Syracuse, NY – Finding a Covid-19 vaccination appointment in New York will likely become even more competitive starting today, at least in the short term, as people with certain medical conditions can also make appointments starting at 8 a.m. today.
There are three main ways for eligible members of the public to obtain the vaccine – through the state, through your county, or at local drug stores. In Central New York, it is mostly Kinney drugs.
Here is some help with navigating the vaccine landscape:
Who should use the state's "Am I eligible"? Website?
"Am I eligible?" The website is aimed at all citizens who are eligible. This website primarily has dates for the state's 13 mass vaccination sites, including the New York State Fair, SUNY Cortland, and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
Pro tip: Even if there are no appointments available on the website, click the "Get started" button. Enter your qualifying information. Then stay on the "Search for providers" page and update it regularly. Click through to the vaccination centers, even if no dates are given there. The state reopens appointments that become available due to cancellations. These are very sporadic and rare, but they do show up from time to time.
How do I get an appointment in the Oncenter?
Onondaga County is also administering the vaccine.
In early February, district officials learned of the week's allocation every Sunday. The vaccine arrives on Tuesdays, says County Executive Ryan McMahon. He usually opens appointments on Wednesdays on the district's website.
These county appointments are primarily for those who qualify because of their jobs. Seniors and others can also apply.
What about appointments in drugstores?
These are reserved for people aged 65 and over.
Here in the Syracuse area, Kinney Drugs and CVS offer many of the vaccine doses. Each store receives around 100 cans a week. The chain makes these appointments available when the vaccine is used in each location.
Kinney Drugs tells people not to call individual stores. You have no access to the appointment system.
Some independent drug stores also offer the vaccine. As of Friday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office did not provide a list of these pharmacies.
Pro tip: Sign up for vaccination alerts from Kinney Drugs. This will tell you when the vaccine will arrive in an area. You have to act quickly to get the dates.
Is there a way to make appointments by phone?
Most appointments are available online, but there is a state number you can call: 833-697-4829.
What information do I need to make an appointment?
Different websites require different information. The following are best to hand:
Full nameDate of birthDriving licenseInsurance information, including Medicare or Medicaid cardsEmail-addressPhone number
What if I make an appointment for a friend or neighbor?
In general, you will need the information above.
You should also be ready to answer some general health questions about previous vaccine allergies, current medications such as blood thinners or steroids, previous or current cancer treatments, and information about autoimmune problems. The forms also usually ask if the patient is pregnant.
What if i am not insured?
You don't need insurance to get the vaccine.
What should I take when I get the vaccine?
After you have made the appointment, you will receive an email explaining what to bring. This usually includes a consent form, your ID, and insurance information (if you have one). If you are eligible based on your job, you will need a work card and / or a letter from your employer explaining your eligibility.
Individuals with qualifying underlying medical conditions will need a medical letter, medical documentation proving the condition, or a certificate signed by vaccine recipients stating that they have an illness that qualifies them for a shot. The state will review the evidence to make sure the rules are being followed.
What about the other boroughs of central New York?
Cayuga County encourages residents of the county to check its website for upcoming dates. It also has an alert system about the vaccine.
Telephone number: 315-253-1560
Cortland County says employers will be contacted by eligible individuals while the vaccine is being rolled out. However, the district should also regularly check its website for further information.
The county is asking people not to contact SUNY Cortland directly but to use the state's website (above) for these appointments.
Telephone number: 607-756-3415
The county will book appointments as soon as the vaccine is available. The district does not have a waiting list. But there is a number that helps seniors book appointments or get transportation to a vaccination site. That number is below.
Telephone number: 315-606-5080 for seniors only
The county will book appointments as soon as the vaccine is available.
Oswego County advises its residents to visit this website frequently. The district sets dates as soon as they are available.
Telephone number: 315-349-3545
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