In this article:
Update, May 10, 2021: Pfizer vaccine approved for ages 12–15. Click for more info.
Update, April 6, 2021: Ages 16+ eligible for COVID vaccine starting today in NY state.
2. Find a vaccination site and schedule your appointment.
NOTE: You must receive your second shot at the same location where you receive your first.
This means that someone coming from out of state will not be registered in the NYC Immunization Registry and may have no choice but to register as though it were a first dose, but no one who is already in the system will be able to schedule dose two at a different site. Keep your ability to travel in mind when selecting your location.
-TurboVax finds appointments from 53 city and state-run vaccine sites in the NYC area.
-NYC Vaccine List is a volunteer-led effort to help you find a COVID-19 vaccine in and around NYC.
Tips from members: “I follow this site like a HAWK. My husband got his appointment this way. Good luck!”
"I highly recommend using NYC Vaccine List, as others have mentioned in the past. Over the past week I was working to find our nanny an appointment in Brooklyn (she is qualified due to a health condition.) I was checking this site a couple times a day when I was free, nothing crazy and no constant refreshing. The city-run vaccine hub sites seem to open up appointments at random, often for the very next day, and often numbering in the dozens. I was able to locate possible appointments for her several times through the week and on Tuesday booked one for her at a very convenient time and location for yesterday afternoon and Bed-Sty Restoration. Maybe it will be tough to find openings again for a week or two because of the recent expansion of eligibility, but keep trying! The supply seems good in NYC right now and you will be able to book at some point soon."
-VaccineFinder helps you locate a Covid vaccination site near you.
-NYCGov has a fact sheet listing walk-up vaccination sites for New Yorkers age 50+.
-Epicenter-NYC Vaccine Registration Request focuses on sharing information that helps our communities access vaccines.
-NYC Health Appointment Scheduler has options to schedule first dose, schedule second dose, reschedule, and cancel appointments. To schedule an appointment by phone, you can call 877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692.
Tips from members:
"After lots of frustration trying to set up an appointment online, a neighbor suggested the easiest solution of all:
On Tuesday night, we called this number - (877) 829-4692 - and after a short five or 10 minute wait, a real person answered and we set up appointments for myself and my wife for Thursday night at Science Skills Center High School for a Moderna shot." (March 25)
“You have to go by location on this so it's tricky. We found it easier to call the City hotline. When you get someone on the phone, keep them on as long as you can and ask them to continually refresh. (I've heard of some people keeping them on for 1-3 hours until an appointment pops up!). The hotline is open 24 hours so you might have more luck late at night.”
-The NYS Vaccine Hotline is open 7 am - 10 pm: 1 (877) 697-4829
Tips from members: “I've seen recommendations to call in at 7 am, in the afternoon, and between 9-10 pm, and ask if there are appointments due to cancellations. This will only have appointments at state run sites (like Javits or Aqueduct or upstate).
I've also seen a tip that cancellations are loaded to the State system every 30 minutes, right around 2-3 minutes past the hour (e.g. 8:02, 8:32). So if you answer the prescreening questions ahead of time and then start clicking on all locations around that time, all of a sudden there will be a handful of appointments. Click as fast as possible, don't need to enter any information that is "optional." Once you select a time and start entering information the appointment is yours.”
-Affiliated Physicians: “They do pop-up sites and are very well run I've heard. Username Nycdohmh ; passcode Welcome”
Appointments can be difficult to come by. One member suggests: “It's great to use some of the aggregator sites to monitor when appointments become available. I followed these on Twitter (first time creating an account for this!), and then enabled push notifications for each. As soon as you see an appointment is open you can call the hotline or race online to book. Follow these accounts:”
-@Turbovax: bot that tweets available vaccine appointments from city and state-run administration sites.
-@nyvaccine: bot to help New Yorkers find covid vaccine sites; updates every minute.
-@ny_covid: a volunteer-led effort to find COVID vaccine doses in and around NYC, so you don't have to.
-@MarkLevineNYC: NYC Councilmember Levine posts relevant info as it becomes available.
Members also recommend: “Follow these sites on Facebook...they are super supportive. If you can't find an appointment ultimately there are lots of volunteers who will offer to help who have been good samaritans just booking for individuals for weeks.”
3. Also check out location-specific resources and appointment centers in your area to help you schedule your shot.
Walgreens: “Walgreens appointments seem to refresh or open up at 12 am, so your best bet is to book 12 am - 2 am.”
Gowanus: Gowanus Mutual Aid can help you navigate scheduling and finding appointments. You can text/call 929-243-4408l!
If you live in Fort Greene and are eligible for COVID vaccination call Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center’s vaccine line at 929-489-8356. Located on Fulton and Fort Greene Place.
Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center (call 929-489-8356)
Prospect Drugs (keep refreshing the page; sign-up is said to be easy.)
Bushwick: Bushwick Educational Campus
Crown Heights: Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn residents only; all zip codes)
What members are saying:
"Yesterday I showed up about 45 minutes early for my second vaccine and was taken in no problem. I was there about 30 minutes early for my first dose and also had no problem." (March 24)
"When I went, I was asked a couple of times if I had an appointment, but they never followed up by asking what time (though at one table they did scan the QR code on my "ticket"). And after my shot, as the soldier handed me the appointment card for my second one, he said, "It's for 8 am, but you can come later if you want."
They are unbelievably efficient there, and just move along whoever is there." (March 24)
"Fill out the eligibility form and then choose Medgar Evers. When you're on the screen that says "No Appointments Available," I would keep refreshing and sometimes spots would come up. I did this for like a week and was able to make an appointment. Do it on your phone. On desktop, it takes you back to the eligibility page when you refresh." (March 23)
"I just booked an appointment for an eligible person at medgar evers. I just kept clicking refresh while on work calls. it's confusing because sometimes dates would popup but then when you click next there are no times on those dates. random refreshing over a 24 hour period and I was able to book an apt for april 20 this morning." (March 23)
"I just got my first poke. There's a very efficient operation here. Long, quickly moving line to come in. One guy checking temperatures. About 12 tables to verify your appointment, address, etc. Another quick moving line and 24 stations to discuss any questions and poke.
You're given a sticker with the time and you can leave after 15 min to make sure you don't have an immediate bad reaction.
I got here ten minutes before my scheduled time and got poked 14 minutes later.
The next appointment is the same time in three weeks.
All done by the Air Force.
While you're waiting, you can read up on Medgar Evers on your phone."
"I had a great experience at Medgar Evers too. My appointment was at 8am and I arrived around 7:40am. There was a long line and people were complaining that we all had the same appointments and there were so many people waiting, but as soon as the doors opened at 8am, the line moved quickly. I am 8 months pregnant and when I got towards the front of the line, a gentleman pulled me off the line and escorted me through. It was very nice of him to do, but I did see people I had been next to on line getting out at the same time as me.
There were wheelchairs available at the entrance and older people with walkers or anyone with a disability were able to skip the line.
I was able to park really nearby--there were plenty of available metered parking spots.
Everyone working there was so nice and friendly and the folks getting vaccinated seemed excited so there was a very hopeful and heart warming atmosphere."
"I echo the excellent logistics and service at this site. I went yesterday; I arrived a few minutes early for my 3pm appt and was vaccinated by 2:58. I don't think it was more than 5 minutes from walking into the site to getting my shot. The Air Force service members were very kind and friendly. No lines at any point. They explained that my next appt would be automatically scheduled for three weeks for the same time of day at the same site. I received my confirmation email for the next appt today."
"My parents in law went this morning and parked one block away in the street. They had an 8:15am appointment. They got there earlier and had no issues. I would just give yourself some time to look for street parking."
East Flatbush: Kingsbrook Medical Center
What members are saying:
"I went for my first shot on March 18th, and it was fine. Relatively organized, and I was in and out in about 45 minutes (including the 15 minute post-shot monitoring period). There were a lot of elderly folks getting vaccinated, as I think there is a nursing home and rehab center on the complex, which may explain the phone appointment process. They were very casual for me, too, and told me to just walk in for my second shot! If you have the opportunity to go tomorrow, I'd go for it. I did wear a respirator and eye protection for the appointment (the last thing I wanted was to contract Covid at my vaccine appointment), but they were pretty good about social distancing."
"I went a couple days ago. It’s definitely more casual than I’ve heard of other experiences but it seemed fine (I hope). I was in and out in about 1 1/4 hours but it was the first day of 30+ at 5pm and someone might move you along being obviously pregnant. Distancing was pretty good and no masking issues. I was told the same thing for the second shot - just show up sometime on your given day."
"I was lucky enough to be able to get in on the first day of 30+. It was very casual (but totally fine). Not quite as organized and structured as Javitz (where my partner got his shot a couple of weeks ago due to a comorbidity), but everything went smoothly and I was in and out in 45 minutes.
I anticipate a longer wait when I go for my follow-up in a few weeks, but will probably try to get there on the earlier side of my appointment window. I arrived around 11 for an 11:45 appointment, and a short line was starting to form approaching noon as I left."
Prospect Heights: King's Pharmacy, 357 Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn Heights: City Chemist (only available for patients aged 65 and older as of March 2021; appointments are scheduled at their Long Island City location)
Downtown Brooklyn: Downtown Medical Center
Coney Island or Flatbush: Centers Urgent Care
Hell's Kitchen: Mount Sinai West
What members are saying: "Mt. Sinai West (the old Roosevelt Hospital at 58th/10th Ave in Manhattan) has had a number of available appointments recently for anyone who meets the NY State eligibility criteria. You don't have to be a Mt. Sinai patient or live in Manhattan.
Unlike the state sign-up, they ask you to leave your contact information and then *they* call *you* when they get new doses and have appointment slots available.
Their web form is here.
I'm not sure how rapidly they will call anyone at this point (it depends on when they have doses), but I can vouch that 1) this random-seeming Microsoft Office web form is valid and it really is Mt. Sinai hospital and 2) they really do call you when they have doses available."
Pictured here is a woman receiving the Swine Flu vaccine in 1976. Fortunately, vaccines don’t look nearly as scary as this anymore!
Where can my under-18-year-old get the vaccine?
Not all vaccination sites will see minors, so be sure to check ahead of time. Members report:
"Not in the neighborhood but Teachers Prep has Pfizer and vaccinates 16+. If you just show up with your documentation (ID for name/age, eligibility) you’ll probably get seen same day. (Depending who’s handling it they may not even ask to see documents but of course better to come prepared). 226 Bristol Street, Brooklyn, 11212" (March 23)
"Maimonides isn’t so close, but they did do my 17 year old." (March 22)
Vaccine info for 12–15-year olds
Basic info: On May 10, 2021, the FDA expanded authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age. On May 12, the CDC also offered their seal of approval on Pfizer vaccination for 12–15-year olds, meaning that providers may begin vaccinating them right away.
NYC's Vaccine Finder lists which locations offer Pfizer.
It is recommended that you make an appointment for your child. City- and State-run sites also accept walk-ins.
A parent/guardian must give consent for a person under 18 to be vaccinated (with some rare exceptions). It is strongly recommended that the adult be present in person at vaccination. However, New York has outlined ways for a parent/guardian to offer consent if they can't be there in person.
Documentation: In general, a document such as a passport, birth certificate, or school ID is required to establish age. Call ahead at your location of choice to confirm what paperwork you and your child will need to bring to their appointment.
Where to schedule: Parents have reported succesfully scheduling appointments at the following sites as of 5/13. However, it is likely that your child can be vaccinated at a huge range of locations across Brooklyn, as long as the location offers Pfizer and will vaccinate minors. As always, call ahead to confirm.
Neergard Pharmacies (both locations)
What transport options are available for older folks heading to their vaccine appointment?
Homebound vaccinations are restarting as of 4/18—here is the sign-up page.
Here is transport info from the NYC site.
You can schedule transportation to your vaccine appointment if you are 65 or older and:
-Cannot use public transportation,
-Cannot use private transportation, and
-Cannot rely on friends or family members for transport.
You must already have a vaccine appointment before scheduling transportation. However, you do not need an appointment for sites listed in the "Walk-Up Appointments for Seniors 75 or Older" section above, if you are a senior aged 75 or older.
If you already use Access-a-Ride, you can schedule transportation to your appointment as you normally would.
Agency: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Phone Number: (718) 393-4999
Business Hours: Daily: 7 AM - 5 PM
Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours. Automated assistance is also available in Spanish. If you get a busy signal, call (877) 337-2017.
If you have Medicaid-provided transportation, you can use your usual contact number to schedule transport. You can also call Medicaid Transportation Management.
Agency: Medicaid Transportation Management
Phone Number: (844) 666-6270
Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
If you need an ambulette, you can schedule free transport with Hunter ambulettes.
Agency: Hunter Call Center
Phone Number: (516) 812-9827
Business Hours: Daily: 7 AM - 7 PM
If you are 65 or older and meet all of the criteria, but do not qualify for the programs above, you can schedule a free ride with Curb.
When scheduling your appointment, you must indicate that you are getting a vaccine. Curb will confirm that your destination is a valid vaccination site, and your ride will be scheduled for free.
Phone Number: (646) 349-0289
Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
What to expect at your appointment (experiences from members):
"My sister was vaccinated [at Fort Washington Armory] in mid Jan and mid Feb. Hopefully this is helpful and not stale information. She said it was a lot more crowded for her second dose than her first, but that both times it felt very safe, and that they were very efficient and organized. She was there 30-45 min, which included a brief line at the beginning, temp check, filling out paperwork, the shot, the 15 minute observation at the end, and scheduling the next appt.
Way better than my experience at a high school in the Bronx where I waited on an outside line for 2 hours!" (March 2021)
Additional tips from PSP members who have successfully navigated the scheduling process:
Enlist multiple helpers. “It helps if you have more than one person trying because I feel like it’s by luck that you get in. I had 2 friends plus my mom and myself checking for appointments throughout the day. After 4 days of trying, I finally got my mom an appointment last night and one of my friends was able to get me an appointment. The Walgreens and Rite Aid sites (appointments for 65+) are particularly annoying and I never had any luck, but I think it’s worth checking them every once in awhile.
You’ll need the insurance information for whoever you’re signing up for (even though you don’t need insurance for the vaccine).”
Keep refreshing. “On that state website, at one time there is nothing....then you find that time slots appear and disappear right before your eyes until finally you get one that doesn't slip the net! We got one at Javits in the end, yesterday, without hanging on the phone...but I must confess it's weeks away, on April 6th. That's for somebody who qualifies via health condition and not age. We didn't want a site that was a great distance away from us in NYS, even if it was sooner.”
There are likely appointments to be had even if one or two websites are telling you otherwise. Check out the YouTube tutorial on how to BOOK VACCINE APPOINTMENTS IN NY even if the websites say "no appointments" NYS/NYC.