UPDATE: The three new clinics are now full, according to the Tompkins County Health Department. Communications Director Dominick Recckio sent out the following statement:

“The Health Department is aware that all appointments made available for COVID-19 vaccines this week have been filled by eligible individuals. As more vaccine is allocated from New York State additional appointments will be made available.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that New York would be accepting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and expanding its Phase 1B vaccination delivery to include people who are 65 and over, as well as people with certain conditions that render them immunocompromised. The Tompkins County Health Department has also announced an additional three vaccination clinics open this week.

The CDC made the recommendation in reaction to the slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout, hoping to speed things up. Previously, New York had opened up Phase 1B for everyone over 75 years old, as well as a long list of different professions who are now eligible as well (full coverage of 1B here).

There is no vaccination clinic being held on Tuesday, Jan. 12, but there will be clinics held Wednesday, Jan. 13 from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14 from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 15 from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Appointment registration is available here. The health department is anticipating that 1,800 doses will be administered this week at Cayuga Health System’s vaccination clinic at the old Sears location at the Shops at Ithaca Mall.

The full list of conditions that would make someone eligible, though, is unclear. That guidance will hopefully come from the state soon—you can check the state’s eligibility database to make sure.

“I don’t want New Yorkers to think we are not doing everything we can to make them eligible for the vaccine because I want to keep people in New York as calm as we can keep them in these anxious times and I don’t want people to think that people in any other state are eligible when they are not,” Cuomo said during the conference.

Despite the expanded eligibility from the state, Kinney Drugs has not yet announced whether or not they will expand their program, which currently offers vaccinations to people who are 75 years of age and older. The Ithaca Voice is awaiting more information from a Kinney Drugs representative.

Those without access to the internet or who are unable to register online should call the state’s COVID-19 vaccination hotline, which is 1-833-NYS-4VAX or 1-833-697-4829 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Senior citizens can call the Tompkins County Office for the Aging from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays for registration and transportation.

Current eligibility is as follows:

Phase 1B:

  • Individuals age 65 and older
    • Additional clinics are being made available by Kinney Drugs for the 75+ population. Online registration through Kinney can be found on their web page.
  • First responders, Public Safety, and support staff (fire, police, other public safety, court officers)
  • Teachers and education workers (Pre-K-12, Childcare)
  • Corrections
  • Public transit workers
  • Homeless Shelters
  • Grocery Store workers
  • In-person college instructors

Phase 1A:

  • Healthcare workers

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com