January 29, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Dear Colleagues,

Below are some key points about the vaccination process as it stands today. As with everything COVID-related, the situation is evolving and we will continue to share information as we have it.


New York State has determined who is eligible to receive the vaccine and when. As of January 11, 2021, Phase 1a and segments of 1b are eligible for the vaccines. Eligible groups include:

  • Doctors, nurses and health care workers in hospitals and ambulatory care settings who provide direct patient care
  • People age 65 and over
  • Public employees such as police, public school teachers, MTA employees, in person college instructors, etc.
  • Grocery store workers

Anyone in the above categories who is a resident of New York City and age 65+ is eligible to be vaccinated at the Armory. Please note that if an out-of-state resident received their first dose in NYC, they will be allowed to receive their second dose in NYC. Persons otherwise eligible but not age 65+ in the 1a and 1b categories need to go to other sites.

A full list of who is eligible can be found on the NYS COVID website. On the page, you can use the “Am I Eligible” Tool to determine if you are eligible for the vaccine at this time.

Administration of the Vaccine

Current vaccine distribution is released by the state and managed through hospitals and other public entities. The tight controls are intended to ensure that limited vaccine resources are used as carefully and efficiently as possible.

NYP is one provider of the vaccine and has vaccinated many CUIMC faculty, staff and students. This information about your vaccination will be shared with Columbia to help ensure a safe environment as well as for monitoring and surveillance of COVID-19 exposure risks.

ColumbiaDoctors has applied to make the vaccine available in our primary care practices, and we are awaiting approval.

Vaccination Centers

NYP, in collaboration with Columbia and Cornell, is developing large vaccination centers in locations across our enterprise.

The Armory at 168th Street and Fort Washington Avenue opened on Thursday, January 14, to provide first doses to Columbia and NYP’s (and other institutions) patient facing faculty, staff and students, regardless of state of residence. Second doses have been provided in hospital and CU locations. Frequent emails are provided as sites and times change, and information is also available on the CUIMC website.

In addition, eligible segments of 1b who are residents of NYC can, by appointment only, go the Armory. (The entrance for vaccines is on 169th between Fort Washington and Broadway.)

New York State is setting up locations for vaccinations. By using the “Am I Eligible” Tool on the ny.gov website noted above, patients can find additional locations that they can access, again, by appointment only.

New York City also has a website for locations that can be searched by zip code. That link is https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov.

In addition to the resources mentioned above, the CUIMC website, COVID-19 Vaccine Information For CUIMC Employees and Students, is updated as new information becomes available. Our email updates also are posted there for reference. We encourage all patient-facing clinicians and staff to familiarize yourselves with information about the vaccines. Please contact your department leadership with any concerns about the vaccine.

Thank you.

Donna Lynne, DrPH
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, CUIMC
University COVID Director