February 1, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Dear Colleagues,

Vaccinations are continuing today, February 1.

The Armory site is closed today as it normally is on Mondays; it will be open tomorrow for 1st doses for those in 1A as well as for patient/community appointments, but exercise caution when traveling on Tuesday.

We continue to vaccinate individuals in Groups 1A and 1B. Please refer to the website below for hours and locations for first and second doses for phase 1A individuals. The website will be updated as changes occur.


As of today, 42,600 faculty, staff, and students at NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell, and Columbia have received their first dose of the vaccine. There have also been over 31,000 second doses administered. This includes over 25,000 first and second doses administered on the CUIMC campus alone.

Patient and Community Vaccinations at the Armory

At this time, per NYS guidelines we are vaccinating people age 65 and over who live in New York City. All existing appointments, including those for second vaccination doses, will be fully honored. NYP and Columbia employees in group 1A (staff working in patient care settings) will continue to be vaccinated at CUIMC regardless of where they live.

For those who meet these eligibility criteria outlined above, appointments can be made through Connect and appointment availability can be checked on the VaccineTogetherNY.org site. Information is also available at 646.697.VACC.

Other vaccination sites in NYC and in NYS can be found here:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The FAQ documents on the CUIMC COVID Vaccine Information page continue to be updated, so please check the site for the latest versions. Below are some Questions of the Day that relate to topics raised in recent Town Halls:

How does the vaccine formulation differ between the first and second dose? I have heard that the second dose is much “stronger” than the first and more side effects can be experienced.

There is no difference in vaccine formulation between the first and second dose. You are receiving the same vaccine twice. Many vaccines require more than one dose. The second dose strengthens the immune response that began with the first dose and the second dose helps make the immune response more long-lasting. It is important to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, since these vaccines were studied as a two-dose regimen and the known safety and effectiveness is based on participants receiving both doses.

What are some of the reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine?

While some people have no reaction to the vaccine, sometimes after vaccination the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal. The most common reactions reported are soreness or redness at the injection site. Besides fever, less common reactions include fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and joint aches for a limited time, and these reactions are more likely to be experienced with the second dose. You will receive more information at the time of vaccination.

What was the percentage of Black people included in the vaccine trials? Is there information about how many people with comorbidities and autoimmune diseases were included in the trials?

The FDA specifically wanted the participants in the COVID-19 vaccine trials to be diverse. Thus, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials were designed to increase the number of persons from racial and ethnic minorities, as well as those with medical conditions (e.g., chronic lung disease, cardiac disease, severe obesity, diabetes, HIV, etc.) that placed them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease. Approximately 9-10% of participants were Black/African-American (close to the approximately 13% of Americans who are Black/African-American), 21-28% were Hispanic, and 21-22% of participants had the medical conditions as above. The vaccine safety (side effects/reactions) and efficacy were similar in all of these subgroups.

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