Public Health

Where & How To Get A Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine In NYC?

Khang T. Vuong, MHA23 Dec 2020

Quick Digest:

  • There are currently three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are or soon will be undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States.
  • On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, Governor Cuomo said  New York State will receive the vaccine from Pfizer on December 15 if all safety and efficacy approvals are granted.
  • The COVID vaccine will likely be available at urgent care centers, community and hospital clinics, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and other medical centers in NYC by mid-2021.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine: What you need to know

There are different types of vaccines that help to prevent infection. The COVID-19 vaccines are being developed so that our bodies develop immunity to coronavirus without actually getting the virus and risking illness. 

There are currently three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are or soon will be undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States. Below is a description of how each type of vaccine prompts our bodies to recognize and protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19. None of these vaccines can give you COVID-19.

  • Genetic (mRNA) vaccines use genetic material from the virus, such as mRNA. mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a spike protein. That protein is recognized by our immune system, which triggers an innate immune response and the production of antibodies. mRNA vaccines do not affect our DNA at all; in fact, they do not even enter the nucleus of our cells, which is where our DNA is stored.
  • Protein subunit vaccines include only the specific part of the virus that is needed to confer immunity to COVID-19 rather than the whole virus. This specific subunit of the virus will trigger an immune response in the body. Protein subunit vaccines are used to protect against hepatitis B, HPV, and shingles. These vaccines are very safe for those who are immunocompromised but may require booster shots over time.
  • Viral vector vaccines use a non-replicating virus to insert the genetic material of the virus that causes COVID-19 into our body. The genetic material then produced antigens for COVID-19, which triggers an immune response. This vaccine elicits a very strong immune response; therefore, one dose of these vaccines may be sufficient. This technique was used to create a vaccine against Ebola.

While viral vector vaccines may only require one shot, all of the other COVID-19 vaccines that are currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States use two shots. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot a few weeks later is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available at urgent care centers, physician offices, pharmacies, and hospitals across New York City

The COVID vaccine will likely be available at urgent care centers, community and hospital clinics, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and other medical centers by mid-2021. 

*Please note that the coronavirus vaccine is NOT available as of yet at any of these locations.

Urgent Care Centers

  • Sign up for our newsletter by creating a free account to be notified when the COVID-19 vaccine is available to the public at urgent care clinics

Pharmacies

  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Walgreens
  • Rite Aid
  • Costco Pharmacy
  • ShopRite
  • Stop & Shop

The COVID-19 vaccine is now being administered to healthcare workers and long-term nursing home residents in NYC

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been distributed to hospitals in New York City. Distribution of the Moderna vaccine began the week of December 21. 

The first 346,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to begin arriving in New York on December 22, 2020, with an additional 120,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected later in the week.

The vaccine is currently being administered to the following groups of people in NYC:

  • Nursing home residents
  • Essential workers who interact with the public and who are not able to physically distance

Health officials say New York City is vaccinating at twice the pace of the rest of the country, with 42% of vaccine doses having been administered in New York City, over double the national average of 19%. 
 

Phases the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed

How much will the coronavirus vaccine cost in NYC?

The coronavirus vaccine will cost between $3 and $37, depending on the vaccine. Moderna, a two-dose vaccine, recently announced each dose will go for around $32 to $37. The Pfizer vaccine, also given in two doses, is expected to cost $19.50 a dose. Each dose for Johnson & Johnson’s two-dose vaccine will cost an estimated $10, and AstraZeneca’s two-dose vaccine could be the cheapest at just $3 to $4 a dose. Novavax’s two-dose vaccine is estimated to be $16 a dose.

It’s likely that the public will also be charged with administration fees, considering the vaccine may have to be stored in very cold temperatures, and administration centers will need supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE), needles, staff, etc. 

In addition, if you have private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, the cost of the vaccine will likely be covered. If you do not have insurance, there will likely be locations and programs that will subsidize the cost of the vaccine. 

Sign up for our newsletter to find out where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine for free once it becomes available. 

Sources: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccines.page

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

https://gothamist.com/news/cuomo-says-new-york-get-170k-doses-covid-vaccine-dec-15th

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/downloads/COVID-19-Vaccination-Program-Interim_Playbook.pdf

https://abc7ny.com/health/cuomo-announces-covid-vaccine-delivery-date-for-new-yorkers/8442190/

https://abc7ny.com/nyc-covid-coronavirus-updates-update/8930528/

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