New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state’s eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations will expand to include those aged 30 and older starting Tuesday, March 30. The following week, eligibility will broaden to include all New Yorkers aged 16 and older.
The move aligns with President Biden’s directive to states, tribes and territories to ensure all adults are eligible for vaccination by May 1. Connecticut is taking similar steps; Gov. Ned Lamont previously announced vaccine eligibility would expand to include all those aged 16 and up on April 1. New Jersey, in comparison, slated April 5th to include those aged 55+, those 16+ with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other essential workers.
State data shows 16.8% of New Yorkers, or over 3.3 million people, have completed their full course of vaccinations, while nearly 30% of the population has received at least one dose.
The news comes as new infections are rising; a 7-day rolling average of new cases per 100,000 people edged up to 40.85 in recent days, up from around 37 infections per 100,000 people earlier this month. The state’s positivity rate is reported at 4.13%.
“COVID continues to rear its ugly head across New York State, and while hospitalization and vaccination metrics continue to trend in the right direction, this pandemic isn’t done with us yet,” Cuomo said in a statement posted Monday. “The vaccine is here and New York State is working 24/7 and pulling out all the stops to get shots in arms, including expanding eligibility and establishing new vaccination sites. But in the meantime, washing hands, wearing masks and socially distancing are critical behaviors that can help us slow the spread as we continue to fight the COVID beast.”
The update coincides with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky’s warning Monday of “impending doom” amid a recent increase in national coronavirus cases and related hospitalizations. Walensky, during the White House briefing, also spoke to the “many reasons to be hopeful,” however, pointing to a CDC study released Monday that provides real-world evidence of what protections the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines provide.
Results indicated a 90% drop in infection risk after participants were fully vaccinated, i.e. two weeks after they received second jabs developed by Pfizer or Moderna. The findings also underscored a high level of protection after just a single dose; participants’ risk of infection was cut by 80% two weeks after their initial vaccination.
Fox News’ Madeline Farber contributed to this report.