Some New Yorkers under the age of 65 with underlying medical conditions eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine had their appointments canceled by CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, despite being eligible under the state laws.
Complaints are piling up from New Yorkers after the pharmacies failed to honor previously made appointments, citing their age, although New York made those under the age limit with comorbidities eligible for the vaccination earlier this month.
Among those who had appointments scheduled was longtime Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who took to the town’s website to air his grievance.
“I have a documented developmental disability - Larsen syndrome - and thus meet the current vaccination eligibility requirements per Governor (Andrew) Cuomo's decree of Feb. 5, 2021,” he wrote in a letter to Cuomo’s office.
“I was able to schedule two appointments to be vaccinated at the aforementioned Walgreens - one for each dose, one month apart - which were ultimately canceled by Walgreens on the grounds that I did not meet the age requirements (65+) under the company's policy.
"This is ridiculous. Those under 65 who have medical problems deserve the vaccine just like those who are over 65 and are healthier."
According to Walgreens representatives, the pharmacies are “following the CDC guidelines,” and not adhering to Cuomo’s order.
Questions to the state have been referred to the individual pharmacies in question, which are tasked with booking their own vaccination appointments. Those who attempt to book an appointment online are cautioned that eligibility is limited and that not all states have the same eligibility rules in place.
A spokesperson for the state Department of Health made note that the current requirement is that pharmacies prioritize those over the age of 65, which “has been stated numerous times by the Governor and is clearly laid out in multiple guidance documents and an executive order.”
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