Written by Sylvie Mayer
Summer is here and is in full effect! For some, it’s like reopening their favorite chapter book; for others, it can be scary and confusing. For the past year and a half, many halted their lives in order to stay safe from the worldwide pandemic, COVID-19. However, as vaccines have become more widely available, many people are returning to the normalcy of pre-pandemic life. Many are taking this as a sign of normalcy returning and hopefully staying for good.
While positive cases are dropping and infection rates are decreasing, we’re still seeing the virus mutate into more contagious variants. We need to get vaccinated in order to stop the spread of these other variants. As the more contagious delta variant spreads, we’re urging everyone to get vaccinated. Those who cannot be vaccinated have a higher risk of contracting one of the new variants. Additionally, with more people vaccinated, we can begin to move towards herd immunity.
Vaccines can be scary; this is one of many reasons why there’s a lot of vaccine hesitancy. We also have community members who may be hesitant to receive the vaccine because of their immigration status. We understand that there are many questions about who can get vaccinated, so we provided a list of what you need in order to get your shot:
- If you are 12 and older, you are eligible for the vaccine
- You can get it through New York State (and the Arab-American Family Support Center can help you make the appointment!)
- It’s free!
- You do not need health insurance
- Some vaccine sites may ask for documentation but you do not need it
- You cannot be denied a vaccine if you do not have an ID
- No one will ask you for proof of immigration status
- If you do not speak English, you can still get the vaccine
- ICE/Border Protection/US Customs will not have any enforcement operations near any vaccine sites or vaccine clinics
- You will be asked about your occupation and demographic, as well as general medical questions; this data is strictly used for public health purposes only in New York State
- Getting your vaccine has no impact on the Public Charge Rule
- If they ask for your social security number and you do not have one, you can put nine 0’s, instead of the 9-digit code.
Getting the vaccine will not negatively affect your immigration status and it will protect you from COVID-19, so you can get back to enjoying the beautiful summer. We encourage you to get vaccinated! The vaccine is open and available to ALL over the age of 12. We want to keep this sense of normalcy and keep our community safe!
If you are interested in making a vaccine appointment, The Arab-American Family Support Center can help you get free Uber Rides to vaccine appointments and help you make appointments. You can call us at (718) 643-8000.