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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

Here's what you need to know about how to get vaccinated in New York.

Updated March 31: 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 Monday, March 29, Governor Cuomo announced that New Yorkers who are ages 30+ become eligible to schedule vaccine appointments on Tuesday, March 30. Ages 16+ are eligible starting April 6.

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 ages 30 and older (16+ beginning April 6)
  • 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.

RELATED: You Got the COVID Vaccine. Now What?

When can children get vaccinated?

Beginning April 6 in New York, older teens at least 16-years-old will be eligible for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. 

Pfizer-BioNTech reported on Wednesday, March 31 that the vaccine is "extremely effective" in adolescents ages 12-15. According to NPR, the vaccine elicited "100 percent efficacy and robust antibody responses" and no serious side effects in a trial including 2,260 participants between the ages 12-15. These results were said to be even better than early responses from participants ages 16-25.

Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla said in a news release about the trial that the results will be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency in the coming weeks "with the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year." They will ask the regulators to expand authorizations for the vaccine to be used in young people. 

In Pfizer's clinical trial, 18 adolescents in the placebo group developed COVID-19 and 0 in the vaccinated group did. Those in the vaccinated group showed a strong immune response one month after receipt of the second vaccine dose, according to test data released by Pfizer. 

The companies are currently working toward testing the vaccine in children as young as six months. A group of kids ages 5-11 years old received their first shots for the first part of that study last week and a second group, ages 2-5, are slated to receive first doses next week.

Moderna is also testing its vaccine in adolescents, having announced a trial of approximately 3,000 participants ages 12-18 in December. Earlier this month, it administered the first vaccine dose to children six months old to 12 years old.

Johnson & Johnson is slated to test its vaccine on a small number of adolescents, with plans to expand pending safety. 

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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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