While promises of a COVID-19 vaccine are uplifting, the actual roll out has been disorganized, without clear guidance on how to access the vaccine for those who qualify or whether a dose would actually be available even if you have an appointment. It’s frustrating, scary, and puts a tremendous burden on New Yorkers - particularly seniors, as they try to navigate this very unclear system. I do not have all of the answers, but felt that it may be helpful to provide some clear FAQs and resources for neighbors to use:
The City created a Vaccine Fact Sheet that covers additional details, but some key takeaways are that there are currently two vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) that have been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you cannot contract COVID from the vaccine, and the vaccine is safe, effective, and free to everyone (you are not required to share your immigration status).
We are currently in Phase 1B of New York State’s Vaccine Distribution plan. Eligible individuals include:
For a full description of eligibility groups, you can visit the City’s Vaccine Eligibility website.
According to the New York City COVID Data Tracker, the City has received 800,500 doses as of 1/16/21, and administered 370,972 doses (inclusive of both first and second doses) thus far. You are considered fully vaccinated when you receive two doses.
In short, the City currently does not have enough of the vaccine to vaccinate everyone eligible under Phase 1B. While we are waiting to receive more doses from New York State, the larger issue is that we will need to receive more doses from the Federal Government.
New Yorkers have been seeking appointments through the City’s Vaccine Finder website (vaccinefinder.nyc.gov), or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) to make an appointment. NOTE: Several neighbors have informed me that it took several hours to make an appointment via phone, and several vaccination centers have booked up appointments for the next several weeks/months. My best advice is to continue to check in with these sites and your healthcare provider to monitor available appointments. As additional vaccination sites become available and more doses are delivered to the City, availability will vary.
NYC Vaccine Command Center:
NYC Vaccine Information for Providers: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-providers-vaccines.page
NYS COVID-19 Vaccine Form (PDF) in order to get vaccinated:
CDC COVID-19 Vaccine phases:
As we continue to fight this dangerous pandemic, we will share as many good resources as possible to keep you informed and up-to-date on the latest information from public health experts and our government leaders. For the most recent information about COVID-19, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. For New York State updates visit: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Department of Health.
Hotlines and crisis text lines
Resources for Students
ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES
Childcare for Essential Workers