Dear AMPHS Family,
We hope you all are staying safe and staying warm this winter. February is a special month. It is a time for us to celebrate Lunar New Year and Black History Month. This year has been a difficult one for both Black and Asian American communities. We’ve seen a rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence as a result of COVID and continue to see brutality against Black Americans. As we move into the Year of the Ox and reflect on more than 400 years of Black history and heritage this month, we simultaneously acknowledge the long way we have to go as a society but also hope our Black and Asian American neighbors can take time to celebrate the love, joy, and resilience in our communities.
The past month has been a busy one at AMPHS as we help our community navigate the roll-out of the vaccine. Although the vaccine is safe and free, we also know that there is a lot of false information going around about the vaccine and that many in our community still have questions. AMPHS is here to help! Below we have compiled a list of the latest information available on the COVID-19 vaccine, including who is eligible, where you can get your vaccine when it’s your turn, and frequently asked questions. We will continue to provide updates as we learn more but to follow along with the latest information you can also check the NYC Health vaccine page for updates.
We know this is a difficult time for many in our community. If you need to speak with someone to receive social assistance services during this difficult time, our phone lines are open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM at (212) 256-9036.
Our team braved the cold for another successful food distribution event this past month! With the support of South Brooklyn Mutual Aid, Brooklyn Immigrant Community Support, and Empire BlueCross BlueShield we were able to provide food to over 320 families in need.
NY’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Workshop
To prepare our community members for the February 1 NY State rent relief program, AMPHS conducted an info session in English, Spanish, and Chinese to discuss program eligibility, how to apply, and address frequently asked questions. In January we assisted 36 community members with their rent relief applications.
Although the deadline for the NY State rent relief program has passed, you can visit the NYC rental assistance site for additional rent relief resources.
Vaccine for All Workshop
We joined NYC Health and Hospitals, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, and other community organizations to discuss the next phase of the City’s Vaccine For All effort and resources for staying healthy during the pandemic. Click here to access a recording of the session!
#Coverage4All Virtual Lobby Day
AMPHS joined the NYIC in their #Coverage4All Virtual Lobby Day. Together with our partners, we met with Assemblywoman Marcela Mitaynes and Senator John Liu’s office to advocate for immediate coverage for undocumented adults who have COVID-19 and affordable health insurance coverage for all low-income New Yorkers regardless of immigration status. A huge thank you to Assemblywoman Mitaynes for co-sponsoring the Coverage4All bill and supporting our advocacy for healthcare equity.
AMPHS partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs for a bilingual community town hall series on the vaccine. We held four town halls in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Arabic and answered questions community members had about vaccine eligibility, vaccine safety, and vaccine access!
COVID-19 Vaccination Updates
What is the current status of vaccine rollout?
- The Federal Government determines the number of vaccines New York State receives. New York is provided approximately 300,000 vaccines per week for over 7 million people who are eligible – as a result supply is very limited.
- An appointment is required to receive a vaccine. If you visit a location without an appointment you will not receive a vaccine. If you are unable to find a vaccine appointment, we recommend that you continue to search the system on a daily basis as the city receives more supply.
Where can I secure a vaccine?
- Vaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments statewide. Please contact your provider of choice to schedule your vaccine appointment.
- There is a network of State-run sites distributing vaccines statewide. To determine eligibility and to schedule a first-dose appointment through April 16 at New York State-run vaccination sites only, use the Am I Eligible app.
- One million doses have been allocated to 6,500 pharmacies across the US — including some CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid locations — in the first phase of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, and the stores started giving these shots Friday, February 12, 2021. Each pharmacy will receive 100 doses per week.
Who is eligible?
- The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to certain groups in NYC. The following groups have recently become eligible:
- NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) licensed drivers
- Restaurant workers
- People ages 65 and older
- Teachers, school staff, in-person college instructors and child care workers
- Correction staff
- First responders
- Public transit workers
- Public-facing grocery store and bodega workers
- People working and living in group homeless shelters and other group settings
- New Yorkers with these underlying conditions are eligible for the vaccine as of Feb 15.
- Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Pulmonary Disease, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Heart Conditions, Immunocompromised State, Severe Obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia, Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Cerebrovascular Disease, Neurologic Conditions and Liver Disease.
- You can find a full list of eligibility here. The Am I Eligible app is the quickest way to see if you’re eligible and make an appointment. You can also call the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
How can I make an appointment for a vaccine?
Search for sites across the different healthcare systems citywide:
- Vaccine List: This website shows you where appointments are immediately available across the city in real-time. It is not a city-run website and uses crowdsourced data. Translation option available.
- TurboVax: Shows available appointments across 43 city and state-run vaccination sites in real time. Site in English only.
- Vaccine Finder: Search for a vaccination site based on zip code and make an appointment on the individual links listed by site. Note that this does not tell you whether appointments are available at that site. Translation option available.
Search for sites within individual healthcare institutions and networks. A few of these sites include:
- DOHMH Vaccine Scheduler: Make an appointment at a DOHMH-run vaccination hub. Form in English only.
- Health + Hospitals Vaccine Scheduler: Make an appointment at a Health & Hospitals-run vaccination hub. Form in English only.
- SOMOS Vaccine Scheduler: Make an appointment at a SOMOS-run vaccination hub, including some 24/7 hubs. Form in English and Spanish. The Chinese form is coming soon.
Search for appointments at a local chain pharmacy (For adults 65 and older only):
- NYS Hotline: 833-697-4829 (7am-10pm, daily)
- NYC Hotline: 877-829-4692 (8am-9pm daily, will be 24/7 soon)
What are the latest updates regarding the COVID-19 variants?
- A more contagious variant of the coronavirus first found in Britain is spreading rapidly in the United States. At the end of January the UK strain comprised 3.6 percent of COVID cases across the United States.
- It is normal for viruses to mutate over time. The new COVID strain — called B.1.1.7 — was previously identified in the U.K. and was recorded in New York in early January.
- U.K. health officials have said that while this strain may be more transmissible from person to person, there is no evidence it is more likely to cause severe illness or death.
- There is also no evidence this strain is resistant to vaccines authorized for use in the US. Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have proven to be effective against the UK variant.
- One percent of people in NYC have tested positive for the UK variant strain.
- The City is currently conducting genomic sequencing on 10% of new virus cases to conduct more robust and regular surveillance on virus genetic mutation.
- New York State has confirmed the presence of the South African COVID-19 variant (B.1.351 strain) in a Long Island resident, the first lab-confirmed case in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.
- The B.1.351 strain of the virus was first detected in South Africa in October 2020 and was first discovered in the United States at the end of January 2021. Similar to the UK strain the South African variant is not believed to be more deadly but is more contagious.
Additional COVID Resources
Sunset park testing site locations
Get tested for COVID-19 today at any of the test sites below at no cost! Temporary mobile testing sites and other long-term sites are available throughout the Sunset Park neighborhood. This list is subject to change; call the test site first or contact us at (212) 256-9036 for updates.
H+H COVID Testing Sites
Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting a free test! NYC Health + Hospitals offers free testing at hospitals, health centers, and new pop-up locations across the five boroughs. Just walk-in – no appointment needed.
Enroll in Health Care for 2021 – Application Deadline Extended to March 31.
New York’s Healthcare Marketplace, NY State of Health, is a way for individuals, families, and small businesses to find quality health insurance, including stand-alone dental plans (Note: the Marketplace is not for people who have Medicare).
Need Financial Help? Financial aid to buy insurance is available for most consumers.
How Do I Apply? Apply online at http://www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov, or call the Marketplace at 1-855-355-5777.Need Free Help Applying? Trained in-person assisters, or navigators, are available to walk you through the application process. To find a navigator near you and set up an appointment, call the Marketplace or click here for a list.
Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and free. For more information on if you are eligible and where to get your vaccine you can click here for updates or refer to the flyer below.
Contact us Tuesday to Saturday from 10AM to 6PM at 212-256-9036 for more information regarding our services.