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Getting the COVID-19 vaccine in NY: Sites, eligibility, appointments, more

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New York on Monday dramatically expanded the pool of people eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here is a breakdown of who can get it, how to sign up, where to get the jab — and the state’s schedule for who gets the inoculation next.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in NY?

New Yorkers now eligible to receive the two-dose coronavirus vaccine are those designated in the state’s Phase 1A and 1B categories.

Those eligible in Phase 1A include: hospital and healthcare workers, residents and staffers at nursing homes, EMS workers, coroners, medical examiners, urgent care providers, individuals administering COVID-19 vaccines, staffers who are in direct contact with patients, doctors, nurses, outpatient/ambulatory front line workers, dentists and orthodontists and their staff, psychiatrists and psychologists and their staff, physical therapists and their staff, optometrist and their staff, pharmacists, home care workers, and hospice workers.

As of Monday, eligibility was expanded to those in Phase 1B.

That category includes: people aged 75 and older, first responders and support staff for first responder agencies, corrections staff, public transit workers, public safety workers, teachers and other school staffers, including bus drivers, childcare providers, in-person college instructors, public-facing grocery store workers, people living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with others who are not part of their household; and people working in those shelters.

The state has a full breakdown of the phases.

How to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in New York City

Vaccine appointments must be made in advance.

Eligible New York City residents can make an appointment to get inoculated at more than 125 public and private sites throughout the five boroughs through the city’s Department of Health website and the NYC Health + Hospitals website.

Both websites prompt users to click on a button that brings them to a city-run COVID-19 “vaccine finder” page. Users are then prompted to input their address or zip code to find a vaccine provider near them.

Users will then be directed to schedule an appointment from a public or private provider.

The city has also launched a phone number, 877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692, to reserve a vaccine appointment.

A pre-recorded message encourages callers who are able to make an appointment online to do so using the city’s “vaccine finder” site. If not, an agent can schedule you to make an appointment at a city vaccination site, the message says.

Beginning at 4 p.m. on Jan. 11, New York state’s COVID-19 vaccination hotline will also open for scheduling vaccination appointments for eligible New Yorkers at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX.

New Yorkers can check if they are eligible to receive the vaccine through this state website.

Where can you get the COVID-19 vaccine in NY?

New York City residents can find their nearest vaccination location through the city’s Vaccine Finder site.

The city currently has two 24/7 mass vaccination hubs, at Brooklyn’s Army Terminal in Sunset Park and the Bathgate Industrial Park in Morrisiana in The Bronx.

Hubs are also set to open at 125 Worth St. in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday, Health + Hospitals Vanderbilt on Staten Island on Wednesday. Eventually there will be sites in all five boroughs, the mayor has promised.

The state also has a website listing vaccine locations in other parts of New York.

How to prepare for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

A New York State COVID-19 vaccination form must be completed in order to get vaccinated. The state requires the provider administering the vaccine to check that the form has been completed.  

Additionally for those who are eligible because of their job, proof of employment — such as an employee ID card, a letter from your employer or affiliated organization, or a recent pay stub — must be brought to the appointment, according to the city.

A woman showing her vaccination card after getting vaccinated at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica.
A woman showing her vaccination card after getting vaccinated at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica.
Ron Adar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Do you have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. The vaccine is free.

What is the schedule for the remaining COVID-19 distribution in NY?

According to the city Health Department, the next group to be eligible for the vaccine, 1C, will include people aged 65 to 74, those with certain underlying health conditions, and all other essential workers.

The city currently says that group will likely be eligible starting in March-April, although the timeline for 1B was brought up significantly to this week.

The vaccination of all other people will likely begin in the summer, according to the city.

Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks

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