Expanding COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in Phase 1B

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that as of Monday, January 11th, New York State will begin Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination distribution process. Eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, many New Yorkers ask questions about their eligibility. 

In an attempt to offer additional clarification and address questions that both our patients and the broader community continue to have, we have compiled some resources both below, and on our COVID-19 vaccination page, which includes a number of FAQs that we are continuously updating based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).  

Who is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?  

The CDC determined early on that the COVID-19 vaccine would be distributed in phases. Those phases have been defined by eligibility, making the most high-risk essential workers, nursing home residents, and senior citizens among the first to receive the vaccine in late December. New York State has made the eligibility information public for all New York residents; that can be found here. 

New Yorkers categorized under Phase 1B now are deemed eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and may begin to schedule their vaccination appointments as times become available. Population groups included in Phase 1B include: 

  • education workers 
  • first responders 
  • public safety workers 
  • public transit workers 
  • people 65 and older 

Here is the complete list of groups eligible in Phase 1B. 

Where can eligible candidates receive the COVID-19 vaccine? 

New York State has developed a number of new sites to administer the vaccines to accommodate those who are eligible. For more information about where to receive the vaccine and how to make an appointment, please use the NYC Vaccine Finder. 

At this time, Weill Cornell Medicine is only able to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments for eligible existing patients and staff members. All eligible patients will be notified of their appointment availability through the Connect patient portal, where they can follow the prompts to schedule. Existing eligible patients with additional questions may visit VaccineTogetherNY.org or call 646-697-VACC for more information. 

Note: We are experiencing high call volumes, so we appreciate your patience as we try to address everyone’s needs.   

Why is it important for me to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? 

There is currently no cure for COVID-19, so public health officials continue to recommend getting vaccinated to protect against the coronavirus. Those who are at higher risk should make vaccination a priority  

“Vaccination is a small thing each of us can do to have a huge impact on our community,” says infectious disease expert Kristen Marks, MD, associate professor of medicine-Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University.   

She adds that people who receive the vaccine should continue to wear masks, social distance, and wash their hands for ongoing protection. 

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Updated Notice as of January 13, 2020

Preparing for COVID Vaccines From Columbia Doctors, Weill Cornell Medicine, and NewYork-Presbyterian

Dear Valued Patient:

Columbia Doctors, Weill Cornell Medicine, and NewYork-Presbyterian are preparing to vaccinate our patients, age 65 and older, against COVID-19, as the State of New York recently approved vaccinations to this age group.

We understand that many people will be interested in receiving a COVID vaccination and demand will be high. Please note that vaccine supplies will be limited. You will be able to schedule a vaccine appointment later this week through the Connect patient portal as appointments are made available. Please do not call the hospital or your doctor’s office for a vaccine appointment.

For more information or to register for Connect, please visit VaccineTogetherNY.org or call 646-697-VACC. For information on other locations in New York State where eligible individuals can be vaccinated, please visit https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.

We will notify you with more details about vaccinations as the information becomes available.

Thank you for trusting us with your care.

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