The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to certain groups. The NYC Vaccine Command Center is coordinating distribution of the vaccine in New York City, in addition to providing support for providers and vaccination sites.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Both vaccines have about a 95% efficacy rate at preventing symptoms and decreasing severe COVID-19 infection. Each vaccine has shown minor-to-moderate side effects, such as fever, soreness at the injection site, body aches, fatigue, and headache.
These vaccines work by creating an immune response within the body for a virus that is not present in the body. To learn more about how these vaccines work visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccines.page#mrna. While the vaccine will work for most people, it will not work for everyone and currently they do not know how long the protection will last.
SAFETY OF THE VACCINES
Currently the first to receive the vaccine are health care workers who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 and staff and residents of long-term care facilities. The following groups are likely to follow: essential workers who interact with the public and are not able to physically distance themselves from others and people at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 because of age (75 and over) or underlying medical condition.
The vaccines have not yet been studied in children younger than 16 and will not be available to that age group until more information is available. Pregnant women and breast-feeding women were not included in the trial. It is recommended that these women make decisions based on a discussion between themselves and their physician.
When and Where to Get Vaccinated
Vaccines may not be widely available to the general public until mid-2021. Individuals will be able to get the vaccine at the same places they typically get their vaccines: health care providers, community and hospital clinics, pharmacies, urgent care centers. There is no cost for these vaccines.
NYC VACCINATION PLANS
The NYC Vaccine Command Center
The NYC Vaccine Command Center is located at 253 Broadway and led by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and Department of Health Commissioner. The Command Center provides rapid response and real-time troubleshooting to hospitals, urgent care centers, private pharmacies, and other vaccine distribution sites. The Command Center will also track metrics on vaccine coverage. Test & Trace Corps and Department of Health outreach teams will be deployed from the Center and coordinate with elected officials and community leaders for vaccine drives.