9/11 Community Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
On February 5, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that individuals with 9/11-related cancers and pulmonary diseases would be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning on February 15. The move came after pressure from several lawmakers, including New York Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler, who urged that 9/11 survivors with chronic illnesses be allowed to get in line quickly for vaccinations. Praising the move, Rep. Maloney’s office issued the following statement:
9/11 responders and survivors, who have 9/11-related medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19, need and deserve access to the COVID-19 vaccine. They live with these pre-existing conditions because they were exposed to the toxins in the air at and around Ground Zero after our government told them it was safe. After 9/11, our country made a promise to ‘Never Forget’ – this is how we put that promise into action.
Many 9/11-related health conditions put survivors and responders at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering serious complications. If you suffer from a 9/11-related health condition and have contracted COVID-19, please contact a 9/11 lawyer for more information about the benefits that may be available to you.
Eligibility for a COVID-19 Vaccine
The new vaccination guidelines expanded the pool of eligible individuals to include those with several 9/11-related comorbidities, which the guidance explicitly names. The extended pool consists of any New Yorker aged 16 or older who suffers one of the following conditions (among others):
- Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)
- Pulmonary disease (including COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and other 9/11-related pulmonary diseases)
- Immunocompromised states
Individuals in Phase 1a and 1b are also eligible to receive a vaccine, which includes individuals aged 60 and older, first responders and support staff, firefighters and support staff, and police officers and support staff.
9/11 Survivors and Responders Are at a Greater Risk for COVID-19
9/11 survivors and responders generally are considered to be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe complications should they get it. This is because the virus is known to cause severe illness (defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death) in individuals who have cancer and various pulmonary conditions common among 9/11 survivors responders. Please note, however, that the WTC Health Program does not cover the COVID-19 vaccine, nor does it administer vaccines at this time. Eligible WTC Health Program members should thus seek a vaccine outside the program through their state or local health department’s vaccine administration process.
Contact a 9/11 Lawyer for More Information about 9/11 Survivor Eligibility for a COVID-19 Vaccine
For more information about 9/11 survivor and responder eligibility for obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine, please contact a 9/11 lawyer at Pitta & Baione by using our online contact form or calling us at 844-982-2667.