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New Yorkers with multiple health conditions now eligible for vaccination

New Yorkers with chronic health conditions that made them eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine flooded a state website and call center on Sunday morning, leaving many unable to schedule appointments immediately in mass vaccination centers.

State officials said Sunday that 73,000 appointments had been scheduled for 11:30 am, while 500,000 people had gone through an online eligibility screening tool needed to make appointments. Thousands of people were in virtual waiting rooms that could accommodate up to 8,000 people per vaccination site. Once those waiting rooms are full, people attempting to make appointments should try again later.

Richard Azzopardi, senior adviser to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, said demand was high, but “our infrastructure has remained in place and intact.” He said the state’s ability to make appointments depends on the vaccine supply, which is steadily increasing.

Officials said the new criteria, which include chronic health conditions like obesity and hypertension, made four million more New Yorkers eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. They are joining a growing number of people in the state who are eligible for the vaccine despite a supply shortage.

Those who are now eligible include adults who have certain health conditions that may increase their risk of serious illness or death from coronavirus. Besides obesity and high blood pressure, other conditions that would qualify New Yorkers for the vaccine include lung disease and cancer, Cuomo announced this month. It also made pregnancy a qualifying condition.

Appointments for people in this group can be scheduled as early as Monday, although most people will likely face a long wait as vaccine doses are now scarce. New Yorkers must provide proof of their condition with a doctor’s note, signed certification or medical documentation, Cuomo said.

“While this is a big step forward in ensuring that the most vulnerable among us have access to this life-saving vaccine, it’s no secret that whenever you come across such a scarce resource, there are will be attempted fraud and gambling systems, ”Cuomo said in a statement.

In New York state, about 10% of the population received their first dose, according to data collected by the New York Times. With the new criteria, around 11 million people are now eligible in the state, including people aged 65 and over, healthcare workers and teachers.

New York City recently opened mass vaccination sites at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and Citi Field in Queens to better reach communities hard hit by the virus. The state and federal government also announced last week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would open vaccination sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens.

To verify eligibility and schedule an appointment, New Yorkers can pre-screen on the state’s website. They can also call the state immunization hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829) for more information on appointments for vaccines.

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Video: ‘We have work to do’: more and more New Yorkers receive the vaccine

We fought for the freedom to vaccinate. Now we have it. From today we can reach New Yorkers over 75, the most vulnerable, our seniors, our seniors, we can reach them today. And we can reach so many of the people who serve us – our first responders, our essential workers. It’s a very exciting time, a very important time. Lots of work to do now. We have freedom. We now have work to do to reach everyone who is ready for the vaccine. We have more and more sites open, including our 24/7 sites. And it’s very exciting because there are a lot of people ready to be vaccinated, literally at any time of the day, and we will be able to welcome them in the five boroughs. For the week starting today, the goal is 175,000 New Yorkers – 175,000 doses administered this week. We are very satisfied with this goal. We are very happy with our goal of vaccinating one million people during the month of January.

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Video: De Blasio pledges to vaccinate one million New Yorkers in January

new video loaded: De Blasio pledges to vaccinate one million New Yorkers in January

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De Blasio pledges to vaccinate one million New Yorkers in January

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio set an ambitious resolution for 2021, pledging Thursday to accelerate the city’s efforts to get more doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for residents.

The most important New Year’s resolution I could offer you, in January 2021, we’re going to vaccinate a million New Yorkers. A million people. we will reach in january. This city can do it. This city’s incredible health professionals are ready. We will be setting up new sites throughout the city in addition to the many sites already operational. We are going to move from our hospitals and clinics to community clinics and to locations that we will set up all over the city. Our goal is to reach over 250 locations across the city. It’s going to be a huge effort. It will be part of the largest single vaccination effort in New York City history. It will take a lot of work. It will require enormous urgency and concentration. And we will need the help of the federal government. We will need the help of the state government. We will need the help of the vaccine manufacturers. But we are clearly telling the world that we can do a million vaccinations in January. We get that help, we’ll get there.

Recent episodes of Coronavirus pandemic: latest updates

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As New Yorkers face long lines at the polls, the city’s board of elections is under scrutiny.

New Yorkers looking to vote early faced long lines at the polls for the third day in a row on Monday, rekindling long-standing criticism from the government agency that organizes the city’s elections, the Board. of Elections.

In Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and somewhere else, voters said they had to stand for hours in the rain. It was similar to expectations reported over the weekend, when more than 190,000 people turned out for the start of the state’s first early voting presidential election.

Officials denounced the lines, with some saying they amounted to voter suppression.

“There is no place in the United States of America where a two, three, four hour wait to vote is acceptable,” said Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat. “If it happened in a state of transition, there would be national coverage. So I don’t want us to think it’s not a problem just because it’s a blue state. It is very clearly a problem. “

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, also both Democrats, echoed the concerns. Mr. Cuomo said the Elections Office was doing a “terrible job” with early voting and added that it was open to the Council overhaul; M. de Blasio said he would gladly join in this effort.

Both politicians have long been critical of the board, but they and other officials have never seriously pushed for reform of the system.

New York is the only state in the country to have local election commissions whose staff are almost entirely chosen by Democratic and Republican Party leaders, even computer programmers – a structure enshrined in the state’s Constitution and intended to ensure the ‘equity.

By the rules, almost all jobs must be duplicated, with a Republican and Democrat each performing the same function.

In New York, the Election Board has been plagued by decades of dysfunction because staff members get their jobs through political connections, not credentials, and many are unqualified.