COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs
CDC recommends that people ages 5 years and older receive one updated (bivalent) booster if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was:
- Their final primary series dose, or
- An original (monovalent) booster
People who have received more than one original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster. The updated (bivalent) boosters protects against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variants.
You can obtain the updated booster at the same time as other vaccines, including your flu shot. To find a vaccination site, please visit: https://www.vaccines.gov/ or by calling 1-800-232-0233.
Everyone 6 months of age and older are now eligible.
If you’ve lost your vaccination card or if it needs to be edited, ask the administrator who gave you the COVID-19 vaccination if they can issue you a new card and/or edit your information.
If you need further assistance, the Ulster County Department of Health (DOH) has the ability to mail a paper copy of your vaccination record from the State’s immunization records system called NYSIIS. However, the DOH can not make edits to vaccination records that were not administered by Ulster County DOH. To request this DOH service, call the Ulster County Recovery Service Center (RSC) at 845-443-8888.
A copy of your vaccination card will show your name, the vaccine product received, and date of dose(s), which should suffice. It can be helpful to take a photo of your vaccination card and keep it on your smart phone.
New York State has a free app called the Excelsior Pass, which can be downloaded at the App Store or Google Play, where residents can securely present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results.
You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines if you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC.
Individuals should consult with their healthcare provider, if they have questions about their individual situation, such as immunocompromising conditions or other concerns.
Timing of Your Second Shot
The timing between your first and second shots depends on which vaccine you received.
If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot 3 weeks (or 21 days) after your first.
If you received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot 4 weeks (or 28 days) after your first.
You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 4-week interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose early. There is currently limited information on the effectiveness of receiving your second shot earlier than recommended or later than 6 weeks after the first shot.
However, if you do receive your second shot of COVID-19 vaccine earlier or later than recommended, you do not have to restart the vaccine series. This guidance might be updated as more information becomes available.
Fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks in public, socially distance from others, avoid large gatherings, get tested for COVID-19 if they develop symptoms, and follow guidance issued by their employer, the CDC, and the State to ensure everyone’s safety.
What to Do If You Test Positive, Were Exposed to Someone Who Tested Positive or Display COVID-19 Symptoms
Because COVID-19 vaccine appointment scheduling utilizes a State system, the New York State Department of Health will send frequent reminders to all individuals who have received the first dose of a vaccine about their second dose appointments. Local vaccine providers may also send frequent reminders about second dose appointment information. So if vaccinated at a County-led POD, you may receive many communications from the State and local health departments about the second dose of the vaccine.
While one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine does begin the body’s immune response in fighting the virus, while awaiting the second dose of the vaccine, you should continue to use all the tools available to stop the spread of COVID-19. Continue to wear a mask, wash your hands often, and social distance (stand at least 6 feet away from other people) to help lower your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.
COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available to individuals ages 6 months and older, at doctor’s offices and pharmacies (3 years and older), and other locations throughout the community.
For details on available vaccination locations and sites, in and around Ulster County, click here
The Ulster County COVID-19 vaccination POD (point of dispensing) at the Hudson Valley Mall at the former Best Buy location is ADA-accessible. Additionally, there are a limited number of wheelchairs available for public use. There is ample parking, as well as a number of designated handicap parking spots adjacent to the entrance. People who need assistance navigating the POD due to different abilities may be accompanied to their appointments by a companion of their choice.
It is not necessary to let us know ahead of time when someone will be coming who has special needs, as these can be accommodated on site.
Appointments to be vaccinated anywhere in New York State are made using the State’s CDMS system. After your appointment has been made, you’ll automatically receive an email confirmation from CDMS-NoReply@health.ny.gov. Check your spam folder, if you don’t immediately receive an appointment confirmation email. In general, if no appointment confirmation is received, it’s likely that the appointment process was not completed and the appointment was not made. Please try again using the original link.
In the COVID-19 vaccine appointment confirmation email, there is a link where appointments may be cancelled, if necessary. Please note, we have heard that it is easy to accidentally click to cancel the vaccine appointment in the confirmation email. You should not have to click to confirm your appointment – only click to cancel.
If you accidentally or unintentionally cancel your first dose vaccine appointment, the Recovery Service Center can reactivate your appointment.
Your second dose appointment will automatically be scheduled after your first dose vaccination for the same time either 21 or 28 days later, depending on the vaccine product.
If you need help with vaccine appointments, call the Recovery Service Center at (845) 443-8888 or email RSC@co.ulster.ny.us.
After you have made an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination at a County-led POD (point of dispensing), you should receive an email confirmation or vaccine ID number indicating your appointment details. A print-out of the appointment confirmation or ID number must be presented at the POD for vaccination. A photo ID and/or consent for a minor, must be presented, as well.
When you have received your first vaccine shot, you will be automatically scheduled for your second dose appointment.
Yes. All COVID-19 vaccines in the United States are authorized for emergency use or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19. After a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the FDA, many vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events (possible side effects). This ongoing monitoring can pick up on adverse events that may not have been seen in clinical trials. If an unexpected adverse event is seen, experts quickly study it further to see if it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in US vaccine recommendations.
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
The latest advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that people who experienced severe reactions to prior vaccines or injectable drugs can generally still get the four authorized vaccines for COVID‐19, but should discuss the risks with their healthcare provider first and should notify the staff at the vaccination site before getting vaccinated so that they can be monitored for adverse reactions for a full 30 minutes before leaving.
Please discuss your concerns and questions with your doctor before proceeding.
The initial COVID vaccine trials excluded particularly high‐risk or vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and the immune-compromised. More recent studies indicate that the COVID-19 vaccines are effective and appropriate for these groups, however, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 or any other vaccines, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking action.
Yes. For more information please visit the CDC website.
Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID‐19 because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short‐term antibody protection after recovering from COVID‐19, we don’t know how long this protection will last. Please check with your doctor for further information.
“Herd immunity” is a term used to describe when enough people have protection—either from previous infection or vaccination—that it is unlikely a virus or bacteria can spread and cause disease. As a result, everyone within the community is protected even if some people don’t have any protection themselves.
Initial estimates from the World Health Organization indicated that at least 70% of a given population would have to be vaccinated in order to achieve “herd immunity”. However, many scientists, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have revised the initial estimate upward to the 70 to 90% range. The bottom line is that the more people who get vaccinated in a community, the greater the chances are of diminishing the spread of the disease to the point where it can be managed and no longer presents a public health crisis.
Currently, New York State is not mandating COVID-19 vaccinations.