IMPORTANT COVID-19 VACCINE INFO

IMPORTANT COVID-19 VACCINE INFO
IMPORTANT COVID-19 VACCINE INFO
Monday, January 25, 2021
IMPORTANT COVID-19 VACCINE INFO:
Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine now?
For a full and updated list of vaccine eligibility, read through the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s vaccine eligibility web-page: https://www1.nyc.gov/.../covid-19-vaccine-eligibility.page.
As of today, the vaccine is being administered to people in phases 1a and 1b which includes:
- Health care workers
- Nursing home & congregate care facilities staff & residents
- People 65+ (just lowered last week from 75)
- Teachers, school staff, and child care workers
- First responders
- Mass transit employees
- Public-facing grocery store workers
Where can I locate a site and how do I make an appointment?
Start here, at NYC’s Vaccine Finder: https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/, a one-stop site for NYC residents to find their nearest Covid-19 vaccination location and then schedule an appointment. All sites are currently by appointment, and are not accepting walk-ins at this time.
The current user interface can be confusing. Some of the vaccine sites are run by the City, some by other health care providers, and some by pharmacies so each site has its own system for making appointments. We have reported issues and urged for improvements to make the system more user friendly.
In the interim, a helpful tip we want to share: If you’re looking to schedule an appointment at a NYC Health + Hospitals location, make a MyChart account: https://epicmychart.nychhc.org/MyChart/accesscheck.asp.
You might already have one if you’ve gotten COVID-19 testing at any of their locations. Note that this is different from a MyChart account you may have created for another hospital system such as NYU-Langone. Once you’ve made an account visit this website: https://covid19.nychealthandhospitals.org/UnaffiliatedHea..., so you can search through available appointments. It’s not guaranteed you’ll find an appointment, but this has been one way to successfully look through availability without being redirected to re-submit your information to continue your search.
If you need help with the online form, the City has set up a vaccine appointment hotline (877-VAX-4NYC) that you can reach between 8:00 AM. to 9:00 PM, seven days a week. There may be long wait times, but someone will assist you to set up an appointment.
You can also try the New York State hotline which is open 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, seven days a week: 833-697-4829.
Why aren’t there more sites and available appointments?
Millions of NYC residents are now eligible, and hundreds of thousands of people are trying to make appointments. So far 409,403 doses have been administered as of yesterday. We know it is frustrating to fall under a priority category of eligibility and have difficulty securing an appointment. Please note that this is in large part because of vaccine supply. The Federal Government determines how much vaccine doses we receive and has only provided approximately 200,000- 300,000 vaccines per week for over 7 million people who are currently eligible – as a result supply is very limited. You can keep track of the doses delivered and administered via the COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: https://www1.nyc.gov/.../covid/covid-19-data-vaccines.page.
Oftentimes there are no appointments available, sometimes there may be a stray appointment available. The key is to be as flexible with time and geographic location as feasible. Sometimes the system will dump many appointments all at once either at one location or multiple sites, stay vigilant!
New York City is planning to open more vaccination sites including CitiField and our office will keep you informed on this as updates become available. In the meantime, continue checking the vaccine finder site as cancellations do occur freeing up slots and as more sites open, appointments will become available.
What should I do before I go to a vaccination site?
You need to complete the NYS COVID-19 Vaccine Form: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/vaccine, before your appointment.
The person administering the vaccine is required to check that you completed the form before you can get vaccinated.
If you are eligible for vaccination based on your job, you must bring proof of employment, such as an employee ID card, a letter from your employer or affiliated organization or a recent pay stub to your appointment. If you are eligible for a vaccine based on your age, you must be able to show proof of age. And of course, WEAR A MASK when you go!
Do I have to get my second dose of the vaccine at the same location?
When you go in for your first dose of the vaccine, you will be given an appointment date for the second dose at the same site. The efficacy of the vaccine depends on your second shot, so it is highly recommended that you follow up with your second vaccine appointment. We have heard some reports of people not receiving any information about the second dose at their initial appointment so be sure to ask while you are there.
Is the vaccine free?
Yes. The vaccine is free for everyone, including uninsured or undocumented individuals. If you have health insurance you may be asked for proof, but your health insurance will cover any costs.
Why should I get vaccinated?
By getting vaccinated, you are helping protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community - making it safer. In clinical studies, both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were more than 95% effective at protecting participants from COVID-19. They were also shown to be safe and will not give you the COVID-19 virus. In New York, an added level of review was established to ensure COVID vaccine safety. Following FDA approval, experts on New York State's independent COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Task Force thoroughly reviewed vaccine research before recommending any vaccine to New Yorkers.
Do I need to keep taking precautions after I am vaccinated?
Yes! Even after you are vaccinated, you still need to practice the same COVID-19 prevention steps we have adopted over the past year: staying home if you are sick, washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering and keeping physical distance from others.
Are there any vaccine scams we should be aware of?
Unfortunately, yes. The New York State Office for the Aging and NYC Department for the Aging have warned of potential COVID-19 vaccine scams that could take place. If anyone calls you saying you can put your name on a list or pay to get early access, it is a scam. No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up for the vaccine. If you get a call, text, email - or even someone knocking on your door - claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, you should report the incident to the NYC Department for the Aging through the Aging Connect Hotline (212-244-6469).
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