Suffolk County COVID-19 Vaccination Center

#TAKEYOURSHOT - GET VACCINATED

COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to everyone aged 16 and older. According to medical researchers, vaccination will help protect you, your family and your community from the virus that causes COVID-19. By getting vaccinated, you can end the damage to our economy, prevent more illnesses and deaths, and eliminate COVID-19.

Links for Vaccine Appointments

Click here for appointments at Suffolk County Vaccination Facilities

Click here for appointments at Walgreens (60+ priority Group)
Click here for appointments at Northwell Health
Click here for appointments at CVS
To make an appointment at the state-operated vaccination sites, including SUNY Stony Brook at Southampton, SUNY Stony Brook at Stony Brook, Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, Jones Beach, and other vaccination sites, call the New York State hotline at: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX or visit am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
Veterans can obtain information about getting the vaccine from your VA health care provider or from the VA COVID-19 Vaccine Information page: https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/.

Updates

Beginning March 30, those who are 30 years old and older can sign up for their COVID-19 vaccinations. As of March 23, all vaccination sites in New York may administer vaccines to any eligible population. For information on how the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed and for a list of all who are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
On March 17, the following essential employees were added to the list of Essential Workers.
  • Public-facing government and public employees
  • Not-for-profit workers who provide public-facing services to New Yorkers in need
  • Essential in-person public-facing building service workers
For the latest data on vaccination, COVID-19 cases, and hospitalizations in Suffolk County, click here.

Suffolk County Department of Health Services Information


Minority Health and COVID-19



Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Eligibility and Availability of COVID-19 Vaccine

The vaccine is free of charge.

Distribution of a new vaccine to the entire population is a logistical effort unlike anything we have ever undertaken as a nation, and requires close coordination between federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local officials. Furthermore, the logistics of administering the vaccine have been made more complicated because distribution needs to be conducted on a priority basis and the vaccine itself requires cold storage.
The federal government is overseeing a centralized system to distribute and track the vaccine. Orders for vaccines are submitted by states to the federal government and shipped to localities from centralized locations.
Many public health experts point toward insufficient coordination and planning between the federal Operation Warp Speed program’s development of the vaccine and delivery of the vaccine to centralized distribution centers and the states’ role to administer the vaccine as a critical juncture that did not receive enough attention, planning, or funding.
Many state and local agencies need federal funding and coordination assistance in order to efficiently administer the vaccine to millions of people. In addition, some states are managing surges in COVID-19 cases while also being asked to implement a vaccine administration program. With many hospitals facing nearly full capacity, healthcare systems have been stretched thin to both care for patients and provide staff for the vaccination process.
When adequate supply of the COVID-19 is provided, Suffolk County is ready and able to quickly give vaccine doses to large numbers of people.
Until everyone is vaccinated, the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and other members of your community is to wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.
HELPFUL LINKS:
NYS Dashboard: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine-tracker
CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Info.: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/index.html

Once you receive confirmation that your COVID-19 vaccination has been scheduled, take note:
Individuals being vaccinated MUST produce proof of eligibility.
If an individual is eligible due to their employment, they must prove they are employed in New York State. Proof may include:
  • an employee ID card or badge,
  • a letter from an employer, or
  • a pay stub.
If an individual is eligible due to their age, they must produce Proof of Age AND Proof of Residency in New York State. To prove residency, an individual must show:
  • One (1) of the following: Landlord's Statement; Current rent receipt or lease; Mortgage records; or
  • Two (2) of the following: Statement from another Individual; Current mail; School records.
To prove age an individual must show:
  • a government-issued ID that includes their date of birth (like a Driver's License or passport).
If an individual is eligible due to comorbidity, they must produce one of the following:
  • Doctor’s letter
  • Medical information that is evidence you have the condition
  • A signed certification when the vaccine is received that is determined by a local government

Questions about Vaccine Safety

All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns. CDC and the FDA will continue to monitor the vaccines to look for safety issues after they are authorized and in use.
Source: CDC

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States U.S. use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes two weeks for the body to build stronger immunity after the second dose of an mRNA vaccine or after the single–dose Janssen vaccine. Therefore, it is particularly important to continue to follow all public health guidance, such as wearing a mask, watching your distance and washing your hands, especially before protection from the vaccine has been built (when you are still fully susceptible to become infected and get sick from COVID-19.)
Source: CDC

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19 by stimulating your immune system so your body is ready to respond if you come in contact with the virus. You may expect to have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your daily life, but they should go away in a few days. Common side effects are pain and swelling on the arm where you received the shot, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. Some of these may be more pronounced if you have been previously infected with COVID-19 and, in the case of mRNA vaccines, after the second dose.
For tips on what to expect after getting a COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov/vsafe.
Source: Nancy Messonier, CDC

CDC states that people who have been fully vaccinated (defined as those who have received the second dose of a two-dose regimen or one single-dose vaccine no less than two weeks ago) can:
  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing, as long as they are at low risk for severe illness from COVID-19
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine after a known exposure to COVID-19, as long as they remain asymptomatic.
Except for the above-mentioned activities, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and physically distance around unvaccinated people.
We do not yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not get sick.
While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it is important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic.
To protect yourself and others, even if you are fully vaccinated, follow these recommendations in public spaces:
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • Wash your hands often
Together, COVID-19 vaccination and CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to update this page as we learn more.
Source: CDC FAQs and CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is globally respected for its scientific standards of vaccine safety, efficacy and quality. In an emergency, like a pandemic, the FDA can make a judgement that it is worth releasing a vaccine, drug, device and/or test for use even without all the evidence that would go into the normal approval process. That judgement, in this case that the known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine, is called an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Under both EUA and normal approval, the FDA provides scientific and regulatory requirements to vaccine developers and undertakes a rigorous evaluation of the scientific information through all phases of clinical trials, which continues after authorization or approval. Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be issued an EUA.
Watch a video on what an EUA is here.
Source: FDA

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
Source: CDC

No, not yet. While the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is authorized for children aged 16 and older, additional studies need to be completed before COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for younger children. The Moderna and Janssen vaccines are authorized for people 18 years of age and older. Therefore, as we wait for this additional clinical trial data, children, like adults, should wear masks, watch their distance, wash their hands and avoid congregating in groups in order to protect themselves against infection.
Source: CDC

CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions that are not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies—get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.
Tell the provider about your allergy when you get the vaccine. They are prepared to administer the vaccine safely and provide treatment in the rare case of allergic reactions. As a precaution, the CDC guidelines recommend that those with allergies be observed at the site for 30 minutes instead of 15 minutes. But it is not something to prevent you from getting vaccine.
Source: CDC

Like other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines can cause swollen lymph nodes in the armpit area where the shot was administered. This is a normal side effect of the vaccine and is evidence that your immune system is building protection against COVID-19.
However, swollen lymph nodes under the arm are routinely screened for during mammograms as a potential sign of breast cancer. If you have recently been vaccinated and develop swollen lymph nodes, it could be mistaken for breast cancer during your mammogram. Therefore, as long as it does not delay essential medical care, you should consider scheduling your mammogram for either before you receive the vaccine, or 4-6 weeks post-vaccination.
If swelling under the arm persists for more than 4-6 weeks after vaccination, consult your physician.
Source: Society of Breast Imaging

Vaccinated individuals with a COVID-19 exposure are not required to quarantine if they meet all three of the following criteria:
  1. Are fully vaccinated, meaning it has been at least 2 weeks since they have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine
  2. Have been fully vaccinated for less than 3 months
  3. Have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms since exposure
If you do not meet all of these criteria, then you should follow regular quarantine protocol after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Source: CDC Interim Clinical Consideration

Questions about Vaccine Efficacy

Based on the current research, the Janssen vaccine (one dose) and the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines (both two-dose regimens) are incredibly good at preventing people from getting sick with COVID-19. (Janssen with 72% vaccine efficacy [83.5% against severe disease], Pfizer/BioNTech with 95% efficacy and Moderna with 94.1% efficacy).
Source: CDC Interim Clinical Considerations

The Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are all proven to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths. Getting vaccinated with any of these vaccines will greatly reduce your risk of serious illness due to the virus and it is recommended that you take the first vaccine available to you.
The single-dose Janssen vaccine has been shown to be 85% effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19 and 100% effective against COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. The vaccine also lowered the risk of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 illness by 72% among people who were vaccinated compared to people who received the placebo. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine showed efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection after two doses.
And the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection after the second dose.
Source: CDC

Three vaccines are currently available in the U.S. under the Emergency Use Authorization – Janssen, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. All of them dramatically lower the risk of getting sick from COVID-19. You are likely to receive whichever vaccine is supplied to your provider/local health department by the federal government. It is important to get vaccinated when it is your turn to make sure you and your community can benefit from all of the tools we have to fight COVID-19.
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

After you are vaccinated, it takes some time for your body to build an immune response to the vaccine. CDC advises that the vaccines offer strong protection starting two weeks after completing the vaccination series (one dose for Janssen, two doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines).
Once you get vaccinated, you will have a lower risk of getting sick from COVID-19. However, no vaccine provides 100% immunity and many people around you are likely to be unvaccinated. To protect others, it is crucial to continue practicing the 3 W’s: Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance until enough people are vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus.
Source: CDC

Fully vaccinated individuals should continue to practice the 3 W’s around people who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. We do not yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick.
According to CDC, fully vaccinated individuals can, however, socialize without face masks and physical distancing with other fully vaccinated individuals, and with unvaccinated people in a single household who are at low risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19.
While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic.
To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid poorly-ventilated spaces
  • Wash your hands often
Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
Source: CDC FAQs and CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last, and it is possible to catch it more than once.
Vaccination of a person with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should be deferred until they have recovered from the acute illness (if they had symptoms) and they have met criteria to discontinue isolation. This recommendation applies to people who become infected before receiving any vaccine dose and those who become infected after the first dose of an mRNA vaccine but before receipt of the second dose.
While there is no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination, current evidence suggests that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection is low in the months after initial infection but may increase with time due to waning immunity. Thus, while vaccine supply remains limited, people with recent documented acute SARS-CoV-2 infection may choose to temporarily delay vaccination, if desired, recognizing that the risk of reinfection and, therefore, the need for vaccination, might increase with time following initial infection.
Source: CDC

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine includes two shots, 21 days apart while the Moderna vaccine includes two shots, 28 days apart.
Persons should not be scheduled to receive the second dose earlier than recommended (e.g., 3 weeks [Pfizer-BioNTech] or 1 month [Moderna]). However, second doses administered within a grace period of 4 days earlier than the recommended date for the second dose are still considered valid. Doses inadvertently administered earlier than the grace period should not be repeated.
If it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled for administration up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. There are currently limited data on efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window. If the second dose is administered beyond these intervals, there is no need to restart the series.
Source: CDC Interim Clinical Considerations

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine includes two shots, 21 days apart while the Moderna vaccine includes two shots, 28 days apart. Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine efficacy after a single dose was 52.4% in trials; Moderna’s was 80.2%.
However, both doses are currently recommended to get the maximum protection, since there have been no clinical trials assessing these mRNA vaccines as single dose regimes. Until more is learned about the duration and kind of protection you get from the vaccine, you should take the same precautions you did before vaccination. Moreover, until the population is broadly vaccinated and the outbreak is under control, which will take many months, everyone — vaccinated or not— needs to continue to wear masks and practice distancing to protect themselves and others.
Source: Science News and National Public Radio (NPR)

Experts do not know exactly what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. The current estimation is between 70-85%. Herd immunity is a term used to describe when enough people in a community have protection—either from previous infection or vaccination — that it is unlikely a virus or bacteria can spread and cause disease. As a result, everyone within the community is protected, even if some people don’t have any protection themselves. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease.
Source: CDC COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

Clinical trials are studies to assess the safety and efficacy of vaccines. They are typically conducted in three phases, each with increasingly larger numbers of volunteers.
  1. Phase 1 clinical trials assess the safety and dosage of a vaccine in a small number of people, typically a dozen to several dozen healthy volunteers.
  2. Vaccine safety is also assessed in Phase 2 studies, in which adverse events not detected in phase 1 trials may be identified because a larger and more diverse group of people receive the vaccine.
  3. Only in much larger Phase 3 clinical trials can it be demonstrated whether a vaccine is actually protective against disease. Safety is also more fully assessed. Phase 3 clinical trials often include thousands of volunteers, and for Covid-19 vaccines will involve tens of thousands (30,000 to 45,000 people in some of the ongoing phase 3 trials).
Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

The New York Times has developed a vaccine tracker with detailed information and visuals on the development process of each of the leading vaccine candidates. The tracker is updated nearly every day as new evidence is collected and progress is made.
Source: NYTimes

Natural immunity refers to the process of building an immune response to a disease after being infected by it. After getting COVID-19, most people will build an immune response that will last at least months and help fight the disease if they are exposed to it again, so they do not become sick.
Vaccine-induced immunity refers to a process where weakened or killed parts of an organism are introduced to the body to produce the same type of immune response without the person having to become sick with the disease in order to have immunity. After completing a COVID-19 vaccination, people are expected to build an immune response that will last months and help their immune system fight COVID-19 if they are exposed to it, so they do not become sick.
Experts are still studying how long natural and vaccine-induced immunity will last for COVID-19. There may also be differences in the level of immune response from natural immunity versus vaccine-induced immunity and scientists are continuing to study this area.
Both of these processes are types of active immunity, where the body responds to something from the outside world to build the immune response. Active immunity is different from passive immunity, where someone is given antibodies rather than their body producing through the immunity.
Source: CDC

Viruses frequently change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the U.S. and globally during this pandemic. This includes the B 1.351, B.1.1.7 and P.1 variants first detected in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Brazil, respectively. Data suggest that these variants spread more easily and quickly than other variants.
As a result, it is very important for everyone to continue to wear masks, stay at least 6 feet apart from others, avoid crowds, ventilate indoor spaces, and wash their hands often. These actions will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the new variants.
Studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway
Scientists are working to better understand how easily the variants might be transmitted and the effectiveness of currently authorized vaccines against them. New information about the virologic, epidemiologic, and clinical characteristics of these variants is rapidly emerging.
CDC, in collaboration with other public health agencies, is monitoring the situation closely. CDC is working to detect and characterize emerging viral variants and expand its ability to look for new COVID-19 variants. Furthermore, CDC has staff available on-the-ground support to investigate the characteristics of viral variants. For example, CDC is collaborating with EPA to confirm that disinfectants inactivate these variant viruses. As new information becomes available, CDC will provide updates.
Source: CDC

Questions about Equitable Allocation and Distribution

Because the U.S. supply of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be limited at first, the CDC provided recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. CDC’s recommendations are based on those from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts. New York State is following CDC recommendations.

Because COVID-19 disproportionately affected people of color, priority will be given to vaccinating people living in communities where the virus is prevalent.
Those with underlying medical conditions and residents within communities adversely affected by health disparities will be offered the vaccine before it’s made available to the general public.
Importantly, the public will need to trust a vaccine and be willing to be vaccinated to have a public health impact. Building trust in a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, particularly in communities with long-standing, legitimate mistrust of the government and scientific experiments, is critical.
As the largest health care provider in New York State, Northwell Health has been asked by Governor Andrew Cuomo to establish a Health Equity Taskforce, which will convene on January 5, 2021. Its mission is to work with the medical community to ensure the equitable distribution of the vaccine to communities where there is a history of health disparities and a high prevalence of chronic diseases that make people more vulnerable to COVID-19. Northwell has reached out to leaders within those communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties to serve on the Task Force, and work with us on how best to inform and educate residents of diverse communities about COVID-19 vaccinations.
For more information on how Suffolk County is working with Northwell Health to address health disparities and outreach to underserved communities, please visit https://www.northwell.edu/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine-information.

Everyone is susceptible to infection by the coronavirus. For that reason, a coronavirus vaccine needs to be safe and effective for all people regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, or gender. Therefore, it is important to have diversity among participants in clinical trials that measure a potential vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. Safety and effectiveness for all groups of people is particularly important for a COVID-19 vaccine because of the virus’s disproportionate impact on people of color, people with underlying medical conditions, and the elderly. A vaccine that is not sufficiently tested in a diverse clinical trial pool could lead to unexpected effects that didn’t appear in a trial with a more general population.
In May the FDA "strongly encouraged" the inclusion of diverse populations in COVID-19 clinical vaccine trials, including racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions.

Yes, an important one. As Dr Anthony Fauci noted, "The very vaccine that’s one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels — 95 percent efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100 percent efficacy against serious disease that are shown to be clearly safe — that vaccine was actually developed in the NIH's vaccine research center by a team of scientists led by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, or Kizzy Corbett.” Corbett, a Black woman, is the lead scientist for the National Institutes of Health's coronavirus vaccine research and has addressed hesitancy within the Black community in the past. "Trust, especially when it has been stripped from people, has to be rebuilt in a brick-by-brick fashion," Corbett said. "And so, what I say to people firstly is that I empathize, and then secondly is that I’m going to do my part in laying those bricks. And I think that if everyone on our side, as physicians and scientists, went about it that way, then the trust would start to be rebuilt."
Source: NIH, CNN Coronavirus: Fact or Fiction, NBC

The Black Coalition Against COVID-19 is a trusted source of information on COVID-19 vaccine information, including through its partnership with the four historically Black medical schools in the United States. Resources include: 1) Make it Plain: What Black America Needs to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines 2) Resources for Enrolling in Vaccine Trials, and 3) Personal account of a Black doctor who got the vaccine.
Source: Black Coalition Against Covid-19

The CDC has Spanish language myth-busting resources on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and COVID-19 FAQs in Spanish.
COVIDguia.org has updated COVID-19 information in Spanish, compiled by the American Public Health Association and the COVID-19 Latinx Task Force. PAHO has communications materials in Spanish and Portuguese for its Latin American audience.
The Department of Health for the Government of Puerto Rico maintains a Spanish-language COVID-19 vaccine website with information on the benefits of the vaccine, fact sheets, and nearly 30 FAQs, including those related to doses, concerns for pregnant women and the immunocompromised, differences between Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the need for the 3Ws even after being vaccinated, and the v-safe program.
Source: The Department of Health for the Government of Puerto Rico

The Indian Health Service (IHS) COVID-19 vaccine website has resources including its COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccine plan and FAQs specific to the concerns of the community. Also, consult the IHS List of Provider Resources for Vaccination Clinics.

The following sites provide key resources, updated regularly:

The American Public Health Association provides a roundup of webinars, articles, and blogs on COVID-19 and health equity and health justice. This includes CDC data on COVID-19 racial and ethnic disparities, and information on the impact on the unhoused population.
The Atlantic’s COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. It gathers the most complete and up-to-date race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States.
Source: APHA and COVID Tracking Project

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services appreciates the support of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies