BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — AARP in New York State is pushing for New Yorkers who are 50+ to be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine right now. The group initially pushed to include people 65+ in the state's vaccine plan, and was successful in having them included.
AARP's Director in New York State says it's clear that the vaccine is in low supply right now, so she understands it will take time, but she also says the statistics show why it's so important to lower the age limit of those who can register.
"95% of the deaths were people 50 +. So that makes you realize right away they've got to go to the head of the line. So right now we're there with 65 plus. Our goal is to 50 plus moved up," explained Beth Finkel.
Finkel also wants to see more resources for seniors as they work to register for the vaccine. She says it's important that there are enough people dedicated to taking registration phone calls, because so many seniors aren't comfortable registering online.
She would also like to see an expanded conversation surrounding seniors who are home bound.
"What are we doing about people who are home bound?" she asked. "Who have difficulty getting to sites? Some localities do not offer transportation to get them to sites."
Finkle suggests that seniors across New York State reach out to their county senior services for any help they might be able to provide.
You can also call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. That's the vaccine hotline in New York State, and you can make an appointment there.
Another resource that might be helpful for seniors or those looking to register seniors is the state AARP website, which has information on the vaccine rollout. You can access that page here.