COVID-19: Vaccine Eligibility

The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in phases to groups of people at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure or severe COVID-19 illness. Phased distribution will take time, with vaccines not expected to be widely available to all New Yorkers until mid-2021.

The different phases of COVID-19 vaccine distribution are determined by New York State and may change. New York City is committed to ensuring that access to the vaccine is fair and equitable.

The table below reflects our best estimate of who will receive the vaccine and when. We will update our guidance regularly as we learn more.

Currently Eligible for the Vaccine

Phase 1a

Health Care Workers

  • High-risk hospital workers (emergency room workers, ICU staff and Pulmonary Department staff)
  • Federally Qualified Health Center employees
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers
  • Coroners, medical examiners and certain funeral workers
  • Urgent Care providers
  • People administering COVID-19 vaccines, including local health department staff
  • All Outpatient/Ambulatory frontline, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care
  • All staff who are in direct contact with patients (such as reception staff)
  • All frontline, 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 and aides
  • Hospice workers
  • Personal care aides
  • Consumer-directed personal care workers

Residents and Staff in Certain Group Living Facilities

  • Nursing homes and other congregate care facilities
  • NYS Office of Mental Health, Office People with Developmental Disabilities, and Office of Addiction Services and Supports facilities

Phase 1b:
As of January 11

Older Adults

  • New York residents ages 65 and older

Grocery Workers

  • Grocery store workers, including convenience store and bodega workers

First Responders and Support Staff for First Responder Agencies

  • 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


  • 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, College, Child Care and Early Intervention

  • 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)
  • In-person college instructors
  • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group child care
  • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group child care providers
  • Employees or support staff of licensed or registered child care setting
  • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt child care providers
  • Early Intervention therapists and teachers with active service authorizations (as of January 13)
  • State Office of Children and Family Services:
    • State operated staff
    • Licensed or certified residential programs staff and eligible residents

Public Transit

  • Airline and airport employees
  • Passenger railroad employees
  • Subway and mass transit employees (MTA, LIRR, Metro North, NYC Transit, Upstate Transit)
  • Ferry employees
  • Port Authority employees
  • Public bus employees

Homeless Shelters

  • People living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with people who are not part of their household
  • People working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by people who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents

Other Residential Programs and Supportive Housing

  • Staff and residents of residential programs for victims of domestic violence and family type home for adults
  • Staff and residents of unlicensed congregate supportive housing

Phase 1b (Expansion):
As of February 2

Essential Workers

  • NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) licensed drivers
  • Restaurant workers and restaurant delivery workers

Phase 1b (Expansion #2):
As of February 15

Underlying Conditions

 New York residents who have:

  • Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pulmonary disease, including but not limited to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), 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 (high blood pressure)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system), 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 (body mass index of 40 kg/m2 or higher), obesity (body mass index of between 30 kg/m2 and 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer's disease or dementia
  • Liver disease

Next Eligible Groups

Phase 1c:
Likely starting March-April 2021
Likely includes:

  • Other at-risk groups (to be determined by New York State)
  • All other essential workers (to be determined by New York State)

Phase 2:
Likely starting Summer 2021

  • All other people

If you have questions, call the New York State COVID-19 hotline at 833-NYS-4-VAX (833-697-4829).

Additional Resources