On Monday, March 29, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all New Yorkers 30 and over will be eligible to start scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 30. All New Yorkers 16 and over will be eligible as of Tuesday, April 6, at 8 a.m.

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for ages 16 and up, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for 18 and up.

Visit https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ to schedule an appointment at a state-run facility or check with local pharmacies and other providers.

New mass vax site

New York State will establish an additional state-run mass vaccination site at Rockland Community College’s Eugene Levy Fieldhouse. The site is in development and is expected to open Thursday, April 1, with appointments opening on Tuesday, March 30, at 8 a.m. Hours of operation for the Rockland Community College site will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Eligible New Yorkers will be able to make an appointment at on.ny.gov/38DeBMz or by calling the NYS COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

In Scarsdale, SeeBeyond Medicine at 2 Overhill Road is newly eligible to administer a limited number of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine every week. The J&J vaccine is only one shot and is very safe. Upon request, SeeBeyond Medicine’s Dr. Joon Lee will provide a 15-minute consultation and reassurance about the vaccine. The vaccine and consultation are free of charge and regardless of immigration status. Email admin@seebeyondmedicine.com or call 914-722-9440 to request an appointment; residents will need to complete the online registration prior to the vaccine appointment.

In addition, the New York Forward Rapid Test Program has been expanded with 25 new sites opening Thursday, April 1 and 10 sites opening within the next two weeks for a total of 70 sites statewide. The program makes low-cost rapid testing available to the public to support enhanced economic activity as the state continues to reopen sectors of the economy. New Yorkers can find a test site and make an appointment at forward.ny.gov/ny-forward-rapid-test-program, and download proof of their negative test result on the state's Excelsior Pass.

Excelsior Pass

Cuomo announced Friday, March 26, the launch of Excelsior Pass — a free, voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM, which utilizes proven, secure technology to confirm an individual’s recent negative PCR or antigen test result or proof of vaccination to help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines. Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination. An individual's data is kept secure and confidential at all times.

As part of this initial launch, participating New Yorkers may choose to use Excelsior Pass to verify their COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results as needed to gain entry to major stadiums and arenas, wedding receptions, or catered and other events above the social gathering limit. Interested New Yorkers can opt in to use Excelsior Pass and learn more at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/excelsior-pass. Major venues have already announced they will begin utilizing this technology in the coming weeks, including Madison Square Garden in New York City beginning next week and the Times Union Center in Albany. Beginning April 2, Excelsior Pass will expand to smaller arts, entertainment and event venues.

“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure, “ Cuomo said. “The question of ‘public health or the economy’ has always been a false choice — the answer must be both. As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening.”

New York State is the first state in the U.S. to formally launch this potentially transformational technology. Prior to its launch, two successful pilot demonstrations were held in recent weeks, along with a beta test where thousands of New Yorkers participated in a limited roll out of the technology to provide feedback on user interface and results. 

Interested New Yorkers can download the Excelsior Pass Wallet app for Android at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.ny.its.healthpassport.wallet or iOs at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/nys-excelsior-pass-wallet/id1552933587.

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