Starting Tuesday, April 6, there are no more vaccine "eligibility criteria" in New York State. Everyone over 16 is eligible to be vaccinated, but where to start?
Age still has its privileges. If you're over 75 and haven't been vaccinated, you may be entitled to preferential treatment. Try picking up the phone and calling the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). After selecting your language of preference, you'll be asked to dial 1 if you're over 75. Give it a shot! If that doesn't work and you need someone to come to you (in The Bronx), try the Bronx Rising Initiative's Covid-19 Homebound Vaccine Program.
For everyone else within the 5 boroughs, your best starting point is VaccineFinder.nyc.gov. Just put in a zip code and start looking for your appointment. You'll be taken to a map of vaccination sites. Click on the one you're interested in, and you'll be guided to the appropriate website to schedule your appointment. We hear that the best time to try is weekday mornings starting at 7AM.
There is a nation-wide version of the site, VaccineFinder.org. Much of the final vaccine rollout is being handled by pharmacies, which are listed on both sites. Oddly, however, only VaccineFinder.nyc.gov also lists the major government sites like the Jacob Javits Center, Yankee Stadium, Jacobi Hospital, and the New York State run location at the Bay Eden Senior Center (1220 E 229th St. in The Bronx, a few blocks north of the Baychester Avenue station on the 5 train, near Edenwald Houses and the Cardinal Spellman School).
After wasting a lot of time on the New York State website without success, this writer was connected to Walgreens.com from VaccineFinder, and from there it was easy as 1-2-3. Good reports have come in about New York City's vaccination hotline from people who have scheduled appointments using it: 1-877-829-4692. The same can be said for the website that schedules Bronx residents to be vaccinated at Yankee Stadium: www.somosvaccinations.com.
BY: STEPHEN DITMORE