COVID-19: Vaccines

Statue of Liberty stands with a mask covering her face and a Band-Aid on her arm. Text reads: 'All in favor of a COVID-19 vaccine, raise your arm.'

Recent News

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to certain groups in NYC. The following groups have recently become eligible:

  • People ages 65 and older
  • Teachers, school staff, in-person college instructors and child care workers
  • Correction staff
  • First responders
  • Public transit workers
  • Public-facing grocery store workers
  • People working and living in group homeless shelters and other group settings

Learn which groups are currently eligible for the vaccine, and which may be eligible next.

Vaccine Locations and Appointments

If you are eligible to receive the vaccine, use our Vaccine Finder to search for a location near you (not accessible with Internet Explorer).

There is limited supply of vaccine from the federal government at this time. You may not see open appointments on the Vaccine Finder right now, but check back regularly. New appointments will open up once more supply becomes available.

Appointments for Second Dose

Both of the currently authorized vaccines require two doses. According to CDC guidelines, you should schedule your second dose at least 21 to 42 days (Pfizer) or 28 to 42 days (Moderna) after the first dose, or as soon as possible after that. Get the second dose no matter how much time has passed, unless your health care provider tells you not to. The vaccine is more effective after the second dose.

If you received the first dose and do not have an appointment for the second dose, please contact the provider or facility where you were vaccinated. You must get your second dose at the same location as you received the first dose.

Vaccine Data

Learn how many doses of the vaccine have been allocated, distributed and given in NYC:

Information for Providers

Health care providers can get resources and information on various topics, such as vaccine distribution and administration, including how to enroll in the NYC COVID-19 Vaccination Program:

Vaccines are an important tool in preventing COVID-19.

The vaccine will work for most people, but it will not work for everyone. We do not know yet how long protection will last, or whether someone who is vaccinated can get and spread the virus. We also do not know whether or how often you may need to get revaccinated.

Even after you are vaccinated, you will still need to practice these important COVID-19 prevention steps: 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.

Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines Authorized for Emergency Use

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.

In clinical trials, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were shown to be safe and greater than 94% effective at preventing symptoms and decreasing severe COVID-19 infection among study volunteers.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines work by teaching the body to create an immune response for a virus that is not present in the body. Learn more about the mechanics of this type of vaccine.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines each require two doses, through shots in the arm, at least 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) apart.

When and Where to Get Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines may not be widely available to the general public until mid-2021. They will be made available in stages.

Some people, such as many health care workers, can get vaccinated by their employer or affiliated hospital. Vaccines are available for eligible groups at some hospitals, community clinics, and pharmacies, and at NYC Health Department and Health + Hospitals vaccination sites around the city.

When there are enough vaccine doses available, it will be made available to all New Yorkers.

The Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for people 16 and older, and the Moderna vaccine for people 18 and older. Studies in younger children are underway, and the vaccines can be authorized if they are shown to be safe and effective for this age group.

Before Your Appointment

You will need to complete the NYS COVID-19 Vaccine Form in order to get vaccinated. NYS requires the provider administering the vaccine to check that you completed the form.

Before you visit a site for your vaccination, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Reschedule your appointment if you are not feeling well on the day of your appointment.
  • CDC recommends against getting the vaccine within 14 days of any other vaccination.
  • Wear a face covering to your appointment. You will not be admitted to the site without one.

Proof of Eligibility

People who are eligible based on their employment must attest that their job requires them to have in-person contact with members of the public or with co-workers, or that they are unable to work remotely. They must also have proof of employment in New York, such as an employee ID card, a letter from their employer or affiliated organization, or a recent pay stub (depending on specific priority status).

If you are eligible for a vaccine based on your age, you must show proof of age and New York residency.

Proof of age may include:

  • Driver’s license or non-driver ID
  • Birth certificate issued by a state or local government
  • Current U.S passport or valid foreign passport
  • Permanent resident card
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
  • Life insurance policy with birthdate
  • Marriage certificate with birthdate

Proof of residency may include:

  • One of the following:
    • State or government-issued ID
    • Statement from landlord
    • Current rent receipt or lease
    • Mortgage records
  • Two of the following:
    • Statement from another person
    • Current mail
    • School records

After Your Appointment

Learn important information for after you get the vaccine, including tips for before you leave the vaccination site and what to do if you feel side effects:

Fair and Equitable 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 have access to the vaccine.


The FDA is overseeing the approval process for vaccines. It has released safety and efficacy guidelines for companies working on a vaccine. These guidelines make clear that the COVID-19 vaccines under development and in trials must follow the same rigorous safety rules as any other new vaccine.

The FDA will only grant Emergency Use Authorization if it decides the benefits of a vaccine outweigh its potential risks.

Officials will continue monitoring the safety of vaccines after they are made available.

Side Effects

Both vaccines have shown to have mild to moderate side effects, including soreness or swelling on the arm where you got the shot, headache, body aches, tiredness and fever. Side effects usually go away within two to three days, are more common after the second dose and are less common in older adults. The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.

It is uncommon for people to experience severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. If you have had an allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable medicines in the past, or if you think you may be allergic to ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your health care provider before getting vaccinated.

mRNA Vaccines

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. mRNA are molecules that provide instructions. They do not contain the virus that causes COVID-19.

mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to create an immune response so that the body knows how to fight the virus if it is later exposed to the virus. Once your body learns how to create the immune response, it breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA.

Additional Resources

More Information