ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Dr. Jeff Harp of Highland Family Medicine explained who is currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, where it’s available, and how to sign up for your shot Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.
Dr. Harp first explained the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the two approved and being given in the U.S. They are nearly identical, both 95% effective, requiring two doses. The AstraZeneca vaccine uses a different way to create immunity. It is about 70% effective and requires two doses. It is being used in the U.K. and India and will seek approval in the U.S. within weeks. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine uses still another method to create immunity, is 80% effective, and requires only one dose. It will also seek U.S. approval within weeks.
Each state decides how to prioritize vaccine use. “In New York, phase 1A opened vaccination to all health care providers and residents of long term care facilities,” Dr. Harp said. “Vaccination started in mid-December and is nearing completion. Phase 1B opened on January 11. This phase added people over 65, people living in homeless shelters, first responders including fire service, law enforcement employees and corrections officers, teachers at all levels, licensed childcare providers, and public transportation workers.”
Dr. Harp said the vaccine distribution system is complicated. And the supply is limited.
The state/county is starting clinics at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center and Dome Arena this week for 1B essential workers and people over 65. The vaccine clinic at the Dome Arena will open on January 20. To register, click here or call the NYS hotline: 1-833-697-4829. When you go to your vaccination site for your appointment, you must bring proof of eligibility. This may include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on the specific priority status. If you are eligible due to age, you should bring a form of ID (like a Driver’s License or passport) that includes your date of birth.
Twelve Rite-Aid stores in the Finger Lakes region are receiving vaccine doses this week. Each store is receiving 100-200 doses. Appointments are for 65+ only and should be made using this link only. Bring proof of age.
Wegmans is starting vaccine clinics for people over 65 as well as all grocery store essential workers at 5 Rochester locations. Click here to check eligibility. Scheduling should be done online here or by calling 1-800-207-6099. Again, bring proof of age.
Finally, the local primary care networks are calling individuals over 65 to schedule appointments at two centralized sites. People cannot call to make appointments.
This phase may take several months to complete.
As it relates to side effects, Dr. Harp noted some people may experience a mild to moderate headache and fatigue. Serious side effects are still very uncommon.