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Greetings!  We have highlighted significant turning points and thank science and medical research for the advancements made in the battle against the Coronavirus. The United Kingdom granted emergency widespread use of the first vaccines. This week’s article will discuss where we are with the COVID-19 vaccination in New York State, updates on the second stimulus package, as well as best practices to remain safe during this pandemic.

Let’s begin with the COVID-19 vaccines, the first allocation of the vaccines was received from the federal government on December 15th, 2020. The vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Moderna Therapeutics. They will be distributed in phases to groups of people at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure. Phased distribution will take time, with vaccines not expected to be widely available to all New Yorkers until mid-2021. However, as of January 11th, 2021, New Yorkers are in Phase 1A and segments of Phase 1B are eligible for the vaccines. All vaccinations are administered by appointment only.

Below is a chart evidencing who is eligible to receive the vaccination in Phase 1A & 1B:

*For an exact breakdown of who is qualified for the COVID-19 vaccine, please click here.*

The State of New York launched the Am I Eligible? online application to help New Yorkers determine if they are currently eligible for a vaccine and if they are, to connect them with providers who can administer it. If you’re deemed eligible for an appointment, you must bring proof of eligibility to the vaccination site as well as an employee ID card, a letter from your employer or affiliated organization or a pay stub depending on the specific priority status. New Yorkers are encouraged to use the Am I Eligible? app to see if they are eligible for vaccination and to find sites nearest them.

Turning our attention to the newly signed Stimulus Package, the President of The United States signed a new coronavirus stimulus package which calls for a round of $600.00 stimulus checks to dispensed to many Americans. The ranges for the second stimulus check are broken down as follows:

  • Individuals with AGI (Adjusted Gross income) of $75,000 or less will qualify to get the full $600 second stimulus check. Individuals making more than $75,000 and up to $87,000 will receive a reduced amount.
  • Married couples filing jointly with AGI of $150,000 or less will qualify to get the full $600, and those making more than $150,000 and up to $174,000 will receive a reduced amount.
  • Head of household with AGI of $112,500 or less will qualify for the full $600, and those making over $112,500 and up to $124,500 will get a reduced amount.

Please note that the second stimulus checks will also provide an additional $600 payment for every qualifying dependent under the age of 17. If you filed your taxes as a married couple with three children, you could get up to $3,000. For more information on who qualifies for the second stimulus check, please click here.  Those who are eligible for a stimulus can check the status of their payments on the IRS website. In the weeks to come Congress may approve an additional payment of $2,000.00 to eligible Americans, but for now there is no guarantee that it will happen. We will keep you updated as things develop.

New Yorkers are currently divided between those who welcome the emergence of a vaccine and those who are skeptical of its effectiveness. Despite the progress made in the fight against COVID-19, it’s still important to remain vigilant and practice these COVID-19 prevention protocols which include:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water
  • Wear a face covering
  • Keep physical distance from others (6 feet is recommended)
  • Get test for COVID-19 regularly

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