SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Onondaga County Executive says doctors should “absolutely” be giving out notes to people with underlying health conditions as proof of vaccine eligibility, despite some offices refusing to do so.
“That makes no sense to me,” says Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. “If a patient is asking for a doctor’s note to verify that they have one of the conditions that the state has put out, why wouldn’t they do that?”
In calls and emails to NewsChannel 9’s Your Stories team, people have complained that their doctors’ offices have refused to give notes out, apparently waiting for guidance from the Onondaga County Health Department to deem who is eligible.
Knowing they’ll eventually need proof of underlying health conditions, people have been asking for doctor’s notes or medical records as they prepare to hunt for an available vaccine appointment.
Thursday, McMahon announced that the Onondaga County Health Department will start vaccinating some people with underlying health conditions next week but using a more restrictive list of eligible conditions than the state’s broad guidance.
To ensure the people in the most danger from coronavirus get the vaccine first, the county is working with primary care doctors, who will submit names of people they deem eligible.
People with less-severe underlying health conditions, who aren’t yet eligible at Onondaga County’s clinic can still use the broader state eligibility to compete for limited appointments at the state-run vaccine clinic at the New York State Fairgrounds.
People need to show proof of their diagnosis through a doctor’s note, medical records from their doctor, or a legally-binding attestation at the clinic.