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Are You Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine? Find Out Here

The Food and Drug Association’s approval of a third COVID-19 vaccine in late February has created a much-needed sense of hope for a return to pre-pandemic ‘normality.’ But, a lack of organization has caused confusion about how one can receive one of the coveted vaccines. Here’s how to know if you are eligible right now: 

  1. What state do you live in?

While the federal government has set nationwide vaccination goals and provided other assistance, the specific guidelines for what groups of people are eligible at a given time are decided by the state government. Someone eligible in one state might not be eligible in another. Some states, such as New Jersey, extend their eligibility to those who work and study in the state without holding full-time residence.

  1. Do you hold a job or volunteer position? 

In New Jersey, the vaccine is currently available to healthcare workers, first responders, Pre-K to 12 educators and staff, and childcare workers.In New York, the complete list is significantly longer and can be found here. The fields that are relevant to high school students and faculty are the following: certified NYS EMS providers, restaurant employees, restaurant delivery workers, first responders, support staff for first responder agencies, those who work in schools, Childcare Providers, public facing grocery store workers, and certain homeless shelter employees and volunteers.

  1. Do you have certain medical conditions? 

In New Jersey, people between 16-64 are deemed “high risk” and are therefore are eligible for the vaccine if they have the following medical conditions: chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, severe obesity, sickle cell disease, Down Syndrome, heart conditions, obesity, smoking, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and/or pregnancy. This list will be extended on March 15, 2021. In New York, people 16+ can receive the vaccine if they are experiencing the following conditions: cancer, chronic kidney disease, pulmonary disease, intellectual and developmental disabilities, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, obesity, severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular disease, neurologic conditions, and/or liver disease. 

  1. Are you registered? 

New Jersey requires all who are eligible for the vaccine to register online for the vaccine before being selected to receive it. The registration can be accessed through this link. 

New York asks its residents to download the Am I Eligible app to determine eligibility and make the appointment to receive the vaccine. Residents can also make an appointment by calling the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-697-4829. Sources:

By: Jessica Boyd’22: Staff Member

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