When can you get the COVID-19 vaccine? | WHEC.com

When can you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

When can you get the COVID-19 vaccine? Photo: MGN.

Updated: February 15, 2021 01:28 PM
Created: January 08, 2021 12:32 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As of Jan. 11, New Yorkers in Phase 1A and segments of Phase 1B are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible groups include doctors, nurses and health care workers, people age 65 and over, first responders, teachers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and public safety workers.

Due to limited supply from the federal government, state officials say it may be 14 or more weeks before an appointment is available to some New Yorkers. Vaccines are being offered at clinics ran by the state and local governments, as well as pharmacies and healthcare sytems.

*A note on healthcare systems

Health systems are seeing a significant reduction in vaccine supply.  Last week, UR Medicine got just 300 doses, most of which were given to healthcare workers.  Unused doses can ONLY be offered to patients who are 65+.  Less than 100 went to randomly chosen 65+. In fact, UR Medicine has 107k patients who are 65+ and would be eligible for the vaccine and so far, it has only been able to vaccinate 3,000 of them and now that number will dramatically decrease.    

So bottom line: Seniors should NOT wait for a call from their doctor's office with a vaccine opportunity.  They should be fighting with everyone else to get vaccinated at a state-run site or a pharmacy.  

As for those locations and elligiblities:


FOR WHO: People 65+

WHERE? : CVS and Walgreens

HOW?:  To sign up for a vaccine appointment at CVS, click here, or you can use its app. Anyone without internet access can call (800) 746-7287. For Walgreens, click here, and follow the guidelines it lays out.

County Sites

FOR WHO?: Frontline workers, Comorbidities -Healthcare Systems - Healthcare Workers, LIMITED 65+

WHERE?: Check your county's DOH page.

State Sites

FOR WHO: Frontline workers, 65+, Comorbidities (Anyone eligible) 

WHERE?: Various sites statewide

HOW?: The state urges people to follow these steps:

Step 1: First, you should complete the Am I Eligible? App to check your eligibility and find vaccination locations near you where you can schedule an appointment, or call the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). The hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week, for scheduling vaccination appointments for those eligible.

Step 2: Once and only once you have a confirmed appointment, you must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form. This form can be completed online and you will receive a submission ID, or it can be completed at your vaccination site. 

Step 3: When you go to your vaccination site for your appointment, you must bring proof of eligibility. This may include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on the specific priority status. If you are eligible due to age, you should bring a form of ID (like a Driver's License or passport) that includes your date of birth.

Step 4: You will be able to schedule an appointment to get your second shot at your vaccination site, in-person, right after getting your first shot. Both vaccines require two doses for effectiveness.

Below is a list of who is eligible now or in the coming weeks per the New York State Department of Health's current distribution plan.

Phase 1A

  • High-risk hospital workers (emergency room workers, ICU staff, and Pulmonary Department staff)
  • Residents and staff at nursing homes and other congregate care facilities
  • Federally Qualified Health Center employees
  • EMS workers
  • Coroners, medical examiners, and certain funeral workers
  • Staff and residents at OPWDD, OMH, and OASAS facilities
  • Urgent Care providers
  • Individuals administering COVID-19 vaccines, including local health department staff
  • All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care
  • All staff who are in direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff)
  • All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, handling COVID-19 specimens and COVID-19 vaccinations
  • This includes, but is not limited to,
    • Doctors who work in private medical practices and their staff 
    • Doctors who work in hospital-affiliated medical practices and their staff
    • Doctors who work in public health clinics and their staff
    • Registered Nurses
    • Specialty medical practices of all types
    • Dentists and Orthodontists and their staff
    • Psychiatrists and Psychologists and their staff
    • Physical Therapists and their staff
    • Optometrists and their staff
    • Pharmacists and Pharmacy Aides
    • Home care workers
    • Hospice workers
  • Staff of nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities who did not receive COVID vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program

Phase 1B

  • Individuals Age 75 and older
  • First Responder and Support Staff for First Responder Agency
    • Fire Service
      • State Fire Service, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
      • Local Fire Services, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
    • Police and Investigations
      • State Police, including Troopers
      • State Park Police, DEC Police, Forest Rangers
      • SUNY Police
      • Sheriffs' Offices
      • County Police Departments and Police Districts
      • City, Town, and Village Police Departments
      • Transit of other Public Authority Police Departments
      • State Field Investigations, including Department of Motor Vehicles, State Commission of Correction, Justice Center, Department of Financial Services, Inspector General, Department of Tax and Finance, Office of Children and Family Services and State Liquor Authority
    • Public Safety Communications
      • Emergency Communication and Public Safety Answering Point Personnel, including dispatchers and technicians
    • Other Sworn and Civilian Personnel
      • Court Officers
      • Other Police or Peace Officers
      • Support of Civilian Staff for Any of the above services, agencies, or facilities
  • Corrections
    • State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Personnel, including correction and parole officers
    • Local Correctional Facilities, including correction officers
    • Local Probation Departments, including probation officers
    • State Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
    • Local Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
  • P-12 Schools
    • P-12 school or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff and support staff including bus drivers)
    • Contractors working in a P-12 school or school district (including contracted bus drivers)
    • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare
    • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare Providers
  • Employees or Support Staff of Licensed or Registered Childcare Setting
  • Licensed, Registered, Approved or Legally Exempt Childcare Providers
  • Public Transit
    • Airline and airport employees
    • Passenger railroad employees
    • Subway and mass transit employees (i.e., MTA, LIRR, Metro North, NYC Transit, Upstate transit)
    • Ferry employees
    • Port Authority employee
    • Public bus employee
  • Individuals living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of your household
  • Individual working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents
  • Public-facing grocery store workers
  • In-person college instructors

Phase 1C 

  • People between 65 and 74
  • Anyone over 16 with chronic conditions

Phase 2 

  • People who should have been vaccinated in Phase 1 but got missed 

Phase 3 

  • Everyone else between 16 and 64

The state has created a vaccine dashboard to track the number of first and second doses administered.

Learn more about the phases of the vaccine distribution here.

The latest on the coronavirus pandemic can be found here

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