There has been frustration regarding the speed and efficiency of vaccine distribution, as well as the eligibility criteria. I want to ensure that you have updated information, FAQs, and resources regarding the rollout process, and when you may be eligible to be vaccinated.
NEW: My office is introducing Your Shot, a program to make sure that you have the assistance and information you need in making an appointment, determining if you are eligible, and more. We’re recruiting volunteers for our effort, too. Submit and sign up.
Who is currently eligible for the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed in phases. Healthcare workers and nursing home residents, certain essential workers, those 65+, and individuals with pre-existing conditions are now eligible for the vaccine.
The eligibility groups are determined by New York State. Find the latest on eligibility here.
Can I make an appointment? Where will I be able to receive the vaccine?
Eligible individuals can find a location and schedule an appointment for vaccines at streamlined sites: vaccinefinder.nyc.gov | nyc.gov/Vax4NYC
Hospitals, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies will be instrumental in the vaccine distribution process.
You can also call 1-877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692) between 8:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. to book an appointment, which will be based on supply.
Is there an easier way to make an appointment? Why is it so difficult?Appointments are most available after York City receives the weekly allocation of doses, which is typically on Tuesdays. Many appointments are newly listed just after midnight following allocations in the middle of the week.
In recent weeks, it has become clear that New York City is serving as a vaccination hub for the region, with a large portion of the city’s vaccine doses being administered to residents from outside the five boroughs. In order to compensate to ensure enough doses are going to New Yorkers, I have asked Governor Cuomo to adjust the allocation of the vaccine and increase the share for New York City.
Based on current vaccine supply, appointments will be limited. Governor Cuomo recently announced that New York’s vaccine supply would increase by 20% over the next three weeks.
Do I need to make an appointment for my second dose of the vaccine?
For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, you will make an appointment for the second dose of the vaccine at the time you receive the first one, at that same location 21-28 days later. Vaccine doses will be reserved for second doses. The recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose.
What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment?
Once you make your appointment, you will need to have various materials ready to show that you are eligible, including proof of residency. Be sure to follow the directions given by the site you made the appointment to show proof of eligibility.
Before your appointment, complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine form: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/vaccine
When will more essential workers be eligible?
Essential workers are eligible to be vaccinated. This includes teachers, firefighters, police officers, and public transit workers. Restaurant workers and taxi drivers are also now eligible for vaccination in New York State, per local approval. A full list can be found here: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine
When will people with underlying medical conditions be eligible to be vaccinated?
Individuals with underlying medical conditions/comorbidities are now eligible for vaccination. The State’s list of what constitutes an underlying medical condition/comorbidity can be found here and is subject to change.
I need help getting to my vaccine appointment. What are my options?
Per the City, New Yorkers aged 65 and over who make an appointment for a vaccine at a City-operated site will be asked whether they have a way to get to and from their appointment. If they require transportation, they will be screened and directed to transportation options, including Access-a-Ride, ambulette services, cab service via Curb and in a few weeks, transportation by select Senior Center programs.
You can also make a request through the State Department of Health: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/vaccine
How will I know when it’s my turn to be vaccinated?
I have requested that the Department of Health (DOH) expand the pre-registration system for all New Yorkers to proactively sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine. Allowing for pre-registration would ease concerns about the complex phasing for availability and inform New Yorkers as they become eligible for vaccination.
What COVID-19 vaccines are available?
Two vaccines are authorized for distribution across the country, from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna. Each vaccine requires two doses to be most effective. There are other vaccines nearing the end of clinical trials, some of which require fewer doses and are more easily stored. A third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson was approved on February 27.
Can I choose between them?
Availability determines which vaccine is administered at a specific site. At this time, the DOH has limited supply of each vaccine. The Vaccine Finder will show which vaccine is being offered at which site. This will not change day-to-day as individuals are required to return to the first dose location for the second dose if it is Moderna or Pfizer, and the vaccine brand must be the same for both doses.
Is the vaccine safe?
There have been no significant safety concerns reported regarding administration of the vaccine. You can learn more about safety measures from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How many doses does New York City have? How many have been distributed?
You can find the latest data on DOH’s vaccine tracker.
How can I protect myself against the different variants?
Continue to maintain social distancing and wear masks: based on guidance from the CDC, it is recommended to wear a cloth mask over a medical mask. Find out more about the variants from NYC DOHMH.
When will everyone who is eligible for a vaccine be able to get one on demand?
President Biden has stated that the federal government expects to have enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by this July.
Where can I find out more about the vaccination process?
Following vaccination, be sure to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing, per CDC recommendations.