Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
Apr 7, 2021
BK Mag 311: A cheat sheet to getting your Covid-19 vaccine
A handy guide on securing the coveted jab in Brooklyn
Yesterday all New Yorkers age 16 and up became eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, a landmark step in universal eligibility that offers a glimmer of hope for the end of the pandemic. Yet securing an appointment for the vaccine isn’t always straightforward or easy as it should be.
Here’s our quick how-to:
Do I need an appointment to get vaccinated?
Currently, the only walk-in slots available are for seniors 75 and older, at 26 select sites across the five boroughs. In Brooklyn, seniors can get vaccinated at Brooklyn Army Terminal, Coney Island YMCA (starting Thursday), Bushwick Educational Campus, Canarsie High School, City Point, Teachers Prep, Spring Creek Towers or Flatbush YMCA without an appointment. Even better: one adult accompanying them can get vaccinated, too.
Everyone else needs an appointment.
So how can I get one?
Unfortunately, there’s no centralized method for making an appointment. The methods below all require some tech-savviness and a lot of screen time. If you’d rather call, you can reach help by calling the hotline at 877-VAX-4-NYC or 833-NYS-4-VAX.
First, try your luck at the official sites. The city’s Vaccine Finder pulls from a variety of sources: the mass hubs, Walgreens, and community sites. The state’s site has a different list of centers, including Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, which is restricted to borough residents. Both sites update periodically.
What about at specific sites?
If you want to try checking out Walgreens’ site individually, new appointments refresh hourly so check back in right at the hour (or one minute before!) CVS’s appointments refresh at midnight and 6 a.m. Rite-aid’s site has appointments as well.
Anyone older than 30—or over 18 with a health condition—can get a vax through at the Armory in Washington Heights through a partnership between ColumbiaDoctors, Weill Cornell Medicine, and NewYork-Presbyterian. Likewise, Mount Sinai has its own (currently booked) appointment site. And so does Northwell.
Aren’t there hacks we should know?
Epicenter NYC, a community group, hosted a town hall Tuesday night with tips and tricks on how to secure a vaccine complete with video walkthroughs. They are one of several grassroots vaccine efforts that have sprung up in response to the complicated and frustrating rollout.
A volunteer-compiled site, NYC Vaccine List, offers options from across the different sites. They also advise calling the NYS hotline, as there is “generally no wait time and the phone representatives are often able to book slots that don’t appear on the public website.” Another option, TurboVax NYC, compiles info from the government sites. Just don’t try to do your taxes with them.
This Twitter thread has a list of numbers of local pharmacies and other providers that require a phone call to schedule.
nyc folks: a lot of COVID vaccine providers are not on the online booking tools, and you have to call to make an appointment.
if you’re not seeing any appointments in the usual city/state spots online, may be worth calling these. i’ll make this a thread with all the numbers:
— nevona (@nevona) April 1, 2021
And what should I bring?
If you are eligible for a vaccine based on your age—like all New York state residents over 16—you have to show proof of both age and residency. (A comprehensive list of documents that qualify can be found here.) Importantly, you neither have to have nor show a social security number or proof of immigration status.
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