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Vaccine Information

COVID-19 vaccine

We also have released a set of frequently-asked questions about the safety of the available COVID-19 vaccines

What to expect at your appointment

What information and paperwork will I receive at my first vaccine appointment? 

  • You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it and where you received it.
  • You will need to complete the NYS COVID-19 Vaccine Form (PDF) in order to get vaccinated. The state requires the provider administering the vaccine to check that you have completed the form and are eligible.
  • You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine.

How much will the vaccine cost? Will I be charged a copay?

The vaccine is free for everyone. Your insurance may be billed by a provider, but you will not be directly charged a copay or other fee.  

Will medical professionals be administering the vaccine and be on hand while the vaccine is being given?

Yes. Medical professionals will be administering the vaccine. They will also be on hand for 15-30 minutes after you receive the vaccine to monitor you for any adverse reactions.   

What safety protocols will vaccine providers be taking? 

Medical professionals and those who receive the vaccine must wear a face covering at all times. Remember to wear a mask to your appointment as you will not be permitted on site at the vaccination location without one. Social distancing requirements should be followed at all times.

Do I have to return to the same location to receive the second dose of vaccine? 

Yes. Since there are two different vaccines which require two separate doses, Pfizer and Moderna, it is important to return to the same location where you received your first dose to ensure you will receive the same vaccine. You will be able to schedule your second dose at your first appointment, either 21 or 28 days apart, depending on the type of vaccine received. Remember to bring your vaccination card or record with you to your second appointment so your vaccination can be recorded.


Will staff get time off to receive the vaccine?

Members will receive up to four hours of paid release time per vaccine dose. You must provide at least three days of advance notice to your principal/supervisor for any such absence so appropriate coverage can be arranged. You will need to provide documentation of the appointment as well as your receipt of the vaccine to your administrator.

If I have side effects after taking the COVID-19 vaccine and feel sick, am I entitled to paid time off?

Yes. You can take up to eight days of excused leave at full pay for symptoms related to vaccine side effects, such as: fatigue, fever, headaches, chills and nausea. However, if you are absent for more than two days, you must provide documentation showing you took a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 diagnostic test during your leave period and the date you received your test results. You must use your CAR days for any additional time taken after receiving a negative test result or if you do not receive a COVID-19 test.

Privacy concerns

Does the DOE have the right to know if we have taken the vaccine? 

Generally, no. The vaccine is not mandatory and the DOE cannot ask for vaccination records as a matter of routine. But, if you need time off to get the vaccine or to recover from side effects, you will have to provide proof of vaccination. 

On Feb. 27, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring the city Department of Health to report the total number of educators who have received the vaccine. Staff do not have to report their medical information to their schools. Information about educator vaccinations will be reported to the state in aggregate numbers only and individual information will not be released.

The new DOE health screening process contains a question regarding whether or not we have been vaccinated. Isn't this a violation of our privacy? 

The UFT has reviewed the new DOE health screen with our legal team and has determined that there is no HIPAA violation in this case, since you, not a third party, are disclosing this information. In addition, an affirmative answer to this question does not actually indicate that the responder has been vaccinated, it just states that one of the listed conditions has been met.