April 7, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Dear Colleagues,

We have a few important announcements:

  • Effective April 6, all New Yorkers 16 years of age and older can begin to schedule appointments and get vaccinated. Remember that the supply of the vaccine is still less than the demand, so be patient when you are trying to schedule your appointments.
  • The hours at the Armory site (169th and Fort Washington Avenue) are changing to Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last appointment slots each day are at 4 p.m. More information is available on CUIMC’s COVID Vaccine Information page.
  • This week, vaccinations continue in the Black Building by appointment for our faculty, staff, students, and patients. As of today this will include persons who are aged 18 and older.
  • There are also appointments available for next week in the Black Building for persons aged 16 and 17 years old. They are scheduled through the pediatric subspecialty or primary care offices. Also stay tuned for more information for a site launch at 21 Audubon practice on Saturdays for CUIMC patients who are 16 and 17 years old. In addition, as of today, many pharmacies that are using Pfizer vaccine will vaccinate 16 and 17 year olds. Appointments can be found on the New York City vaccine site or on the pharmacy websites; please remember that only Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in 16 and 17 year olds.
  • Other Columbia locations for the vaccine will be opening soon. In the coming days we will have information available on how to schedule a vaccination at one of the new Columbia sites. In the meantime, check the University's COVID-19 vaccine page for the latest information.
  • Expansion of place of residence. The place of residence that is used as a criteria for administration of the vaccine has been changed to allow any location in New York State to vaccinate any eligible resident of New York State. In addition, if Columbia is your employer and you meet the other conditions of eligibility you may get vaccinated in one of our sites with proof of employment. If you are a student attending school in New York State you can get vaccinated in our locations if you have proof of residence in New York or proof of New York college attendance.
  • New travel and quarantine guidelines: Please review the updated guidelinesfor CUIMC faculty or staff who are not health care providers. If you are a health care provider please refer to this message from NYP regarding travel guidelines that are effective as of April 1 and include new testing and quarantine guidelines. There are also new guidelines regarding community exposure.

Important Reminder

  • Please note that CDC public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people do NOT apply to health care settings, nor to Columbia.Therefore, ALL employees, including vaccinated employees, MUST continue to universally mask while around others, and distance >6 feet from others when eating and drinking while in the workplace.

CUIMC Employees

  • First and second doses: Employees of Columbia, Weill Cornell, and NYP who are in category 1a (patient facing) can receive their first and second dose of the vaccine at the Armory. Appointments are not necessary. Appointments are also scheduled for second doses, but you can go to the Armory anytime on the day that you are scheduled.
  • All faculty and staff age 18 or older can receive a vaccine at any of the NYC or NYS public vaccination sites or at the Armory. Appointments are required, and scheduling information is available at the VaccineTogetherNY website.

Patient and Community Vaccinations

  • All persons 18 or over are eligible to receive the vaccine and schedule their appointments at any of the NYC or NYS public vaccination sites, if they are NYS residents. In addition, appointments are available at the Armory and can be scheduled at the VaccineTogetherNY website.

The FAQ documents on the CUIMC COVID Vaccine Information page continue to be updated, so please check the site for the latest versions.

As an important reminder, please continue to wear face coverings (preferably surgical masks or other two-ply face coverings), practice physical distancing, and wash hands frequently, even after you have been vaccinated. These measures, in addition to vaccinations, minimize the opportunity for the virus to replicate and mutate and the disease to spread.

Please watch the amazing PSA that is part of the Governor’s “Roll up your sleeves” campaign. It features many Columbia faculty and staff.

Thank you and stay safe!

Magda Sobieszczyk, MD, MPH
Chief of Infectious Diseases and Co-Chair of the CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Committee

Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH
Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health and Co-Chair of the CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Committee