Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland) announced today that he is introducing legislation directing the Department of Health to develop a prioritized appointment process for individuals over the age of 75. This cohort of individuals, who are some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers, were given one day of prioritization before the State opened up the eligibility list to millions of additional New Yorkers. Under the bill, the Department of Health would be able to direct vaccine administration sites to allocate a certain number or percentage of vaccines to this population cohort.
“Folks over 75 are at a disadvantage in scheduling appointments in what is currently a highly complex process that can be difficult for senior citizens. Individuals over 75 were afforded only one day to schedule appointments before the eligibility expanded significantly. We need to work as quickly as possible to get our seniors vaccinated. Setting up a centralized appointment process and allocating the necessary vaccines to these individuals is in the best interest of public health and will save lives,” said Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski.
The bill would require the Commissioner of Health to issue reports on the progress of the Vaccine Prioritization Appointment Program including how many individuals over 75 have been vaccinated and how many are remaining. After sufficient progress in vaccinating those over 75 is made, the bill authorizes the Commissioner of Health to identify additional cohorts for prioritization.
“Once the centralized appointment process is established, and we jumpstart vaccination of our most senior New Yorkers, we will have a system in place that can ramp up vaccinations in additional cohorts. Lagging vaccinations in first responders, teachers, those with pre-existing conditions and folks over 65 can start to be remedied in an efficient and manageable way. This pandemic has been stressful enough for New Yorkers; the vaccine distribution should bring welcome relief, not frustration,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski.
“We need to prioritize our most vulnerable New Yorkers for this life saving vaccine. The current system is complex, inefficient and is largely inaccessible for residents over 75. This bill creates a system that will accommodate senior citizens by providing an opportunity to make an appointment and allocate the necessary vaccines to get the job done,” concluded Zebrowski.