The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has issued Week 10 guidance effective February 15. Starting on February 15, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands to individuals with certain co-morbidities and underlying conditions. These individuals are eligible for vaccination at State-operated mass vaccination sites. In addition, hospitals and other vaccine providers should work with their local health department (LHD) to arrange for vaccinating individuals with co-morbidities and underlying conditions.

For hospitals outside of New York City, please reach out to your LHD for further guidance. For New York City hospitals, GNYHA is working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on further guidance for vaccinating individuals with certain co-morbidities and underlying conditions.

Similar to last week, hospitals are instructed to continue prioritizing unvaccinated 1a health care workers, particularly their own staff, who wish to be vaccinated. After that, hospitals can open to all populations eligible for vaccination at hospitals, including 1a individuals who are not employed at the hospital, Office for People With Developmental Disabilities congregate care populations, then individuals 65 and older. Eligible hospital employees who are not vaccinated by the end of Week 9 (e.g., new eligible employees, employees who changed their mind) may still be vaccinated out of future allocations.

Proof of Eligibility for Newly Eligible Individuals

LHDs are authorized to determine what forms, or combination thereof, of the below proof options are required in their jurisdiction. At State-operated mass vaccination sites, any of the following are acceptable to prove eligibility for individuals with eligible co-morbidities and underlying conditions:

  • Doctor’s Letter, or
  • Medical Information Evidencing Comorbidity, or
  • Signed Certification.

Providers must be aware of the LHD policy for proof of co-morbidity and must require individuals being vaccinated to show proof consistent with such policy.