You can’t pay to have your name go on a waiting list to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and you almost certainly won’t need to pay anything out of pocket when you do get the vaccine.

With the historic arrival of two COVID-19 vaccines in the United States comes the opportunity for scammers to capitalize on the vulnerability of an anxious public. It’s why Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter reminded residents Friday to be mindful of such activity.

“Scammers rapidly alter their tactics and adapt their schemes to the changing landscape,” Carpenter said, “and it is anticipated that they will leverage the pending COVID-19 vaccine to prey on unsuspecting beneficiaries.”

The supervisor stressed not to respond to a call, text or email from a party claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine. She said residents should understand the following points concerning the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
  • You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
  • You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine.
  • No one from Medicare or the Health Department will contact you.
  • No one from a vaccine distribution site or healthcare payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
  • Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus.
  • Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.

Click here to visit the Islip’s COVID-19 Information page.

Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state has launched the Vaccinate New York campaign and website to provide New Yorkers with information about — and help instill confidence in — the vaccine and the state’s administration plan.

“This is the most ambitious governmental operation ever undertaken, but we are New Yorkers, and we always set the bar high,” Cuomo said. “We want to be the first COVID-free state and that means remaining diligent.”

The governor noted that 75 to 85 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated “to actually win this war” on COVID-19.

Northwell Health got the ball rolling earlier this week, administering the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine. Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, was the first to receive vaccine on Monday. Healthcare workers across Long Island are now receiving the vaccine.

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