Leah has been a health content creator for over 4 years. Her work helps make health information and healthcare more accessible. She is passionate about healthcare equality and hopes to help patients make informed health choices.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
March 10, 2021
To be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in certain states, you’ll need to present a doctor’s note showing proof of a pre-existing condition.
While some states don’t require a doctor’s note, it’s still advisable to bring one to expedite your vaccination and ensure you don’t hit any snags.
State health officials are steadily moving down the line of vaccine recipients, from the highest risk patients – frontline healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities – to those at a lower but still elevated level of risk.
Among this second group are those with pre-existing conditions that may affect their overall health and immune system efficiency.
Some conditions that may qualify you for a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine include:
If you are over 65, a frontline healthcare worker, or you have certain underlying conditions, then you are likely eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in your state. That said, eligibility varies by state, and some states are in earlier phases of the vaccine rollout than others.
The Center for Disease Control has issued a recommended schedule of COVID-19 vaccination distribution that details who should receive vaccinations and when, but ultimately the decision is up to the states.
While states have taken varied approaches to the vaccine rollout, the entire country is still in Phase 1 of vaccine distribution. Some counties are in Phase 1c – which tends to include those with certain conditions and workers in certain industries – while some are still in Phase 1a – which usually only includes frontline healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities.
Refer to your official local health website to determine which phase of COVID-19 vaccination distribution your area is currently in.
Each state can interpret and adhere to this schedule in any way they choose.
Your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine depends on your state, federal guidelines at the time of your reading this and the availability of the vaccine in your area.
Here are some more specific eligibility requirements for the 4 largest states by population – California, Texas, Florida, and New York:
California is, as of March 8th, in Phase 1b of their COVID-19 vaccination schedule.
Here are the groups eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in California now:
Beginning March 15th, healthcare providers in California can use their discretion in issuing vaccines to those with certain underlying conditions, including:
Those with other, unlisted conditions will likely be able to gain eligibility if they provide a valid doctor’s note stating that their condition presents a high risk in conjunction with a COVID-19 infection.
PlushCare, our telehealth partner recently awarded by Forbes as a top startup of 2021, has top-of-their-class physicians to determine your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine and provide you with documentation to present to your local vaccination center.
Texas is in Phase 1b of their COVID-19 vaccination schedule. This phase includes:
Pre-existing conditions that are accepted for eligibility of the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas include:
Doctor’s note requirements for Texas COVID-19 vaccinations vary between counties, although some areas require some form of proof of condition to show eligibility. Obtaining a doctor’s note online regarding your condition secures your spot for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Book an appointment with our sister site PlushCare to determine your eligibility and secure documentation.
New Yorkers in the following groups are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:
Underlying conditions that classify New Yorkers as eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine include:
To qualify for the COVID-19 vaccination as a result of an underlying disease, residents of New York City must present a New York City Certification of Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine
Due to Medical Condition along with proof that they live in New York.
In the greater New York state, vaccine recipients must present one of the following documents to qualify:
You can book an appointment on our sister site, PlushCare, to obtain a doctor’s note for New York COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.
The following groups are eligible for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida:
Beginning March 15th, persons between 60 and 65 years of age, inclusive, will become eligible for the vaccine.
To qualify because of an underlying condition, a physician must fill out and sign a COVID-19 Determination of Extreme Vulnerability form and present it to the distributor.
Book an appointment with our sister site, PlushCare.com, to get your Florida COVID-19 vaccine eligibility form filled and signed.
Regardless of your location, if your area has started vaccinating people with preexisting conditions, our partner PlushCare can help prove your eligibility. Whether your state requires a doctor’s note for COVID-19 vaccination or not, having a doctor’s verification will help you get the vaccine.
Be sure to check with your local health officials regarding their policies for COVID-19 vaccination.
Please be sure to adhere to guidelines regarding eligibility and required documentation – and continue following mask and social distancing protocols until your local, state, or federal ordinances permit otherwise.
On March 8th, the CDC announced new regulations for fully vaccinated individuals. They are saying that fully vaccinated people can:
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