Why should my family get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
If you need assistance, call the BronxWorks Vaccine Equity Program at 646.574.3815. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Bengali, and French.
As of March 7, 2022, NYC Mayor Eric Adams has suspended the “Key To NYC” program. Indoor venues in New York City, including indoor dining, gyms, and movie theaters, are no longer required to ask customers for proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and a photo ID. Businesses may still request customers be vaccinated to enter.
Is the vaccine safe?
The vaccine is safe. The COVID vaccine can have side effects, but the vast majority are very short term and not serious or dangerous. The most common side effects, if any, include short-term fever, headache, fatigue, and nausea. Serious health effects for an unvaccinated person contracting the COVID-19 virus are more common and far more severe. Learn more about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines here.
On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 and older. It will be marketed as Comirnaty.
On January 31, 2022, the FDA approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 and older. It will be marketed as Spikevax.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine continue to be authorized by the FDA under emergency use for children ages 5-18. The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine continues to be authorized under emergency use by the FDA.
On June 17, 2022, the FDA authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years old under emergency use. NYC Sites for vaccines for children in this age group are scheduled to open starting June 22. The NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene recommends parents reach out to their pediatrician to se if they will make the vaccine available at their offices. Learn more about the city’s rollout plan.
What does this mean?
From FDA.gov: “The FDA’s approval of (the Pfizer) vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product.”
Read more about this incredible milestone in the fight against COVID-19.
How frequently do I need to get vaccinated?
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are two-dose vaccines taken three weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson-Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a one-dose vaccine.
As of November 6, 2021, the CDC and FDA recommend that certain populations may receive an additional Pfizer vaccine dose at least six months after receiving their last dose. Those who took the Moderna vaccine may receive an additional dose at least five months after receiving their last does. Those populations include:
- People age 65 and older and residents in long-term care settings
- People age 18-64 with underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for developing serious COVID
- People age 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings
As of November 19, 2021, all New Yorkers age 18 and older are eligible to receive a booster shot of any vaccine as long as they received their second Pfizer or Moderna dose over six months ago or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over two months ago.
Everyone ages 12 years and older should get a booster after completing their primary series in order to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. A booster shot enhances or restores protection against COVID-19, which may have decreased over time.
On March 29, 2022, the FDA and CDC recommended that adults over the age of 50 or who are immunocompromised get a second booster shot at least four months after their most recent dose.
The new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is available now statewide!
This newest COVID-19 vaccine offers stronger protection against the more contagious variants of the disease, like the Omicron variant and its subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, which account for a large majority of current cases. People ages 12+ who received their last booster dose or initial primary vaccine series at least two months ago are eligible for hte bivalent vaccine. Schedule a booster appointment and learn more here.
Does needing a booster mean my COVID vaccine isn’t working?
No! Watch this video from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to learn more about how boosters work.
Can I mix & match vaccines?
The FDA and CDC announced in October 2021 that while it is recommended individuals receive booster doses of the same brand that they received, mixing and matching different brands is allowed. The first two vaccines an individual receives, however, should be the same brand, e.g. first shot Pfizer, second shot Pfizer, third shot Pfizer or Moderna.
**Please note that as more studies are completed about the effectiveness of the various vaccines, guidance from the CDC and FDA may change in the future. BronxWorks is not a medical provider. Please speak to a medical professional if you have any specific questions regarding vaccines.
How do I get a vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost to everyone. No social security number or immigration status is needed to get vaccinated! Just follow these simple steps:
- Find a site near you. Click here or call 1.877.VAX.4NYC to find NYC-run Vaccine Clinics. New York State also offers clinics, which you can find here. Many sites are open on evenings and weekends.
- Schedule an appointment for those over the age of 5*.
- Once your vaccine appointment is scheduled, complete the Vaccine Form.
*Children ages 5 – 17 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine as of November 2, 2021. A parent or guardian must provide consent in person or by phone for their child to be vaccinated. They will not need to provide proof they are the child’s parent or guardian. All minors ages 5 – 15 must be accompanied the vaccination site by a parent or guardian, or another adult caregiver designated by the parent or guardian.
Before heading to your vaccination appointment, be sure to follow these requirements:
- Check that you have proof of age
- Do not get the vaccine less than 14 days before or after any other vaccination
- Wear a face covering to your vaccine appointment. You will not be admitted to the site without one
Make sure to keep your vaccination card after receiving the first dose. Bring the card back if you need to receive an additional booster. Store the card for your records. You can also add your vaccine record to the New York State Excelsior Pass Plus for your smartphone.
If you need transportation to a vaccine site:
Free transportation is available to and from a vaccination appointment for city residents 65 and older and those with disabilities. Click here to find a provider near you or call Aging Connect at 212.244.6469.
If you need an in-home vaccination:
New York City residents that meet any of the criteria listed below can register here to schedule an in-home vaccination:
- A person 75 years of age or older
- A person with a disability
- A person that is homebound
- A resident of NYCHA
- An employee or retiree of the City of New York
- A person referred by a union, a City partner, or a City vaccination team member
If you are not vaccinated, now is the time to protect your family and get the COVID Vaccine!
Go to vax4nyc.nyc.gov/incentives once you get vaccinated to learn more about incentives you can get from NYC Vaccine Sites.
Is there medication for COVID-19?
NYC Health + Hospitals is now providing free home delivery of Paxlovid, an oral antiviral drug used to fight COVID-19, to eligible people! This medication has shown to significantly reduce hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, and your symptoms began within the previous five days, contact NYC Health + Hospitals virtual ExpressCare at 631.397.2273 to speak with a doctor and see if you are eligible to receive medication.
- If you meet eligibility, the doctor will write a prescription for Paxlovid.
- Your free COVID-19 medication will be delivered directly to your home through Alto Pharmacy.
Help save lives!
Find more information and announcements about BronxWorks program changes due to COVID-19 here.
Visit the NYC Vaccine Command Center for the most up-to-date information on vaccine safety, availability, and locations on pop-up and mobile vaccination sites.
The BronxWorks program providing this information is in partnership with Kingsbridge Heights Community Center.