VaccineHelper.com is a free service to help New Yorkers in the metropolitan area to get vaccine appointments. There's no cost of any sort.
This website was created, and is run by me, Sam K, a middle school student in Scarsdale. If you want to learn more about me, take a look here. After helping to secure vaccine appointments for all 4 of my grandparents, I realized that I could help out many more people. It's also my Bar Mitzvah year, so I started this website to fulfill my Mitzvah project at my temple. As it turns out, getting appointments at the biggest vaccine sites in New York is easy if you know how to do it, you have patience and you have the speed.
To get started, check here to see if you're eligible to get the vaccine, and if you are, then all you need to do is fill out the form below (which is based on the questions required to be answered to sign up for a vaccine appointment) and I'll get to work on getting you a vaccine appointment. And yes, I will book the appointment for you, based on the information you provide, and not just steer you to another website. Please be sure to tell me if there are days that you are not available and if you secure an appointment somewhere else.
If you have questions about the vaccine, check out this page from our friends at the Greenburgh Covid Angels.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2021: I have updated the questions to include booster information. NYS has changed the vaccination sites and is trying to get people to go to local pharmacies instead. There are still some easy ways to get appoints. NYS has a few pop-up sites you can see here. Northwell Hospital also has had a lot of open appointments which can be booked here.
Please read the FAQ at the bottom of my website to better understand the timing and process.
Having problems with the form? If you hit 'submit' and nothing happens then you need to make sure that all of the questions (including the yes/no questions) are answered or else the form will not submit. If you hit submit and it 'disappears' then scroll up and you'll see the picture below, which shows that it did go through. You will also get an email with your answers and a link to change any answers.
So, is this really free?
Yes. There's no cost and you do not give any credit card information. This is part of a charitable project I decided to do. My parents paid for the website and I am doing the work for free.
Are you making any money from this?
No. I am not making any money from this and will never make money from this site. In fact, it costs money and time to run, and that's all donated, but I'm glad to do it.
Are you making the appointment for me?
Yes. I will take the answers you submit above and go through the New York State website and book you an appointment.
I just checked the NYS website and it says there are no appointments available. How can you get an appointment if I can't?
The appointment websites flicker with new appointments periodically, and they often last several seconds before they are claimed, at which point they state there are no appointments. If you're fast enough, and persistent enough, you can get the appointment. I think of it like a video game and try to be the first to get it. So I can't guarantee that you will get an appointment, but I will do everything I can to get it.
Why are you asking so many questions to apply?
The questions are the same questions which are required to be answered to make the appointments on the NYS website. As mentioned, a few questions are being skipped to make the process quicker, but skipping them also eliminates the questions that have the most personal information (like details about your primary care provider). As of February 1, the NYS signup website (for most sites) now requires insurance information. The website states "By law, the COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to you. Your insurance information is being collected for the purposes of administration." Unfortunately, there is no way to skip this question. I have updated the signup form to match the new questions on the NYS website.
Are you going to share my information with anyone else?
No. The information you're providing is based on what the appointment website requires. I will not use the information for any other reason and I will not provide it to anyone who isn't working on this project.
Where can I get a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practice from NYS?
Where will the appointments be?
So far, the most reliable vaccine sites are the PODS located at Westchester County Center, the Javits Center, Jones Beach and Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica. They have the most capacity, are extremely well staffed, and are professionally run. They are also believed to get preference when more doses are distributed. For that reason, appointments will be made at those sites. You pick your preferred site and I will book you there.
Do I need to be in your temple, your religion or your town to sign up?
No. This is open to everyone. If you got to this website then you know me or my friends, and that's enough to qualify you.
When will the appointment be?
The NYS website randomly makes appointments available. In general, I will try to make sure that all appointments are within 6 weeks of the day made (and I will pass on ones that are further out, but that may change if they become harder to get). I have even been able to get an appointment for the next day. However, sometimes one person will get an appointment in a few weeks and the next person will get one in a few days. I can't control that. I will make appointments in the order in which people sign up.
How long will it take to get the appointment?
It really depends on how many people sign up. Lately it has been over 100 appointments a day, but it will vary based on my schedule.
How will I know when I got an appointment?
You will get an email directly from the state (CDMS-NoReply@health.ny.gov) that contains your registration ticket, scheduling appointment, directions and a link to cancel. I will also try to send you an email with the details.
Can I get a vaccine on the same day as a family member?
Unfortunately, the state website does not allow signups to happen that way.
Are there any eligibility requirements to get the vaccine?
Yes. Before signing up on this site, you should go to New York State's "Am I Eligible" site to confirm that you are eligible to get the vaccine. Getting an appointment does not mean you are eligible, and you must certify that you are eligible to get the vaccine. You should only get an appointment if you are eligible as they will deny your appointment otherwise, and that can potentially waste an appointment that could otherwise be used.
Is this appointment for one dose or both doses?
After your appointment for the first dose, you should wait at the site to make your second appointment. That is the only reliable way to get a second appointment on time.
What if I get an appointment before you get one for me?
I'm happy you got one! Just tell me and I'll remove your submission from the queue.
What if my appointment is cancelled?
Sometimes the sites will run out of vaccines before the day is done and they cancel appointments. It's rare. If it does happen, just tell me and I'll add you back into the queue.
What if you got me an appointment and I can't make it that day?
When you make the appointment you will get an email from the State with the details. It also gives details on how to cancel. You should cancel that appointment and then tell me, and I'll add you back into the queue as a priority.
Are you doing this all alone?
Initially, I am going to try to do this by myself, but if there's a lot of demand, then I will ask my close friends and family to assist. I will only allow people who I trust to do this work because it's important to me that it is done correctly.
How can I thank you for getting me an appointment?
I'm happy that you're happy. If you want to do something, please pay it forward. There are great charities that are in need and will put any donations to good use, such as Feeding Westchester and I'm doing this project because of Beth El Synagogue, who is substantially down in revenue this year. Anything you do is appreciated, but I am not doing this project to get payments or donations of any sort.
Are there other locations to get vaccine appointments?
Yes, and you can try them for yourself. You can use the New York State's "Am I Eligible" site website to see sites near you. VaccineFinder.com also has list of several of the sites. Vaccinefinder.nyc.gov shows sites throughout NYC. Nassau County also has a website that has some smaller sites that also have appointments occasionally available. There are plenty of other sites as well, but I have not found a list that contains them all.
Should I get the vaccine?
That's your decision. I'm only here to help those who have already decided to get it.