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Wednesday, Mar 31, 2021 at 7:11 pm

New Vaccine Eligibility Update for New York State

By Bradley Hoppenstein

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Coming as a surprise to many New York residents, Governor Cuomo announced on Monday another expansion in vaccine eligibility. Starting Tuesday, Mar. 30, adults ages 30 and older can get a COVID vaccine. A week from then, Apr. 6, New York residents ages 16 and older will be eligible for vaccines. 

These updates come just a week after the State opened up shots to adults 50 and older, and weeks ahead of President Biden’s target of shots available to all adults by May 1. 

These latest updates in eligibility also open the door to colleges and high schools vaccinating students on campuses. Ryan McMahon, Onondaga County Executive, said at his press conference on Monday that the County will soon be reaching out to local high schools to vaccinate students. As for Syracuse University, it put in a request with the State to be activated as a vaccination site weeks ago, but is still awaiting a response. 

Michael Haynie, Vice Chancellor of SU, said in a Q&A earlier this month that the University is ready to vaccinate students, noting it has already installed the equipment necessary and the Barnes Center staff has already been trained on COVID-19 vaccine protocols. 

In the meantime, SU is encouraging students to get their shots at sites such as Onondaga County’s OnCenter and State’s Fairgrounds – even lending campus trolleys as shuttles to and from the OnCenter this week. 

With the door about to open to those ages 16 and up for vaccinations, there’s also been recent speculation of a future Syracuse University vaccine requirement for the Fall 2021 semester, especially with Chancellor Kent Syverud recently saying in an email that SU is “planning for a fully in-person semester this fall.” The University has not made any official announcements, as it continues to urge students to follow the Stay Safe Pledge and get vaccinated if eligible.