A majority of adults in New York state will be eligible for coronavirus vaccinations by next week, with those ages 30 and up able to get their shots as soon as Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Universal eligibility for those 16 and up will go into effect on April 6, a dramatic step in the state’s vaccination effort. Appointments will open up for 30 years old at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, only a week after the state opened up vaccination eligibility for those over the age of 50.
Use our Plan Your Vaccine tool to see where to get vaccinated near you
“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but until we get there it is more important than ever for each and every New Yorker to wear a mask, socially distance and follow all safety guidelines,” Cuomo urged in a statement Monday.
More than 9 million doses of vaccine have been administered throughout the state as of Monday, with more than 16 percent of the state’s population fully vaccinated.
The state urged residents to refrain from showing up to vaccination sites without pre-booked appointments, reminding people that the demand will outweigh current supply.
Cuomo also emphasized that the state will work to ensure equity in its distribution plan, as data of vaccinations by race and ethnicity have shown communities of color have lower rates of inoculation across the country.
“As we continue to expand eligibility, New York will double down on making the vaccine accessible for every community to ensure equity, particularly for communities of color who are too often left behind,” Cuomo said.
The move comes amid multiple scandals surrounding Cuomo — over his alleged harassment of women and his alleged mishandling of nursing homes at the beginning of the pandemic— resulting in a looming impeachment inquiry by state officials.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat, has accused Cuomo of making coronavirus policy decisions based on “political needs” in response to the scandals.
The eligibility timeline announced for the state comes the same day that President Joe Biden announced that 90 percent of the adults in the country will be eligible for vaccination by April 19, with vaccine sites within five miles of their home.
“As fast as we are going, we still have a long way to go to finish this vaccination effort,” Biden said in a speech Monday. “We are barely even halfway yet … the progress we are making is a significant testament to what we can do when we work together as Americans. We still need everyone to do their part.”
NBC News has created a tool called Plan Your Vaccine to provide information on each state’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts as the rollout extends across the nation.