NYS defines comorbidities that qualify New Yorkers to receive COVID-19 vaccine

ECDOH will prioritize at-risk patients and distribute next week’s allotment for eligible individuals with comorbidities to hospitals


ERIE COUNTY, NY – New York State (NYS) announced that beginning February 15, NYS residents with certain comorbidities and underlying medical condition would be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

NYS will provide the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) with a limited weekly allocation of COVID-19 vaccine to administer to county residents who qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine based on having one of those qualifying medical conditions.

After consulting with local infectious disease and medical experts, ECDOH decided to distribute next week’s NYS-directed vaccine allocation to hospitals for people with comorbid conditions. As of this media release, ECDOH has not been notified of the vaccine allotment for this population for the week of February 14.  Hospitals will evaluate inpatients during their hospital stay and vaccinate those who are most at-risk due to one or more comorbidities. Hospitals will also identify outpatients with significant comorbidities, such as those accessing specialty clinics, and offer them COVID-19 vaccine.

“By providing vaccine to Erie County’s hospitals, we are setting up a system where physicians with a deeper knowledge of their patients’ medical histories determine who is most at risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 infection and in critical need of this limited resource,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “This population includes people who are most at-risk for more serious COVID-19 complications.”

ECDOH PODs (points of distribution) are currently providing first doses to individuals whose appointments in January were cancelled due to lack of supply, and to individuals residing or working at OPWDD/DDSO facilities. Once those previously cancelled appointments are rescheduled, ECDOH will announce new first-dose appointment availability. This process will take at least until March.

ECDOH is following NYS direction on administering COVID-19 vaccine. New ECDOH POD appointments will be offered to worker groups listed within Phase 1B. As vaccine supply expands, ECDOH may also open appointments to individuals with comorbidities. ECDOH is developing a self-attestation form that Erie County residents can use to demonstrate that they qualify due to an underlying medical condition. A physician’s note that documents a medical condition will also be accepted.