New York should develop a statewide plan for COVID-19 vaccinations of older homebound people, AARP New York urged in a letter sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office this month.
The push by AARP comes as the state is opening vaccine eligibility to a wider pool of people. People age 30 and older qualified on Tuesday; all New Yorkers age 16 and older will be eligible on April 6.
But traveling for a vaccine dose can be a burden to older New Yorkers who are homebound who are also especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
Texas, Florida, and Massachusetts have put homebound vaccination programs in place. The group, in a March 18 letter made public on Tuesday, urged Cuomo to do the same for New York.
“The Cuomo administration has done a good job ensuring that vaccinations are available for adult New Yorkers who are able to get to vaccination sites, but the homebound are not,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “And many homebound seniors have medical conditions that make them highly susceptible to COVID. That puts not only them in danger, but also any paid or unpaid caregivers who care for them. Other states are acting to address this issue now; why is New York lagging behind?”
County governments in New York have started homebound vaccination programs of their own. In Saratoga County, the program has been run under the county's EMS office.