30 for 30: Cuomo opens COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to thirtysomethings Tuesday; all others April 6

Yolanda Méndez prepares the vaccine prior to patient arrivals.
Photo by Dean Moses

Embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state would open vaccine eligibility to New Yorkers over 30 years of age on Tuesday, March 30.

The Cuomo administration believes New York will reach the ability to universally vaccinate the public ahead of the Biden administration’s May 1 deadline with the governor stating Monday that anyone over the age of 16 will be able to book an appointment on April 6.

“Today we take a monumental step forward in the fight to beat COVID. Beginning March 30, all New Yorkers age 30 or older will be able to be vaccinated, and all New Yorkers age 16 or older will be eligible on April 6, well ahead of the May 1 deadline set by the White House,” Cuomo said in a statement. “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. 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.”

The governor, who did not hold a press conference upon announcing the expanded eligibility, has held that with the federal government providing over a million doses to the state per week that the administration and FEMA vaccination sites have seen 1.3 million jabs distributed over the last seven day period, or 171,419 in the last 24 hours.

Up to 2,650,332 New York City residents have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine since the effort began in December, the administration said.

Despite the high volume of vaccinations being distributed and rapidly widening eligibility, the Cuomo administration said that demand may outpace supply despite larger allocations from the feds. As such, they urge that New Yorkers make appointments rather than simply showing up for a vaccination.

As Cuomo faces pending investigations by state Attorney General Letitia James and the Assembly Judiciary Committee regarding the ever-growing allegations of sexual harassment against him from at least seven women, many of whom are current and former staffers as well as journalists.

On Saturday, a number of high ranking aides to the governor, included Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa were served with subpoenas from James’ office to provide certain documents and other materials relating to the investigation.

As such, despite making major announcements such as an Albany agreement to legalize adult-use marijuana, the governor has not made himself available to the press. His last public appearance was on Friday, but no Q&A sessions were offered.

Cuomo’s last availability was on March 24 in a Zoom call, a far cry from the days of the pandemic prior to the nursing home scandal being revealed in February which highlighted an under recording of deaths in assisted living facilities by 50% when the executive became a household name across the country on account of his press conferences.

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