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WMCHealth Vaccine Information

 

Westchester Medical Center is serving as the coordinator for the Hudson Valley Region Hub of New York State’s Regional Vaccine Network.

Following state and federal guidelines, Westchester Medical Center is following a phased approach for vaccination, which began in mid-December with the WMCHealth workforce.

WMCHealth is collaborating with a broad group of hospitals, healthcare organizations and agencies, community organizations and many other stakeholders in developing plans to ensure the safe, equitable and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine across Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan counties.

As information becomes available, we will be providing it to our partners, community stakeholders and the public. Please visit this site often for updates from WMCHealth, New York State and the federal government.

Guidance for the New York State Vaccination Program is available here.

Hudson Valley HUB Mission

"Ensure that all residents of the Hudson Valley have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. This will be achieved through extensive regional partnerships and stakeholder coordination resulting in safe, rapid and equitable vaccine distribution and administration to communities and residents throughout the region."

View WMCHealth Regional HUB Vaccine Task Force List

And remember:

  • Wear a mask
  • Physical distance
  • Wash your hands

Please find the most up to date information below.


Vaccine Availability

Vaccine Location Directory  

WMCHealth offers an interactive directory to assist Hudson Valley residents with accessing COVID-19 vaccination.

The directory allows the user to search an interactive map by location type, such as pharmacy or health clinic, location name and county. Clicking on a location serves up detailed information about that location, who might be eligible to receive a vaccine at that location, and how to register for an appointment. The directory does not represent the actual inventory of vaccine at each location, only that a location has received a recent distribution, or a distribution sometime in the past. Each location controls its own schedule and makes its own appointments. Access to appointments at mass distribution sites is below.

Click here, or on the button to the above to use the directory.

Mass Vaccine Locations

To determine eligibility and schedule appointments at mass vaccination sites, please visit am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov. New Yorkers can also call the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX (833-697-4829) for more information.

Please check with your local provider, health department or pharmacy for vaccination availability near you.

Please visit the New York State Department of Health’s website at covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/what-you-need-know for more information regarding vaccination.

The New York State Department of Health will continue to inform the general public about availability and how to obtain vaccination.

Guidance for the New York State Vaccination Program is available here.


Vaccine Eligibility

The vaccination prioritization is based on New York State mandates that specify in what order vaccine can be administered.

Guidance for the New York State Vaccination Program is available here.

Additional links:

Vaccine Prioritization Phasing

Registration for vaccination at mass distribution sites is currently centralized through a New York State website.

Please check with your local provider, health department or pharmacy for vaccination availability near you.

Guidance for the New York State Vaccination Program is available here


Volunteer to Provide Immunizations

How To Volunteer

As the coordinator for the Hudson Valley Regional HUB, WMCHealth is seeking volunteers to support the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Volunteers are needed to assist with operations and activities at vaccination sites, such as registration and check-in, data entry, greeting and routing participants, traffic flow, and other administrative tasks. Volunteers with specific clinical credentials to administer the vaccine are also needed.

Volunteers must be 18 years of age in good health and proficient in English, with bi-lingual skills also being important. Training and PPE will be provided.

We are currently recruiting volunteers for the following sites

  • Middletown: SUNY Orange
  • New Paltz: Ulster County Fairgrounds
  • Suffern: SUNY Rockland
  • White Plains: Westchester County Center

Multiple shifts are available. Volunteers are asked to commit to one shift a week during a 90-day commitment.

To register to be a part of this historic vaccine program, please click here.

Thank you for your support.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the factors guiding vaccine distribution in New York State?

A: New York State has established a task force comprised of experts in public health, immunizations, government operations, data and other fields relevant to vaccine distribution and administration, to advise the set up and operation of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Under the plan, the state has been divided into 10 regional deployment HUBs. As the Mid-Hudson region HUB, WMCHealth is sharing vaccine-related information with the community. The CDC also issued guidelines that outline a phased approach to distribution of the vaccine. In addition, vaccine is being shipped on a regular basis to the states which are then distributing it under their own programs. All of these factors play into when an individual will become eligible to get the vaccine. For more information about how, when and where members of our community can receive the vaccine, please visit the WMCHealth Coronavirus Digital Resource Center website: covidinfo.wmchealth.org or the New York State resource website at covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine.

Q. How do I know if I’m eligible?

A. Please visit New York’s website at covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine for a complete list of those who are currently eligible.

Q: Are the vaccines safe?

A: The three vaccines that have been authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and by New York State’s independent COVID-19 Clinical Advisory Task Force are from Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. All are considered to be safe.

Q: I hear there might be side effects?

A: Currently, according to safety data from the clinical trials, the vaccines have a favorable safety profile, and most of the side effects are limited and mild to moderate.

Q: Are the vaccines effective?

A: Yes, each of these vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing serious illness from the virus if taken as prescribed. These vaccines are currently the best way to protect oneself from getting ill from the virus. As of now, it is not clear whether a person who received the vaccine can still transmit the virus to others.

Q. How much does the vaccine cost?

A: The vaccine itself is free to each person. If you do have medical insurance, you will be asked to provide your insurance information. Please bring your insurance card (if applicable) and a form of identification, drivers license, etc. There will be no out-of-pocket costs charged to you, whether you have insurance or not.

Q. I do not have health insurance. Can I still get the vaccine?

A: Yes. If you do not have health insurance, you can still get the vaccine.

Q. Do I need show proof of eligibility?

A: Yes, once you have an appointment, you must bring proof of eligibility to your appointment, IF:

  • You are eligible due to your employment as an essential worker, you must prove you are employed in the State of New York. Such proof may include:
    •  employee ID card or badge,
    • letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or
    • pay stub, depending on the specific priority status.
  • You are eligible due to your age, you must produce proof of age and proof of residence in New York. To prove New York residence, you must show:
    • One of the following: State or government-issued ID; Statement from landlord; Current rent receipt or lease; Mortgage records; or
    • Two of the following: Statement from another person; Current mail; School records.
    • For age, such proof may include:
      • Driver’s license or non-driver ID;
      • Birth certificate issued by a state or local government;
      • Current U.S passport or valid foreign passport;
      • Permanent resident card;
      • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship;
      • Life insurance policy with birthdate; or
      • Marriage certificate with birthdate.

Q. What do I need for proof of a healthcare condition to be eligible?

A. To show they have comorbidities or underlying conditions, New Yorkers must provide documentation as required by the facility where they are getting vaccinated which must be either:

  • Doctor's Letter, or
  • Medical Information Evidencing Comorbidity, or
  • Signed Certification

Q. If my relative is a healthcare provider can I get a vaccine?

A. Unless you are otherwise eligible, you cannot get a vaccine. Only those eligible under New York State’s priority phasing can receive a vaccine. Please visit New York’s website at covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine for a complete this of those who are currently eligible.

Q. Can caregivers receive a vaccine?

A. Please visit New York’s website at covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine for a complete list of those who are currently eligible for vaccination.

Q. I am fully vaccinated. Do I still have to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure? Do I still have to follow travel guidelines?

A. As more individuals are vaccinated, guidelines around quarantine and travel are changing regularly. Please visit New York States web resources at coronavirus.health.ny.gov/travel-large-gatherings-and-quarantines and coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory

Q: Will the distribution of the vaccine be equitable?

A: Yes. The vaccine distribution will be fair and equitable, with outreach to under-served communities to make community members aware of the vaccine, its benefits, and how to get vaccinated. To ensure equitable distribution, we have created the WMCHealth Regional Vaccination Health Equity Task Force, comprised of representatives from community-based organizations, faith-based institutions, social service agencies, academic institutions, LGBT organizations and many more located throughout the Hudson Valley Region.

Q: How many doses do I need?

A: For two of the vaccines currently in use (Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna), you will need two doses to have the full effect of the vaccine, either three or four weeks apart, depending on which brand you receive. The brand of your first dose will be the brand of your second dose. For the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine only one dose is required.

Q: Do mask and other requirements change if I get vaccinated?

A: In general, there is no indication that mask and other requirements such as physical distancing will change for those receiving the vaccine. As more individuals are vaccinated, guidelines could change so please visit New York States web resources at coronavirus.health.ny.gov/travel-large-gatherings-and-quarantines

Q: How long will the effects of vaccination last?

A: This is currently unknown. It is possible the vaccine will provide long-term immunity from COVID-19 or it may be that you will need to be vaccinated every year, similar to the flu vaccine.

Q: I had COVID already. Do I need a vaccine?

A: Yes. There is not enough information available yet to know if, or for how long, natural immunity lasts. There are no known risks to receiving the vaccine based upon whether you have already had the disease.

Q: Can I get COVID from the vaccine?

A: No. This is not possible.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: New York State has a website for all information related to the COVID-19 vaccines. The URL is covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov. This website has updated information about the vaccine, the distribution process, list of people eligible for vaccination in each phase, frequently asked questions, and more. This is also where you will find the link for vaccination registration and the New York State Vaccination Hotline which is 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829). For more information about how, when and where members of our local community can receive the vaccine, please visit the WMCHealth Coronavirus Digital Resource Center website: covidinfo.wmchealth.org

Sources: New York State, New York State Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Rev. 3.9.21


WMCHealth Health Equity Task Force

About

WMCHealth’s Health Equity Task Force is comprised of clinical experts and community stakeholders charged with ensuring that everyone in the region has an opportunity to attain the highest level of health as it relates to all facets of COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

View the WMCHealth Health Equity Task Force List

Overarching Focus

Ensuring that health equity is a priority woven into every facet of COVID-19 vaccination efforts (e.g., education, communication, dissemination, challenges, prevention efforts, etc.).  Ensure that the array of diverse community perspectives and concerns are reflected in short-term and long-term vaccination program development and implementation efforts.

Specific Areas of Focus

  • Identify existing health disparities that exacerbate the COVID-19 burden on vulnerable communities and explore impact on possible vaccination efforts
  • Identify existing and prospective vaccination challenges, and broader social inequities, for marginalized communities impacted by COVID-19.  Identify remedial measures to combat identified barriers.
    • External challenges (e.g., transportation, employment, internet access, etc.)
    • Internalized challenges (e.g., immigration status, misinformation, lack of trust, etc.).
  • Identify and examine opportunities to enhance vaccination efforts by providing greater access to vulnerable communities and general preventative medical care to reduce disparities and ensure better health outcomes.
  • Identify most effective communication strategies (reach and resonance) with vulnerable populations.
  • Provide recommendations for community trust building activities regarding vaccinations (e.g., education and awareness raising, durable partnerships with trusted anchor institutions and community organizations, etc.)
  • Provide ongoing feedback from local communities and vulnerable populations to better inform clinical treatment, administrative decision making, policy creation, and procedural implementation related to vaccinations.
  • Provide insight for vaccination efforts through lenses of racial, cultural, societal, and institutional perspectives.  Identify cultural competence and health literacy components for clinical and non-clinical providers designed to enhance the patient experience and ensure greater clinical compliance. 
  • Identify non-clinical points of access for vaccinations embedded in the local communities (e.g. libraries, churches, food pantries, etc.)
  • Ascertain “Best Practices” and other quantifiable success measurements for effective engagement with marginalized populations for future health equity efforts.
  • Leverage Task Force members and their networks for healthcare workforce diversification efforts.  Said diversification has been proven to help reduce both unconscious bias and health disparities, both of which will negatively impact vaccination efforts.
  • Informally “deputize” Task Force members to act as vaccination ambassadors throughout the region thereby enhancing vaccination efforts in vulnerable communities.


Public Vaccine Information Video   

Vaccine Education and Messaging Presentation