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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

City rolls out COVID-19 vaccines


The majority of DC 37 members are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of March 17, if you are a public-facing government or nonprofit worker, you can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is in addition to anyone over 60 or with a qualifying health condition. To learn whether you qualify, you can go to

New York City agencies began vaccinating certain groups of people in phases determined by New York State, starting with 1a classified frontline essential workers at hospitals and other health care facilities.

Additionally, Mayor de Blasio opened vaccination sites in January for 1b-classified workers, which includes some 1.3 million frontline essential workers who are police, firefighters, EMS workers, teachers, homeless shelter workers, correction officers, and persons age 75 and older.

Vaccine availability expanded more recently to include people age 60 and older, those with preexisting health conditions, frontline essential workers, including Local 372 school kitchen workers, Local 1070 court employees, supermarket employees, food delivery workers, cab drivers, employees at non-profit companies, and others.

Vaccinations for essential municipal employees are voluntary and free. Your agency will notify you when the state guidelines are updated to include your category of work.

Three COVID-19 vaccines are approved by the FDA for emergency use. Pfizer-BioN Tech and Moderna require two doses several weeks apart, while Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci recommends that persons infected with COVID-19 wait 90 days post infection before getting a COVID-19 vaccine to prevent interference between natural antibodies and the vaccine.

Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will help us get back to work, reopen the economy and return to a more normal cadence of life.

One year into the pandemic, the State eased travel restrictions and New York City began allowing businesses like restaurants to reopen at 50% capacity indoors in March. These are some efforts government has made to restart an economy eviscerated by COVID-19.

While the science on the pandemic continues to develop in real time, it is believed that the COVID-19 vaccine along with diligently following CDC guidelines and safety protocols like hand washing, using hand sanitizer, social distancing, wearing masks, and regular COVID-19 testing, can help prevent the spread of the deadly virus and its variants. These steps can bring us closer to managing this global pandemic.

DC 37 continues to advocate for members on every level, especially in these unprecedented times. Members can review their agency’s return to work policies on the DC 37 COVID website. DC 37 will provide updates as they become available.

Active members may schedule vaccine appointments through the union (see page 15 of PEP-Talk magazine). You can also use NYC’s Vaccine Finder at to find your nearest COVID-19 vaccination location. The City’s COVID-19 Vaccine page at has resources, including a “What New Yorkers Need to Know” FAQ.