COVID-19, Vaccines & Tests: What AFSCME Retirees Need to Know

With the COVID-19 coronavirus and its variants continuing to impact New York City and the U.S., AFSCME Retirees is sharing important information for older Americans about how to stay safe, healthy and informed. The coronavirus can be more dangerous to older adults [age 60 and over] and people with serious health conditions and/or weaker immune systems. The AFSCME fact sheets below, along with the other links and resources, will provide basic information about how to better protect yourself -- along with updates about the COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and free at-home tests.


NYC has discontinued the Key to NYC vaccination requirement. However, businesses can still choose to require proof of vaccination, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, DOHMH issued a May 2022 advisory recommending indoor masking citywide in light of the increasing COVID-19 spread and the arrival of new varients.


FREE COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for New Yorkers age 6 months and older. It has never been easier to get a COVID-19 vaccination in NYC. Vaccines are available at no cost to you and regardless of immigration status. Learn about the benefits of vaccination.
  • Visit NYC VaccineFinder to find a location near you and schedule your appointment.
  • Call 1-877-VAX4NYC to get assistance over the phone.
  • To request free transportation to and from a vaccination appointment for city residents 65 and older, as well as for those with disabilities who have no other way to get to a vaccination site, call 855-491-2667.
  • Check NYC walk-in vaccine centers for New Yorkers age 5 and older.
  • A third vaccine dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is now available at NYC-run sites for people who are immunocompromised.
  • Booster shots of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are now authorized for everyone 12 and older who is fully vaccinated. Visit NYC's vaccine webpage for details.
  • The FDA has authorized a second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • FDA-approved updated booster doses for fall 2022 of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, which target the omicron variant, are also now available. Go to and plug in your zip code to make an appointment at a location near you.
  • Visit the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine web page to make an appointment at sites in the New York metro area.
  • EpicenterNYC is helping New Yorkers get vaccinated. Fill out a form on their website or call 917-818-2690 for assistance. You can also visit can visit SOMOS Vaccinations to make vaccine appointments.
  • Verify your vaccination. If you are fully vaccinated but lost your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or need verification of your vaccine status, you can request a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record at


  • New York City is offering in-home Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations to any City resident who is homebound and City residents 65 and older. Register online here to be contacted by the City to schedule an in-home vaccination or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).


  • Every home in the U.S. can now order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests from the federal government at or by calling 1-800-232-0233 toll-freeThe tests will be completely free—there are no shipping costs and you don’t need to enter a credit card number
  • Also, most people with a health plan can go online, or to a pharmacy or store to purchase an at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at no cost, either through reimbursement or free of charge through their insurance. For details, please visite the website of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


To stem the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, the Biden Administration will distribute 400 million N95 face masks from the Strategic National Stockpile. The N95 masks are available for free at local pharmacies and health care centers, including many NYC testing sites. Three masks per person.


The NYC Test & Trace Corps is a public health initiative to fight the threat of COVID-19. The Corps is a group of doctors, public health professionals and community advocates working to reverse the COVID-19 outbreak and protect NYC residents. Visit the Corps website or call the hotline at 1-212-COVID19 for info on testing, tracing and support services for those who test positive for COVID-19.



CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW for Coronavirus info. from AFSCME, DC 37 and others. Also, text “COVID” to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) to receive text updates on your smartphone.