Thrilling though it is to have multiple Covid-19 vaccines approved and being administered to New Yorkers, if you find yourself confused by the rollout plans — and unsure when you’ll actually be able to get one yourself — you’re not alone.
Here’s what we know: to ensure that limited vaccine supplies are administered to high-risk groups first, New York State is rolling out vaccine eligibility in phases, starting with phase “1a,” which has been up and running for a few weeks and includes the broad category of health-care workers, as well as residents and staff in nursing home facilities and other congregate settings.
Starting this week, phase “1b” is now open as well, and covers New Yorkers including education workers, first responders, public-safety and public-transit workers, grocery-store employees, people living or working in homeless shelters and anyone over the age of 65. (The full list of who falls under categories 1a and 1b can be found here.)
Phase 1c, which is expected to open up in March or April, will include people between the ages of 65 and 74, as well as people with underlying health conditions (to be determined by New York State) and all other essential workers. Phase 2, which includes everyone not covered under the earlier categories, is expected to begin sometime this summer.
If you’re unsure about your eligibility, you can fill out a brief quiz on the New York State website.
And if you do currently meet eligibility requirements, know that vaccinations are available by appointment only. So, unlike Covid-19 tests, which you can get if you’re willing to wait on line long enough, you’ve got to schedule your slot in advance for the vaccine. We’ve got a full guide to how and where to do that here.