NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With more people now getting COVID-19 booster shots, some New Yorkers are struggling to book an appointment.

CBS2’s Ali Bauman takes a look at how to find an appointment and what to do once you get one.

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“I want to get a booster shot, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know where,” said Rick Lopez of Midtown.

Lopez is not alone. While vaccine appointments on the New York City website are available, they’re sporadic and mostly in the outer boroughs.

“But I have finals going on right now so a little hard to find a time that’s working with my schedule,” said Djellza Pulatani.

So Bauman called around to find out where and when New Yorkers can get the shot.

COVID VACCINE

While many CVS pharmacies in the city are booked through Dec. 20, she found a lot of mom-and-pop pharmacies have openings as early as this week.

You might get different answers on the phone than you will online. When Bauman looked for appointments at a few different Walgreens locations, an operator told her there were no slots at the moment, and suggested we try back every two hours to check. But the store’s website has open appointments up and down the borough all week.

“I do know that some co-workers and other people had to take days off from work and it’s kind of tough,” said Christian Demaris of Kips Bay.

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Some are trying to schedule their shot with potential side effects in mind.

“My goal is to get it on a Friday, so I have the weekend to ride it out,” Lopez said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Dr. Purvi Parikh is an immunologist at NYU Langone.

“Most people for the side effects of booster is similar to their second shot or is even milder than their second shot,” Parikh said.

She said side effects can be worsened if you’re overtired, dehydrated, or drink alcohol beforehand. But overall, symptoms should go away after 48 hours.

“Try to take it easy the next day if you can and it’s perfectly OK to take painkillers like Tylenol or Advil,” Parikh said.

For those who do need a day off from work, the state Department of Labor now includes paid leave to receive the COVID vaccine and booster.

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“I think this chat is going to inspire me to go home to look on the internet to get it,” Lopez said.

Ali Bauman