NY to start vaccinating people with underlying health problems Feb. 15 | Politics

The Democrat said again Friday that state officials were still working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to decide what types of conditions should push someone nearer to the top of the vaccine priority list.

States get to define at-risk conditions themselves, though the CDC has provided a list of conditions that have the “strongest and most consistent evidence” of increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Those include cancer, Type 2 diabetes, severe obesity, heart conditions, sickle cell disease, pregnancy and having a weakened immune system from a solid organ transplant.

“We’re working with the CDC to clarify some definitions,” Cuomo said. “But we’re basically going to follow the CDC guidance.”

Smoking is on that CDC list. Some states exclude it; New Jersey allows it.

It’s also unclear whether New York will include other kinds of medical conditions that have consisted but limited research on whether they put people at higher risk, including HIV, immune deficiencies, Type 1 diabetes, being overweight, liver disease and neurologic conditions.

Research into whether there is increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of asthma, hypertension or use of immunosuppressive medications has been inconclusive.