There is no approved COVID-19 vaccine available yet. A vaccine may become available later this year or in early 2021. Once available, vaccines will become important tools in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
We do not know yet how well a vaccine will prevent COVID-19 infections or how long any protection will last. We also do not know how often you will need to get vaccinated, or if the vaccine will affect some populations differently (such as different age groups).
Even after you are vaccinated, you will still need to practice these important COVID-19 prevention steps (PDF): stay home if sick, wash your hands, wear a face covering and keep physical distance from others.
Check this page regularly for up-to-date reliable information.
COVID-19 vaccines may not be widely available to the general public until mid-2021.
After a vaccine is approved, it will likely be given first to people who work in health care and are at increased risk of getting COVID-19. This includes people who take care of COVID-19 patients or work in areas of a facility where COVID-19 patients are seen.
The vaccine may next be available to the following groups:
When there are enough vaccine doses available, it will be made available to all New Yorkers.
You will likely be able to get the vaccine at the same places you usually get vaccines, such as:
Some COVID-19 testing sites and community pop-up locations may also provide vaccinations.
The Health Department will ensure there is fair and equitable access to a vaccine. Our plans account for health inequities and disparities faced by underserved communities (PDF). We will make sure the communities hit hardest by the pandemic will have access to the vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is overseeing the approval process for vaccines. It has released safety and efficacy guidelines for companies working on a vaccine. As these guidelines make clear, the COVID-19 vaccines under development and in trials must follow the same rigorous safety rules as any other new vaccine.
A few vaccines are in the final stages of clinical trials. Manufacturers will likely request an Emergency Use Authorization that would allow select groups to receive a vaccine before it is licensed. The FDA will only grant such authorization if it decides the benefits of a vaccine outweigh its potential risks.
Ongoing trials of COVID-19 vaccines have reported mostly mild or moderate symptoms after vaccination, including fever, body aches and soreness at the injection site. The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.