New York expands COVID vaccine eligibility to everyone over 50

This picture taken on May 23, 2020 shows a laboratory technician holding a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate

New York is expanding eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine to everyone age 50 and older, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The governor said newly eligible people can start signing up for vaccines starting 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Previously, everyone age 60 and older could get vaccinated, as well as certain essential workers and people with select health conditions.

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Cuomo said the state can expand eligibility because of promises from the federal government that vaccine supplies will keep increasing. It’s unclear how many people are now eligible for vaccines in New York.

On Saturday, Cuomo announced that more than 1 in 4 New Yorkers, over 5 million people, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and half of those people have been fully vaccinated.

The announcement came as the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus was discovered in New York for the first time.

The patient is said to be a Brooklyn resident in their 90s with no travel history.

The case was identified by scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital.

The Brazilian variant is said to be more contagious than the original coronavirus.

With the Associated Press