Suffolk County COVID-19 Vaccination Center

#TAKEYOURSHOT - GET VACCINATED

New York State is currently in Phase 1a and 1b. Vaccines for eligible members of the community are only being distributed at special vaccine centers located outside of hospitals and doctor’s offices. Due to limited supply, the state is also making the vaccine available to community members in phases.

Links for Vaccine Appointments

Click here for appointments at Walgreens (65+ priority Group)
Click here for appointments at Northwell Health
Click here for appointments at CVS
Click here for appointments in Riverhead - 1B (Including Comorbidities)
Click here for appointments in Brentwood - 1B (Including Comorbidities)
Click here for appointments in Selden - (Comorbidities Only)
To make an appointment at Jones Beach and other vaccination sites, call the New York State hotline at: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX.

Suffolk County Department of Health Services Information


Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Eligibility and Availability of COVID-19 Vaccine

New York State has the "Am I Eligible" app to help New Yorkers determine their eligibility, connect them with administration centers, and schedule appointments. Residents may also visit: Eligible New Yorkers in Phase 1A and 1b to see if they are eligible. Alternatively, residents may visit the Northwell Health website to find a vaccine location.

According to New York State Executive Order 202.91, updated February 8, 2021, the amount of vaccine the state receives is based upon the allocation made to New York by the federal government. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) then determines state allocations to providers and entities who have enrolled to administer vaccine and sets forth mandatory prioritization for vaccination by provider type.
  • Local health departments must continue to prioritize
    • The essential worker population in phase 1B.
    • Staff of congregate settings operated or certified by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
    • * Adults with specific comorbidities and underlying conditions (beginning February 15, 2021)
  • Hospitals receive allocations for and must prioritize persons in the following order:
    • Hospital employees who desire vaccination
    • Healthcare not employed at the hospital and OPWDD congregate care populations
    • Individuals age 65 and older
  • Retail Pharmacies are to prioritize
    • Pharmacy staff
    • Individuals who are 65+.
  • The New York State Department of Health approved general population mass vaccination sites are to prioritize
    • Individuals 65 and older
    • Essential workers in the 1b category
    • Restaurant workers, restaurant delivery drivers, and for-hire vehicle drivers
Until adequate supplies of COVID vaccine can be provided on a regular basis by the federal government through New York State, Suffolk County will be operating vaccine Points of Distribution events (PODs) for 1b essential workers. Those agencies, employers, and groups who are eligible will be contacted directly for appointments. As more vaccine doses become available, under guidance from New York State, Suffolk County will extend distribution to the broader population in a phased approach.
We are working to ensure that our plan prioritizes equitable vaccine access and is transparent about who will receive initial vaccine doses.
Essential Workers in the 1b Category Include:
Essential Workers to be prioritized by Local Health Departments include:
  • First Responder or Support Staff for First Responder Agency
    • Fire
      • State Fire Service, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
      • Local Fire Service, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
    • Police and Investigations
      • State Police, including Troopers
      • State Park Police, DEC Police, Forest Rangers
      • SUNY Police
      • Sheriffs' Offices
      • County Police Departments and Police Districts
      • City, Town, and Village Police Departments
      • Transit of other Public Authority Police Departments
      • State Field Investigations, including DMV, SCOC, Justice Center, DFS, IG, Tax, OCFS, SLA
    • Public Safety Communications
      • Emergency Communication and PSAP Personnel, including dispatchers and technicians
    • Other Sworn and Civilian Personnel
      • Court Officer
      • Other Police or Peace Officer
      • Support or Civilian Staff for Any of the Above Services, Agencies, or Facilities
  • Corrections
    • State DOCCS Personnel, including correction and parole officers
    • Local Correctional Facilities, including correction officers
    • Local Probation Departments, including probation officers
    • State Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
    • Local Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
  • P-12 Schools
    • P-12 school or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, and support staff including bus drivers)
    • Contractor working in a P-12 school or school district (including contracted bus drivers)
    • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group childcare
  • Public Transit
    • Airline and airport employee
    • Passenger railroad employee
    • Subway and mass transit employee (i.e., MTA, LIRR, Metro North, NYC Transit, Upstate transit)
    • Ferry employee
    • Port Authority employee
    • Public bus employee
  • In-person college faculty and instructors
  • Public facing grocery store workers, including convenience store and bodega workers
  • Individuals living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of the same household
  • Individual working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents
1A CATEGORY:
Health care workers: As directed by New York State, 1a health care workers and group home workers should contact their employer to arrange to receive the vaccine from a health care provider.
Long-Term Care Program: New York State has opted into the federal government's Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program for COVID-19 vaccination. Under the program, employees of CVS, Walgreens and other select pharmacies will vaccinate residents and staff in long-term care facilities including nursing homes, much like the do for the flu vaccine. The program began on December 21, 2020.
VETERANS: If you are a veteran, you 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/.
Eligible residents aged 65+:
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination is a collaboration between the federal government, states and territories, and 21 national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks to increase access to COVID-19 vaccination across the United States.
The program will be implemented incrementally, based on the available supply of COVID-19 vaccines. As part of this initial phase, select retail pharmacies in each state and U.S. territory will receive a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine directly from the federal government to vaccinate eligible individuals in their communities.
In New York (excluding NYC), the following pharmacies are part of the Initial Federal Retail Pharmacy Partners, according to the CDC:
As the vaccine supply increases, the program aims to expand the number of participating pharmacy locations ultimately providing COVID-19 vaccines in all 40,000 retail pharmacy locations nationwide. Allocations to support the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program are separate from weekly allocations provided to jurisdictions. What jurisdictions see in their weekly allocation will remain stable.
Eligible persons may also contact the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-833-697-4829 or https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ to register for the vaccine. You must understand that by calling the state hotline or registering via the website to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine, you may have to travel somewhere outside of Suffolk County to receive it.
1B CATEGORY:
Agencies, employers, and groups who are eligible to receive vaccine through the local health department will be contacted directly for appointments.
* Adults with Comorbidities:
Beginning February 15, adults of any age with the following conditions due to increased risk of moderate or severe illness or death from the virus that causes COVID-19:
 
  • Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes
  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2), Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or Thalassemia
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer's Disease or dementia
  • Liver disease
As more vaccine doses become available, under guidance from New York State, Suffolk County will extend distribution to the broader population in a phased approach.
Beginning February 14, 2021, adults with comorbidities may contact the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-833-697-4829 or https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ to register for the vaccine. Further information will be provided at a future date.
 
 
COVID-19 VACCINE FRAUD: New Yorkers who suspect fraud in the vaccine distribution process can now call 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) toll-free or email the state Department of Health at STOPVAXFRAUD@health.ny.gov.

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

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes 1-2 weeks for the body to build stronger immunity after the second dose. It is still possible for you to become infected with COVID-19 in between doses, or immediately after receiving the second vaccine dose and get sick.
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 after the second dose.
For tips on what to expect after getting a COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov/vsafe.
Source: Nancy Messonier, CDC

The threat of COVID-19 is real and urgent, and the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks. COVID-19 is killing thousands of Americans every day and leaving many others with lasting symptoms and disability. Getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, and your community healthy and safe and will allow for the full reopening of the economy.
While it is understandable that people are concerned, vaccines generally do not have long-term side effects and there is no reason to believe the COVID-19 vaccine will. To be sure, the FDA and the scientists, health and medical experts, and researchers who developed the vaccine are closely monitoring for side effects and symptoms reported by anyone who is vaccinated, watching out for any patterns that are out of the ordinary. Data will continue to be collected for two years after each vaccine is first administered to ensure that they are safe for the long term.
Source: CDC

The FDA approves a vaccine for use only if it is proven safe and effective, after clinical trials have been conducted with thousands of people, and when its benefits outweigh any risks. The COVID-19 vaccine builds on years of scientific research and an unprecedented level of scientific investment and cooperation. Every study and every phase of every trial was carefully reviewed and approved by a safety board and the FDA. The process was transparent and rigorous throughout, with continual oversight and expert approval.
The likelihood of a medically significant rection is extremely low. Temporary side effects like soreness, headaches, or a mild fever are signs that the body is responding and building an immunity to the virus. They typically go away in a day or two.

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 vaccine is 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

Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. We also don’t 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 yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more.
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

Questions about Vaccine Efficacy

Based on the current research, the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines, both 2-dose regimens, are incredibly effective (Pfizer/BioNTech at 95% and Moderna at 94.1%) at preventing people from getting sick with COVID-19.
Source: CDC Interim Clinical Considerations

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reaches 95% effectiveness one week after the second shot. The Moderna vaccine reaches 94% effectiveness two weeks after the second shot. Because there is still a 5 to 6% chance of infection after full vaccination, it is important to continue taking precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequently washing your hands.

Yes. Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. We also don’t 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 yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more.
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

The COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable and the safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. If two doses of different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine products are inadvertently administered, no additional doses of either product are recommended at this time.
In exceptional situations in which the first-dose vaccine product cannot be determined or is no longer available, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination series. If two doses of different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine products are administered in these situations (or inadvertently), no additional doses of either product are recommended at this time.
Recommendations may be updated as further information becomes available or other vaccine types (e.g., viral vector, protein subunit vaccines) are authorized.
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)

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 (i.e., 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

Experts do not know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. 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

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 United States 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. To date, there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness or increased risk of death. However, preliminary data suggest that these variants spread more easily and quickly than other variants.
As a result, it is very important for everyone to continue wearing masks, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, avoiding crowds, ventilating indoor spaces, and washing hands often. These actions will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the new variants.
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 COVID-19 and new 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

Only two vaccines are currently available in the U.S. under the Emergency Use Authorization – Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. You are likely to receive whichever vaccine was supplied to your provider/jurisdiction by the federal government. It is important to get vaccinated when it is your turn to make sure that you and your community can benefit from all the available tools we have to fight COVID-19.
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
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