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Long Island News

New York 9/11 Survivors With Underlying Conditions Eligible For Vaccine Monday

Tribute in Light, two vertical columns of light representing the fallen towers of the World Trade Center shine against the lower Manhattan skyline on the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Stefan Jeremiah
/
Associated Press
Tribute in Light, two vertical columns of light representing the fallen towers of the World Trade Center shine against the lower Manhattan skyline on the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

New Yorkers with underlying conditions are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday.

That includes over 80,000 first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terror attacks who have diseases and cancers caused from the debris at Ground Zero.

Attorney Michael Barasch represents thousands of these 9/11 survivors. He has called on the state to open a special hotline to set them up with vaccine appointments.

“I believe the government is responsible for tens of thousands of people in the community having respiratory illnesses and cancer because the EPA lied to us about the quality of the air.… And as a result, the 9/11 community's health is severely compromised now due to this COVID-19. The government owes these people a debt,” Barasch said.

Barasch wants the state to allow mass vaccination at World Trade Center health centers, in Commack, Mineola and Brentwood on Long Island, to avoid competing with other New Yorkers.

He also wants more 9/11 survivors to sign up for the World Trade Center health coverage that they are eligible for to help cover the medical costs of diseases including COVID-19.

Barasch has lost over 100 clients to coronavirus.

John Feal with the Feal Good Foundation advocated for the federal government to cover the medical costs of 9/11 survivors.

“I implore all 9/11 responders and those who worked on the pile that were affected by the aftermath of the toxins to get the vaccinations and not only for themselves but for their families to protect whatever future they have left because they are battling 9/11 related illnesses,” Feal said.

Congress made a permanent extension to the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund in 2019 after Feal, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart and tri-state first responders lobbied for full medical coverage of survivors and their families.

Feal had COVID-19 in March last year. He now has antibodies and said he will wait in line to make sure first responders and survivors get the vaccine.

Residents 65 and older or with underlying conditions can make an appointment online or over the phone at 1-833-697-4829.