How to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Brooklyn

How to get the COVID-19 vaccine
A patient holds up their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card at the Brooklyn Army Terminal vaccine hub in January.
REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Updated April 23, 2021

This article has been updated to reflect current eligibility, as well as up-to-date statistics.

Make sure you’re eligible 

New York State’s rollout of the vaccine had originally been conducted in phases, but has now essentially fizzled out. Currently, all New Yorkers age 16 and up are eligible for the vaccine (you must be 18 or older to receive Moderna).

As of April 23, New York City had administered more than 6 million doses of the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. (You can track this in live time here.) To date, more than 879,514 Brooklynites have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Statewide, health officials have administered vaccines to 8.8 million people.

How to get the COVID-19 vaccine appointment

New Yorkers aged 16 and over can walk into any one of 31 city-run vaccination sites and get a shot, no appointment necessary. You can find a site here. You’ll still need an appointment for state-run sites.

In response to the frustration New Yorkers have expressed in getting an appointment on either website, a volunteer has set up an independent website that more clearly displays where appointments are and are not available at turbovax.info. The website www.nycvaccinelist.com also assists New Yorkers in finding and making appointments. 

Additionally, the city had been working to vaccinate homebound seniors by traveling to their residences and administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only required one dose, although that program was. temporarily paused, as administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been halted due to fears about blood clots. As of April 23, the ambitious door-to-door service had resumed with the two-shot Moderna vaccine — at least until the pause is lifted.

Where you can walk in

City-run Brooklyn sites where you can walk in without an appointment include:

  • Coney Island YMCA
  • Teachers Prep High School
  • Starrett City
  • Flatbush YMCA
  • Bushwick Educational Campus
  • Event Space at City Point 
  • Brooklyn Army Terminal

What you’ll need when you get there

The vaccine is 100 percent free for New Yorkers, but you must come with proof of residence and eligibility.

  • If you are eligible based on your age, you must show proof of age and New York residency. Proof of age may include: Driver’s license or non-driver ID, such as IDNYC. 
  • If you’re eligible via your work, proof of employment is a must. This can include an employee ID card or badge, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on specific priority status.

Our advice

First thing’s first: Check in with your primary care doctor. Many doctors and local clinics have the ability to schedule for patients, or even offer vaccination themselves.

If you’re going to online route: Keep trying. As eligibility increases, so does supply.

Getting an appointment will require lots of perseverance and an even greater supply of luck. We know the process can be daunting, but with greater vaccine supply said to be on the horizon, we recommend refreshing, refreshing, refreshing. And, if there’s a phone number, keep calling.

Both the city- and state-run registration websites add appointments regularly — and most of the big drops tend to take place each Wednesday afternoon. Some New Yorkers have also cited bulk openings on Saturdays. We recommend checking out Twitter accounts like @TurboVax and @nycshotslots, and (if you have an account) opting in for notifications from both users.

If all else fails, you can check in with some of the Five Borough’s vaccine volunteers, who have taken booking appointments for eligible New Yorkers into their own hands amid the rollout’s chaos. And you can check in with local mutual aid groups, too.