Vaccine Information: We will contact patients to schedule vaccination appointments based on eligibility and vaccine availability. Please check back for updates. To find another vaccination site, please click here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Callen-Lorde has a limited supply of vaccine. While the eligibility requirements continue to expand, our supply remains limited. We will be proactively reaching out to our patients who are eligible based on medical criteria to receive the vaccine at this time.

If you are eligible but have not yet been contacted by us, please remain patient and consider visiting vaccinefinder.nyc.gov to locate an alternate vaccination site while we await more supply. You DO NOT need your medical records or documentation from your medical provider to make a vaccine appointment at another vaccine site. If you are receiving a vaccine at a location other than Callen-Lorde, you will need to fill out an attestation form which you can download here.

If you are a patient who is eligible for the vaccine based on employment, send one of the documents listed below, along with your name and date of birth to coviddocs@callen-lorde.org. Your document will be screened for eligibility and, if there is available vaccine, you will get a call to schedule an appointment. Please understand that due to limited vaccine availability, you are not guaranteed an appointment and we will not call you to confirm that we received your paperwork. For a list of other vaccine sites city-wide, visit this website: https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/

  • Pay stub from an employer from one of the eligible categories to receive the vaccine. The pay stub should not be older than October 2020. The pay stub should have your name on it as well as your employer’s.
  • Employee ID card with your name and the name of your employer clearly marked.
  • Tax return from 2019 or 2020 that shows your name and the name of your employer.
  • Letter from your employer that is dated, signed by your employer, and shows your employer’s contact information (phone number, email address, etc). The letter should show your name as the employee.
  • If you live in a residential facility or homeless shelter, we will accept a letter from the shelter/facility stating that you currently live there. The letter should be on the shelter/facility’s letterhead, should be dated, and signed by an employee at the shelter/facility. Contact information (phone number, email address, etc) for the person signing the letter should be included.
  • If you are unable to provide any of these documents and are eligible based on New York State Department of Health criteria (https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccine-eligibility.page), please contact coviddocs@callen-lorde.org to discuss options.

A reminder that at this time, Callen-Lorde’s vaccine availability may be limited and not everyone who submits documentation will receive an appointment and/or call back.

Vaccine FAQ

What are the vaccines?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorizations (EUA) for two COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed in the US: one developed by Pfizer andBioNTech, and another by maker Moderna. Both vaccines utilize the same technology, and neither contains live strains of the virus.

There are other vaccines still in clinical trials that may be released at later dates.

Are they effective?

Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are extremely effective, with more than 94% efficacy rates for protecting against COVID-19. The vaccines were both effective for different races and genders, as well as for people with underlying medical conditions.

Are they safe?

All vaccines must be rigorously tested before they can be released to the public. While these vaccines were approved for emergency use, they are still held to the same safety standards as other vaccines. Collectively, the vaccines have already been given to more than 1.1 million people worldwide as of December 18th. Some mild to moderate side effects are common for both vaccines including swelling, pain, redness at the injection site, fatigue, and rarely, a low-grade fever that resolves within about 24 hours.

How do the vaccines work?

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines do not contain a live virus. Instead, these vaccines use a technique (known as mRNA, or messenger RNA) that teach the cells in your body how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response if the real virus – in this case COVID-19 – enters your body. You cannot become infected with COVID-19 by taking these vaccines. This does not mean, however, that you may not experience side-effects. However, these side-effects are actually a sign that the vaccine is doing its job. Side-effects such as fatigue, soreness, or even a low-grade fever are a normal response to show that your body’s defense mechanisms are in place.

Who should get the vaccine?

When it is available, everyone should consider getting the vaccine and the following groups should be prioritized:

  • Health care workers   
  • Workers in other essential and critical industries   
  • People 65 years and older   
  • People at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions including:  
  • Cancer    
  • Chronic kidney disease    
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)    
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies    
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant    
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)    
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)    
  • Sickle cell disease    
  • Smoking    
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus   

There is limited information concerning vaccination in certain circumstances such as pregnancy. In these instances, discuss options with your medical provider as it may vary on a case-by-case basis.

When can I get the vaccine?

Callen-Lorde is able to offer the vaccine on a limited basis based on availability to individuals who meet New York State Department of Health criteria. To check if you are eligible, please click here.

I’m not high-risk, why should I get the vaccine?

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, most people will need to be vaccinated. When enough people are vaccinated, there is not enough virus circulating, so even unvaccinated people are protected. This is called “herd immunity.” For example, herd immunity against measles requires that 95% of the population be vaccinated, which protects the remaining 5%. When you get vaccinated, you are also protecting members of our community who are unable to get the vaccine.

If I already had COVID-19, or if I tested positive for antibodies, do I still need the vaccine?

Yes. The FDA has stated that everyone should get a vaccine regardless of antibody status. Early results show that even people with COVID-19 antibodies benefitted from the vaccine.

If I get the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask?

Yes. While the vaccines are very effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and severe complications (meaning getting sick enough to have symptoms and/or be hospitalized), we do not yet know whether it is possible to be asymptomatic (meaning to be infected with the virus, but show no symptoms) and spread it to others. This is why it is still important to wear masks and practice physical distancing even if you are vaccinated until “herd immunity” is achieved.