[Infographic] When Am I Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine in New York?

Wondering when you’ll be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in New York? Because of the extraordinarily high demand despite a very limited supply, the vaccine is currently being distributed to New Yorkers in several phases. Your eligibility for each phase is determined by your level of risk and exposure.

Who is Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine in New York?

Here’s an infographic showing the planned rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in New York, including the vaccine distribution phases and eligible groups. To check your eligibility today, use this online tool on the New York State Department of Health website.

Graphic explains phases 1 & 2 of vaccine rollout and eligibility for Covid-19.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Phases in New York

Phase 1A (December 14, 2020)

In Phase 1A, which began in mid-December, the first batches of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were distributed primarily to high-risk health care workers. Vaccine rollout started with healthcare providers, personnel, and employees who have direct contact with patients and infectious materials, including doctors, nurses, other hospital employees, administrative staff, and food and housekeeping services staff at hospitals and clinics.

Beginning on January 4th, eligibility was expanded to all outpatient and ambulatory front-line health care workers, including personnel and staff that work in private medical practices, hospital-affiliated practices, public health clinics, specialty medical practices of all types, dental practices, physical therapy practices, pharmacies, and diagnostic and treatment centers. In addition, home care workers, hospice workers, personal care aides, and staff and residents of nursing homes and other congregate care facilities also began receiving the vaccine.

Phase 1B (January 11, 2021)

Phase 1B began on January 11, making the COVID-19 vaccine available to older adults over the age of 75, and frontline essential workers. On January 12th, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that any adult over the age of 65, as well as younger individuals who are immunocompromised, will also be eligible as part of Phase 1B. The frontline essential workers, as defined by New York State and CDC guidelines, include personnel and employees in first responder agencies (fire services, police and investigations, public safety communications, and other sworn and civilian personnel), corrections facilities, P-12 schools, and public transit, as well as grocery store workers and individuals who live or work in homeless shelters.

Updated on February 2, 2021: Restaurant workers and NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) licensed drivers are also now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 1B in New York City.

Phase 1C (Likely Spring 2021)

Phase 1C, which is expected to start this spring, will make the vaccine available to a wider group of essential workers, including those working in energy, law, media, public safety, public health, transportation and logistics, food services, housing construction and finance, information technology, and communications.

Phase 2 (Likely Summer 2021)

In Phase 2, which will likely begin in the summer of 2021 or later, eligibility will extend to the general population for all persons over the age of 16. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are not yet approved for children under 16, although clinical testing is currently underway.

A woman receives a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in her left arm.

Getting Vaccinated: What to Expect

There are currently two vaccines approved for use against COVID-19 under FDA emergency use authorization. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for people aged 16 and older, and the Moderna vaccine is for people 18 and older. Clinical testing of the vaccines has shown them to be 95% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection.

Both vaccines require two shots: a priming dose followed by a booster shot. The two shots are given several weeks apart; for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine the interval is 21 days between the two doses, and for the Moderna vaccine the interval is 28 days.

So far there are no serious, long-term side effects reported, although some people have experienced injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain after receiving the vaccine. These mild side effects, which result from your immune system kicking into gear, are more common after the second dose.

How to Check Eligibility and Schedule an Appointment

To check your eligibility, use this online tool from the New York State Department of Health. The website will ask you to enter some basic information and let you know if you currently qualify for Phase 1A or Phase 1B vaccine distribution. If you are eligible, the online portal will direct you to find a vaccine distribution location near you and schedule an appointment.

Vaccines are currently being distributed by appointment only.

About Green Orchard Group – Professional COVID-19 Disinfection Services

Green Orchard Group is a leading provider of Environmental Health & Safety services, including professional COVID-19 disinfection and decontamination for homes, offices, schools, and businesses in New York. Whether you need a one-time sanitization, regularly scheduled disinfection, or immediate 24/7 emergency decontamination, contact Green Orchard Group today!