Huge thank you to Brett Allen for his help in preparing this article, it would not be possible without him. As New York expands its vaccination efforts many of us are looking to find ways to secure appointments. I offer two options with explicit instructions below.
These days we are all worried about what story our data will reveal about us to the objective future observer. Countless troves of information will be available illustrating your addiction to La Mer or your obsession with Megan thee Stallion. No doubt you will be a cool Grandparent. But what if, when they went through your data, they uncovered that you were part of the CovId-19 vaccine distribution effort? Think about future generations finding you on Ancestry or 23andMe. This is your chance to be a part of a major historical effort. Write your own story. Help your neighbor. Volunteer.
Instructions for volunteering as a Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) member for the New York State Covid-19 vaccination effort
BA: Follow the instructions below if you are interested in helping with the New York State Covid-19 vaccination effort. Having just completed my first shift, the word I keep coming back to is “inspiring.” To be a part of someone’s final step in his or her journey to beating Covid-19 feels like helping someone cross a finish line that seemed unreachable just a few weeks ago. Similarly, to be a part of a joint effort of vaccinators, social workers, cross-department city staff, and MRC volunteers feels like a community in action.
Understand that a shift is 12 to 13 hours of hard work. During my shift as a “flow monitor,” I helped customers confirm appointment details prior to their vaccination, answered process-related questions when they arose, and simply listened to people as they navigated this often cumbersome daunting exercise. Given your role in assisting the public, staff administrators will offer you the opportunity to get vaccinated toward the end of your shift while vaccine supplies last.
Please note that the expectation is that you will work at least 3 shifts as a volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corp. Trust me when I say you will want to go back.
1. Navigate to this link
2. Click “Don’t have an Account?” ➡️ click “Personal” ➡️ click “Sign up for a Personal NY.gov ID”
3. Fill out the required fields and click “Create Account”
4. Validate your information and click “Continue”
5. Click “Finish”
6. Navigate to your email inbox ➡️ open the email from my.ny.gov click “Please click here to activate your account”
7. Fill out the Security Questions and Answers, and click “Continue”
8. Click “Continue” again
9. Set your password and remain on the next page
Then, register with ServNY, which can be done within your new my.ny.gov account
10. On the next page, click “Go to MyNy”
11. Scroll to the bottom ➡️ click “Health Applications” ➡️ click “ServNY”
12. Check the box and click “Continue”
13. Fill out the information and click “Continue”
14. Check the box “NYC MRC (includes 5 boroughs)” select “Yes” for “Would you like to be a NY State Volunteer” select “Yes” for the next question ➡️ select “None” for the next question select “Non Healthcare Volunteer” for the next question click “Continue”
15. Fill out the fields on the next screen and click “Continue”
16. Click “Register”
Now, register with the NYS Department of Health Public Account Management System
17. Navigate to this link
18. Select “Volunteer Program” and click “Add”
19. Fill out the remaining information and click “Continue”
20. Click “No” for “Use NYC MRC ID”
21. Set a username in “Requested User ID” and set a password
22. Click “Continue”
23. Create answers for 6 of the security questions and click “Register”
24. Fill out the Security Check Response and click “Confirm”
25. Click “Ok”
26. Important – you will need to wait 24 hours for the MRC site to verify you. You will not be able to proceed to the next step until that verification is complete.
Lastly, register for the Public Health Responders Program
27. Navigate to this link
28. Click “Email Login”
29. For User ID, type in the email address you used to log into my.ny.gov
30. For password, type P4ssw0rd!
31. Click “Login” ➡️ note that you will need to complete 2 training modules prior to your first shift; these are found under “POD Trainings” along the left-hand side of your MRC Dashboard
32. To sign up for a shift, click “Dashboard” ➡️ click “Upcoming Events” ➡️ select the POD location where you’ll volunteer ➡️ click “Sign up here if you are General Staff” ➡️ find a date that works for you and click “Sign Up”
Other things to know:
• Strongly recommend – volunteer as a “flow monitor,” which can be done by selecting a General Staff role with a flow monitor description
o As a flow monitor, you assist customers with checking in and ensure their questions are answered prior to vaccination
o Once you arrive at the pod, volunteer to be one of the flow monitors who works outside, which is where customers get in line. Being outside allows you to move around throughout the day in the fresh air and serve as the first point of contact for customers
• Bring warm clothes (jacket, hat, pants, socks, etc.) and athletic shoes
• If you have them, bring warm gloves that work with iPad screens, which is how you check customers in
• Bring a hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your breaks
• Volunteer with a friend if possible!
Alternatively, you can enter your name in the vaccine lottery using the following links:
Be sure to check the following page to see if you qualify for certain eligibility requirements.