eligibility to their appointment. The form of proof is dependent on the eligibility category of the patient. Second dose appointments are scheduled automatically when individuals receive their first dose.

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