January 9, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, Governor Cuomo announced a number of changes to the COVID-19 vaccination program, including an expansion to Phase 1b; this includes people age 75 and older, education workers (through grade 12) and public transit and public safety employees.

The vaccination of health care workers identified in Phase 1a is still not completed, but the expansion to this subset of Phase 1b allows for a process and timeline to begin the vaccination of over 3 million New Yorkers in many locations. The expectation is that administering the vaccine to people in 1a and 1b will take up to three months.

The Governor also announced an expansion of locations where eligible individuals can get the vaccines. Eligible New Yorkers can get COVID-19 vaccines at sites located throughout the city. Please see this website for further details for eligible groups, locations, and scheduling: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccine-locations.page.

Columbia University itself does not have access to the vaccine allocation, although we may in the future. We are working with our partner NYP as they have been a vaccine site for health care workers and will be so for patients age 75 and over. Please remember that we must follow the guidance from the Governor’s Office.

Additional clarification from the State is expected over the weekend, and more information will be forthcoming in the next few days. This situation is rapidly evolving and as such, we will continue to provide frequent updates on our progress and plans.

As a final note, the Columbia safety protocols, including face covering, physical distancing as well as gateway and follow-on testing, remain in effect, whether or not you are vaccinated. These continue to be the mainstay for protecting our community.

Gerry Rosberg
Senior Executive Vice President

Donna Lynne
University COVID Director