New York will expand vaccine access to people age 50 and older beginning on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this morning while speaking a church in Mount Vernon.
The expanded eligibility comes as 25% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 12% have completed the vaccine cycle.
The move comes as President Joe Biden has said he wants all Americans to be eligible for the vaccine by May 1.
New York officials have prioritized health care workers and older people in the first wave of vaccine access, increasing eligibility in recent weeks to include frontline public workers as well as those who have public-facing jobs in the non-profit sector.
Cuomo on Sunday announced pharmacies can begin vaccinating people with underlying health conditions in addition to those age 60 and older and teachers.
Cuomo's Monday announcement at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon was closed to the press and he did not take questions. The governor's office indicated he would take questions from reporters later in the day.
Cuomo, flanked by Black clergy, urged houses of worship around New York to work with local health care networks to open vaccine sites and encouraged people to schedule appointments.
He said this would provide credibility to the vaccine as access has lagged for Black and Latino New Yorkers in vaccine distribution.
Black and Latino New Yorkers have not been vaccinated at the same rate as white residents, Cuomo said.