By Rommel Ojeda, DocumentedNY
February 18, 2021
To read all of the essential information articles for New York immigrants, please read our resource guide
Members of the Spanish-speaking community we serve on WhatsApp have repeatedly asked for information about the vaccine for immigrants in New York. Here is a list that rounds up what we know so far and how you can get the vaccine if you are eligible, regardless of your immigration status.
Who can get the vaccine?
New York State determines eligibility by stage. As of February 8, Phase 1A and 1B are currently the only people who can get a vaccine in NYS / NYC.
Phase 1a and 1b include: Household helpers; Teachers and educators, including childcare staff; First responder; Public security staff; Local public transport workers, now including TLC licensees; Grocery and grocery store workers, now restaurants; New Yorkers stricken with homelessness living in both community and staff; Staff at the testing and vaccination sites for COVID-19 (here is the link for the full list).
From February 15th:
Adult New Yorkers with certain medical conditions and comorbidities can get the vaccine. This also applies to people with vaccines cancer (currently or in remission, including 9/11 cancers), chronic kidney disease, lung disease, mental and developmental disorders, including Down syndrome, heart disease (including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, or high blood pressure (high blood pressure)), immunocompromised condition ((weakened immune system), severe obesity, pregnancy, Sickle cell disease or thalassemia, type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus, Cerebrovascular disease, neurological conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, liver disease.
Do I have to provide proof of my immigration status?
No. Counties, New York State, and the federal government do not require immigrant status to provide a vaccine to immigrants.
Also read: The scams against Latinos via messaging apps
Where can I get the vaccine?
There are several locations where you can get a vaccine: New York state facilities, NYC Health + Hospitals, as well as local pharmacies, emergency care facilities, and community centers. To get a vaccine, you need to make an appointment in advance.
How can I get the vaccine and what documents should I bring with me?
Step 1: Eligibility to participate
Make sure you are eligible for vaccination. The list above gives a general idea of who is eligible under Phases 1A and 1B. You can find detailed descriptions at this link.
Step 2: Choosing a facility
Find a place near you to make an appointment:
You can use this link to find the centers closest to your postcode. Once you’ve entered your zip code, you can make an appointment with the facility of your choice. Once you have selected an institution, you will be prompted for the appropriate forms.
You can also make an appointment directly through CVS, Walgreens, or Costco.
Because the demand for the vaccine is high, some facilities may not have places available. If so, we recommend contacting your primary care provider for options or to check availability at the NYC Hub, NYC Health + Hospitals, or federally operated facilities.
If there are no places available, keep trying again.
Step 3: Proof of Eligibility
As soon as you have made an appointment, you need to fill it out at the location of your choice. This again confirms your authorization. It is required by the state that you must fill out this form online before receiving the vaccine, but after you have made your appointment. This is because the form asks you for the date of the scheduled appointment.
You must confirm your authorization on the day of your appointment. You can use a recent pay slip, a letter from your employer with the correct headline, an employee ID card, or proof of employment (just provide proof one). You will also need to provide evidence of your age with one of the following:
- Driver’s license or non-driver’s license,
- Birth certificate issued by a state or local government
- Current US passport or valid foreign passport
- Certificate of naturalization or citizenship
- Life insurance with date of birth
- Marriage certificate with date of birth
Proof of residence can include:
One of the following:
- State or government issued ID
- Current rental receipt or rental agreement
Two of the following:
- Statement from another person
The vaccine requires two doses, usually 21 days apart. While some misinformation has emerged on social media, the CDC and health experts have confirmed that the vaccine is safe. The vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after rigorous studies and compliance with safety criteria.
Also Read: Misinformation Damages Confidence in the COVID Vaccine Among Latinos in New York
How much does it cost?
It’s free. The immigrant vaccine is free. The vaccine is free for everyone. Anyone. While some establishments will ask you for an insurance card to cover administrative costs, if you don’t have one, you won’t be turned away. It is in the best interests of the country that people are vaccinated. You will be given the vaccine for as long as you are eligible.
Does this Immigrant Vaccine Guide apply to the undocumented?
Yes. As long as you qualify according to state guidelines and provide the above documents, there should be no problem.
Vaccines against COVID-19 are in great demand. Whenever you see an available appointment, take it – no matter where it is or when it is available.
Documented NY is a nonprofit news site dedicated solely to New York City immigrants and the policies that affect their lives.