As of Jan. 11, New York residents in priority group 1B can now make appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Adobe Stock

As of today, the 3.2 million New York residents in priority group 1B can begin scheduling appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Priority group 1B includes people age 75 and up, first responders, corrections officers, teachers and other school staff, in-person college instructors, childcare workers, public-facing grocery store workers, transit workers and individuals living and working in homeless shelters.

The vaccines are given free of charge.

Long Island residents can check eligibility and make an appointment at this website:

Northwell Health is the Long Island hub coordinator of the state’s regional vaccine network. Only the state and Northwell can book appointments.

The state launched a coronavirus vaccination hotline at 4 p.m. today for determining eligibility and scheduling an appointment: 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829).

Eligible group 1B residents “should be prepared to receive an appointment date as far as 14 weeks in the future,” according to a press release issued today by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“Since federal supply severely limits the ability to distribute vaccine, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment,” the release said.

“New York’s vast distribution network and large population of more than 4 million eligible individuals in this priority group dwarf the vaccine supply coming from the federal government, which is arriving at a rate of approximately 300,000 doses per week,” the governor’s press release said.

The expanded network consists of doctors’ offices, federally qualified health centers, county health departments, ambulatory centers and pharmacies.

Pharmacies will be provided vaccines for New Yorkers aged 75 and older, while hospitals will continue vaccinating 1a healthcare workers, and local health departments and union-organized efforts will serve essential workers in 1b, according to the press release.

The State Department of Health will be setting up 20 mass distribution sites throughout the state over the next several weeks to support all categories of eligibility, the governor said. Three sites are scheduled to open Wednesday — none on Long Island — but additional sites will be “launched in the days to come,” according to the press release.

Until now, 2.1 million New Yorkers in priority group 1A have been eligible to receive the vaccine. This includes patient-facing health care and other critical hospital workers, seniors living in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, and people with disabilities living in congregate settings.

>>>More COVID-19 coverage, data and updates

“After 10 long months, the expansion of eligibility for additional New Yorkers to begin making their COVID-19 vaccination plan is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Cuomo said. “The vaccine is the weapon that will end the war,” he said.

Priority group 1B includes:

Individuals Age 75 and older

First Responders and Support Staff of First Responder Agencies:

  • Fire Service
  • State Fire Service, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
  • Local Fire Service, including firefighters and investigators (professional and volunteer)
  • Police and Investigators
  • State Police, including Troopers
  • State Park Police, DEC Police, Forest Rangers
  • SUNY Police
  • Sheriffs’ Offices
  • County Police Departments and Police Districts
  • City, Town, and Village Police Departments
  • Transit of other Public Authority Police Departments
  • State Field Investigators, including Department of Motor Vehicles, State Commission of Correction, Justice Center, Department of Financial Service, Inspector General, Department of Tax and Finance, Office of Children and Family Services, and State Liquor Authority

Public Safety Communications:

  • Emergency Communication and Public Safety Answering Point Personnel, including dispatchers and technicians

Other Sworn and Civilian Personnel:

  • Court Officers
  • Other Police or Peace Officers
  • Support of Civilian Staff of any of the above services, agencies or facilities


  • State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Personnel, including correction and parole officers
  • Local Correctional Facilities, including correction officers
  • Local Probation Departments, including probation officers
  • State Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Local Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation Facilities

P-12 Schools:

  • P-12 school or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, and support staff including bus drivers)
  • Contractors working in a P-12 school or school district (including contracted bus drivers)
  • In-Person College Instructors
  • Employees or Support Staff of Licensed, Registered, Approved or Legally Exempt Childcare Setting
  • Licensed, Registered, Approved or Legally Exempt Childcare Providers
  • In-Person College Instructors

Public-Facing Grocery Store Workers

Public Transit:

  • Airline and airport employees
  • Passenger railroad employees
  • Subway and mass transit employees (i.e., MTA, LIRR, Metro North, NYC Transit, Upstate transit)
  • Ferry employees
  • Port Authority employees
  • Public bus employee

Homeless Shelters:

  • Individuals living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of your the same household
  • Individuals working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents

We need your help.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.