Updated the week of February 15th, 2021

Those with pre-existing conditions are now eligible to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

These comorbidities include people with cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers), chronic kidney disease, pulmonary disease (including COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases), intellectual and developmental disabilities (including down syndrome), heart conditions (including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension), immunocompromised state (including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes), severe obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2), obesity (BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher), pregnancy, sickle cell disease or thalassemia, Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular disease, neurologic conditions (including but not limited to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia), and liver disease.

Appointments can be made at the state and city sites listed below, but as of February 17th, many are already booked through mid-April.

Note: Pharmacies are only accepting appointments for ages 65+ at this time.


Updated February 11th, 2021

The vaccine distribution effort in New York has been off to a slow start, and the program is currently up and running with more people eligible to get the vaccine than dosages available. The hope is this will change in the coming weeks as a new administration enters the White House, production ramps up, and more vaccines are approved. In the meantime, even with dosages available to those eligible, frustrations are high over the appointment-making process — here's what you need to know about how to get vaccinated in New York. We will be updating this guide as new information becomes available.

When can I get the vaccine?

The vaccine rollout is separated into groups. As of today, those in groups 1a and 1b can make appointments to receive the vaccine. However, there are currently more people than supplies — at the current rate, it would take months to get through these two groups. It's expected that vaccine production will ramp up, however, speeding this process up.

Phase 1a and Phase 1b includes healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, public transit workers, people age 65+, public-facing grocery store workers, and more.

On February 2nd, restaurant workers and taxi drivers became eligible for the vaccine.

On February 15th, those with pre-existing conditions or who are immunocompromised (more details here) will be allowed to make appointments.

See the full list of who can currently get the vaccine in NYC here.

Phase 1c includes other essential workers. The city and state have not yet clarified who will be included in this group.

Here is NY State's site on the phased distribution, which will be updated.

What is the timeline for each group?

According to the city's website, the remaining Phase 1b frontline essential workers and those in other at-risk groups (both of which are to be determined by New York State) will start receiving the vaccine in February.

Phase 1c is expected to start in March-April, while Phase 2—which is everyone else—will probably be eligible to get their vaccines starting in the summer.

The timetable

As of January 13th, 2021

As of January 13th, 2021

I live in New York City, do I make an appointment through the city or the state?

Great question. The split-system is causing a lot of frustration — there is not one streamlined appointment-making system in New York. The state has a portal, and the city has a portal, and you can try both routes. At the moment, people seem to be having slightly better luck with the state's system.

So, how do I make an appointment?

If you are eligible, you can make an appointment over the phone, or through a website. In New York, there are two major online portals. New York City residents can use either:

At the state's portal, you will be prompted to fill out a questionnaire, and then you'll get a list of available vaccination locations, including state-run sites, pharmacies, and clinics. While you'll be able to make an appointment at the state-run sites, like the Javits Center, for the clinics and pharmacies listed you will get a prompt you to call them and/or go to their website.

At the city's portal, you will enter your zip code and the map will show the closest sites—a link to schedule an appointment is under each. If you don't see any appointments available, leave the browser open as some have reported it will auto-refresh with new appointments if any open up.

The state and city have also set up vaccine hotlines where you can make appointments:

  • State: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (this is open from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m.)
  • City: 1-877-VAX-4NYC (this is open from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m., but will be 24 hours in the future)

Some people, frustrated with the city's and state's systems, have created websites collecting all appointments; one that covers NYC appointments is TurboVax.

In New Jersey, there’s no centralized portal, but there is a website that is updating locations giving vaccines. You can find that here.

A school gymnasium, now converted to a temporary vaccination site, full of evenly spaced out seats.

This school gymnasium at the South Bronx Educational Campus is now part of a vaccine site.

This school gymnasium at the South Bronx Educational Campus is now part of a vaccine site.
David "Dee" Delgado / Gothamist

Where will I receive my vaccine?

There are city-run vaccine centers, and state-run vaccine centers, including "mega" 24/7 vaccination sites, with more opening soon. Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that by the end of the week of January 10th there would be 175 vaccination sites in the city. This map has all current locations, both city-run and state-run.

Locations include everywhere from large sites like Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, and the Javits Center to some local pharmacies.

The city will be opening vaccination sites at NYCHA development for residents 65 and older, starting at the Van Dyke I & II Houses in Brooklyn, Cassidy Lafayette Houses in Staten Island, and Polo Grounds Towers in Manhattan, starting this weekend, and more will open in future weeks.

New York has also opted into the federal government's​ Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program for COVID-19 vaccination, which means that "employees of CVS, Walgreens, and other select pharmacies will vaccinate residents and staff in long-term care facilities including nursing homes."

A table at the JAvits Center that says 'Vaccination site"

At the Javits Center vaccination site

At the Javits Center vaccination site
Governor Cuomo's officer

How will I get my second dose?

The system is currently set up so that you make your appointment for a second dose while you are at your appointment for your first dose. The second dose will be administered about three to four weeks after your first.

My group isn't eligible yet. Can I pre-register?

New York City is working on a pre-registration system.

In New Jersey, you can pre-register here to be notified when you are eligible.

I’m ready to go to my vaccine appointment, what do I need?

If you received a confirmation email after making your appointment, it will include an ID confirmation number which you will need to bring with you.

Can I make an appointment if I am an undocumented immigrant?

Yes. New York is only collecting names and dates of birth to encourage undocumented immigrants to get the vaccine.

What happens when I arrive at the vaccination site?

At the city-run sites, a Department of Health worker will check your reservation and check you in, verifying your identity through documentation (this may include an ID card, ID number, or a QR code they receive through the website). Following your vaccination, you will go to an evaluation room for 15 minutes where you will be monitored for any severe allergic reaction to the vaccine, which is considered rare. The process is expected to take about 30 minutes or less, though some have reported waiting longer.

Will this cost me money?

Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed that "no one will pay a penny" to get vaccinated.

Additional reporting from David Cruz and Nsikan Akpan.