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People 50 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in New York State starting Tuesday

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Posted at 11:56 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 23:13:12-04

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (WKBW) — Starting Tuesday morning, the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to anyone 50 years old or older in New York State.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement during a briefing in Mount Vernon on Monday morning.

"Vaccines will be available for people 50 years old and above, so we are dropping the age as we are vaccinating more people," Governor Cuomo said. "Tomorrow morning, 50 and above, make your appointment and get your vaccine."

Appointments can be made through New York State's 'Am I Eligible' app online starting at 8 a.m. Information is available by phone through the state's vaccine hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

Erie County's appointment notification form is open to people 50 and older, but the county reminds people eligibility does not mean availability.

At Tops Pharmacies, appointments are on a first come first serve basis. Public and Media Relations Manager Kathy Sautter said appointments go fast, and are usually posted later in the week.

“Our supply hasn’t increased despite the fact that those that we can vaccinate has increased," Sautter said. "Our weekly allocations have remained steady, which is great, but unfortunately we have not seen an increase in the number of vaccines that we’ve received.”

Cuomo said vaccine production will ramp up over the next few weeks.

Will that include a fourth vaccine?

University at Buffalo Jacob's School of Medicine Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Thomas Russo said if the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved for use in the United States it likely wouldn't be available until May at the earliest.

"Well from a numerical point of view, we’ve already procured 800 million doses of the two mRNA vaccines and the J&J vaccine, so we have enough doses to vaccinate the entire country, plus some," Russo said. "Whether the AstraZeneca vaccine gets approved or not we'll have to wait and see, but from from a supply point of view, I don’t really think we need it at this point.”

President Joe Biden said he wants all adults in the United States to be eligible for the vaccine by Mat 1st.

Find more vaccine-related resources in the Vaccinating WNY section of our website.