COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Harlem United is a proud NYC community vaccination partner. Currently, we are proud to offer:

  • Moderna vaccinations to all New York residents age 18+;
  • Moderna third doses to eligible immunocompromised individuals, 28 days after completing the second dose; and
  • Moderna first booster shots to all eligible individuals, including:
    • Of those who received Janssen/Johnson & Johnson 2+ months ago:
    • All individuals 18+ are eligible for a booster
    • Of those who received Pfizer or Moderna 6+ months ago:
    • People 65+ are eligible;
    • People 18 to 64 who live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility are eligible;
    • People 18 to 64 who have an underlying medical condition that increases their risk for severe COVID-19 are eligible; and
    • People 18 to 64 who are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure due to their job (for example, health care workers) or where they live or frequently visit (for example, a homeless shelter) are eligible.
    • See full eligibility list on the NYS Department of Health website
  • Moderna second booster shots to eligible individuals including:
    • People 50+
    • Individuals 18 or older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
    • People who received their first booster at least 4 months ago
    • People who have received 2 doses of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Request an appointment

We are offering vaccinations to eligible individuals at The Nest Community Health Center.
169 W 133rd Street, New York, NY 10030

Below we provide important information to educate our community about the COVID-19 Vaccine, including answers to frequently asked questions and responses to specific myths about the vaccine, based on information from the Mayo Clinic.


Harlem United is administering the Moderna vaccine to eligible individuals 18+, and the Pfizer vaccine to children 5-17.

No. Unlike vaccines for other conditions that contain weakened or inactive parts of a virus, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine does not contain SARS‑CoV‑2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and cannot give you COVID‑19.

Yes! Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Please note that Harlem United only offers Moderna booster shots at this time.

Short-term side effects that have been reported with the Moderna and Pfizer COVID‑19 Vaccines include:

  1. Injection site reactions: pain, tenderness and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection, swelling (hardness), and redness
  2. General side effects: fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea and vomiting, and fever

There is a remote chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. For this reason, Harlem United will monitor all vaccine recipients for 15 minutes after they receive their shot. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Swelling of your face and throat
  3. A fast heartbeat
  4. A bad rash all over your body
  5. Dizziness and weakness

These may not be all the possible side effects of the vaccines. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. The COVID‑19 Vaccines are still being studied in clinical trials.

Currently, we don’t know whether or not there are any long-term side-effects. The FDA and CDC are continuing to monitor safety and additional trials and studies are being conducted, but at this time we do not know. 

There is a remote chance that the COVID‑19 vaccines could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. For this reason, Harlem United will monitor all vaccine recipients for 15 minutes after they receive their shot.

In the event you have a reaction, we are fully equipped with EpiPens and Benadryl to reverse any potential reaction.

According to the CDC, over 432 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States from December 14, 2020, through November 8, 2021. These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.

The Moderna and Pfizer COVID‑19 Vaccines are unapproved vaccines, meaning they have undergone a different type of review than an FDA-approved product. The FDA has made the vaccines available under a mechanism called Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). To receive emergency use authorization, the pharmaceutical manufacturer must have followed at least half of the study participants for at least two months after completing the vaccination series, and the vaccine must be proven safe and effective in that population.

NO! The vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness, but there is still a chance of transmitting or catching the virus. We should all continue to take precautions to protect ourselves and those around us. That includes wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, staying home when possible, and regularly washing our hands.

No. The Moderna and Pfizer COVID‑19 Vaccines contain no preservatives, no antibiotics, and no products from human or animal origin. The vial stoppers are not made with natural rubber latex. This means that people with these common allergies can still get the vaccine.


Fact: Many pharmaceutical companies invested significant resources to quickly developing a vaccine for COVID-19 because of the worldwide impact of the pandemic. The emergency situation warranted an emergency response but that does not mean that companies bypassed safety protocols or didn’t perform adequate testing.

Fact: There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again. This is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. The Mayo Clinic recommends getting the COVID-19 vaccine, even if you’ve had COVID-19 previously. However, those that had COVID-19 should delay vaccination until about 90 days from diagnosis. People should not get vaccinated if in quarantine after exposure or if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Fact: Circulating on social media is the claim that COVID-19’s mortality rate is 1%-2% and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with a high survival rate. However, a 1% mortality rate is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu, which we regularly vaccinate against. In addition, the mortality rate can vary widely and is influenced by age and other social factors. The communities Harlem United serves- people of color, people experiencing homelessness, people with certain chronic conditions- are among those at increased risk.

While some people that receive the vaccine may develop symptoms as their immune system responds, remember that this is common when receiving any vaccine and not considered serious or life-threatening. You cannot get COVID-19 infection from the COVID-19 vaccines.

Fact: Injecting the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine into your body will not interact with or do anything to the DNA of your cells. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. According to the CDC, mRNA vaccines work by instructing cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. Human cells break down and get rid of the mRNA soon after they have finished using the instructions.

Fact: No, COVID-19 vaccines have not been linked to infertility or miscarriage.

While there are no formal studies, the best evidence comes from people who got sick with COVID-19 while pregnant. While data clearly indicate pregnant people are at higher risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection, there is no evidence of increased miscarriage rates.

During natural infection, the immune system generates the same antibodies to the spike protein that COVID-19 vaccines would. Thus, if COVID-19 affected fertility, there already would be an increase in miscarriage rates in pregnant people infected with COVID-19. This has not happened.

There is a disinformation campaign that has been circulating online, claiming that antibodies to the spike protein of COVID-19 produced from these vaccines will bind to placental proteins and prevent pregnancy. This disinformation is thought to originate from internet postings by a former scientist known to hold anti-vaccine views.

Fact: There is no vaccine microchip, and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database.

This myth started after comments made by Bill Gates about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology he was referencing is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner and is not tied to the development, testing or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.