New Yorkers are now receiving vaccines against COVID-19, and the state recently expanded eligibility rules for who can receive them. Nearly all New York adults are currently eligible to get vaccinated.
Here are answers to some of the common questions:
Who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine?
Nearly every New Yorker is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. New Yorkers aged 16 and up, and who received their second vaccine dose at least six months ago, are eligible for booster shots. All adults who received a Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine at least two months ago can also receive a booster shot.
New Yorkers age 5 years old and up are eligible to get vaccinated. Currently only the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses several weeks apart, is approved for use in children aged 5 - 17.
All adults aged 18 and older are eligible for any of the three COVID-19 vaccines, including the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined to be safe.
Here is a detailed list of who is currently eligible.
How do I make an appointment?
You can use this website to find vaccination locations and in some cases schedule a vaccine online, and this website to check your eligibility.
The state has also opened a hotline for scheduling appointments over the phone: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). The city has opened its own hotline as well, which will have a 24-hour reservation system by Friday, Jan. 15: 1-877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692).
Where are the vaccination sites?
Medical workers and city health workers are administering the vaccine at sites in all five boroughs. You can view the locations on the map here.
The city's Health + Hospitals says that all vaccine sites are ADA compliant.
How much does it cost?
The vaccine is free to all New Yorkers, the city says. At the same time, insurance experts and consumer advocates have warned that the complexity of the American health care system may lead some people to receive bills for care related to receiving the vaccine.
I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I still receive the vaccine?
The city has said that you do not need to share your immigrant status to receive the vaccine. Both city and state health departments have said they will not share patient information with federal immigration authorities.
I’m eligible for a booster vaccine. How long is the wait?
Due to diminishing demand for vaccines, appointments are overwhelmingly available at sites around the city. You can likely find a same-day appointment in your area. Walk-ins are also welcome at many sites.
Listen below for a podcast from January on the city's complicated and flawed early vaccine rollout.
Is the vaccine mandatory?
The vaccine is mandatory for municipal workers, a workforce of nearly 400,000 people, and de Blasio has issued a vaccine mandate for early child care workers as well. De Blasio has also set a vaccine mandate for private businesses in the city, potentially affecting tens of thousands of businesses, that was scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 27th. Yet it is not clear if Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who takes office Jan. 1, will follow through with the mandate, which some business owners have decried as too broad.
Starting Dec. 27th, people aged 12 years and up wanting to dine indoors, attend a performance venue or visit a range of other indoor businesses will have to show proof of two vaccine doses. Children aged 5 to 11 will have to show proof of at least one dose for entry as well.
City health experts have cited the city's wide vaccine coverage — more than 90% of residents have had at least one dose — as the reason why the city is not experiencing a major winter surge in cases.
Health experts have consistently found that the vaccine is safe. Some vaccine recipients have reported flu-like symptoms after receiving the vaccine, and there have been a very small number of anaphylactic allergic reactions, though none of the vaccines have led to serious safety concerns, health experts have repeatedly said. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
Who is next in line to receive the vaccine?
According to the Washington Post, Pfizer is currently testing its vaccine in children under the age of 5, and expects to release that data by early 2022. The company has said that its vaccine could be available for young children in the first half of 2022.
This is an ongoing story. Check back for more developments.