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Everything You Need to Know About Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine in New York

Everything You Need to Know About Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine in New York

New York State entered Phase 1b of COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday, Jan. 11. Here's what you need to know about how to get vaccinated.

Updated Thursday, Jan. 14: Phase 1b of COVID-19 vaccination distribution in New York City and throughout New York State began Monday, Jan. 11. All vaccinations are by appointment only, free, and are available to the groups of New Yorkers who have Phase 1a or Phase 1b eligibility. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Governor Cuomo announced that New Yorkers who are 65 and older, as well as those who are immunocompromised, are now also eligible for vaccination. The state is still defining those who are immunocompromised and that option will be added to the portal once it is determined. 

Who can get vaccinated in New York?

The following groups of New Yorkers are currently eligible to make vaccination appointments:

  • Health care workers who are part of Phase 1a will continue to be vaccinated at hospitals and clinical settings
  • People 65 and older
  • Individuals who have underlying conditions
  • Frontline essential workers
  • Public employees 
  • Childcare staff
  • First responders
  • Public safety workers
  • Public transit workers

Presently, underlying conditions includes the following conditions in New York:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Heart Conditions
  • Immunocompromised State 
  • Severe Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia
  • Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Neurologic Conditions
  • Liver Disease

Where can I get vaccinated in New York?

If you are part of the above group, you can use this online tool to confirm your eligibility, find a vaccination location, and make your appointment. Beginning at 4pm on Monday, Jan. 11, the COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline will open for scheduling appointments as well at 1-888-NYS-4-VAX. Eligible groups in NYC can use the portal at to find a location nearest them. 

Ages 75 and older will primarily be vaccinated at pharmacies and other sites part of the "retail network," while public employees (like police officers, public school teachers, and MTA employees), can expect to be vaccinated through their groups' relevant health programs or as organized by their unions. If you are an educator who is currently teaching remotely, you are still eligible to receive your vaccine, but priority may be given to in-person teachers. The goal, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, is to have as many New Yorkers vaccinated as possible. 

Once you confirm eligibility and make an appointment, you will need to fill out this New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form. After you receive your first dose, a second shot will be needed 3-4 weeks after in order to protect you from the virus. You can learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated here. 

de Blasio announced that Citi Field will be a major host site for 24/7 COVID-19 vaccines beginning the Wednesday, Feb. 10. The focus at this site will be on Queens residents and there will be special appointments reserved for TLC (taxi and limousine service workers) and food service workers. It will be open Wednesday-Saturday, 24 hours a day. 

A vaccine drive-through mega-site opened at Jones Beach on Thursday, Jan. 14.

When can children get vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccination clinical trials conducted this year tested the vaccine's safety and efficacy in adults, not children, according to healthline. That said, researchers still need to conduct additional studies on how the vaccine affects younger children in order to determine dosages, intervals between doses, and the number of doses that will work best on children before children can begin to receive vaccines. According to pediatric infectious disease experts, this process could take several months and children may not see a vaccine until the summer or fall of 2021.

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Melissa Wickes

Author: Melissa Wickes, a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, is the production editor for NYMetroParents. She's written hundreds of articles to help New York parents make better decisions for their families. When she's not writing, you can find her eating pasta, playing guitar, or watching reality TV. See More

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