How to Get the Coronavirus Vaccine in New York City

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According to the mayor, the average wait time has been 10 to 15 minutes, though many people have reported waits of an hour or more. A service is available for people who wish to speak in a language other than English.

The number for the state is 833-697-4829.

Why is this so complicated?

The systems that each agency or provider use don’t communicate with one another. Many of these scheduling portals existed on their own, long before a need arose to try to patch them into a citywide search tool.

Officials are trying to make it better, though.

“The goal is to bring these systems to, you know, in greater alignment, make it simpler,” Dave Chokshi, commissioner of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said at a Jan. 14 briefing.

When do new slots get loaded into the system?

As and when they occur, so keep trying.

Mr. de Blasio said at a Jan. 13 press briefing that the city sites made new appointments available whenever they happen. New slots can appear in the middle of the night.

The city’s vaccine hub site allows those eligible for vaccines to subscribe to email updates about new appointment availability.

How do I improve my odds?

There is strength in numbers.

It may help to band together with neighbors, in a local social media group, or through a mutual aid organization to alert one another when nearby slots become available. Some families are handing off search duties from shift-to-shift in near-round-the-clock booking efforts. If you’re trying to get an appointment for an older relative, see if you can divide the work.

One cautionary tale about relying on links that get passed around: Newsday reported that as many as 20,000 people who booked spots using a link that circulated for appointments on Long Island had them canceled because the link wasn’t supposed to have been live yet.

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