Bronx Zoo is now a vaccine site; offering free ticket for future visit

A medical worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine shot to Luis Herrera, of the Bronx, at a walk-in vaccination site at the Bronx Zoo, Friday, May 21, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society/Julie Larsen Maher)

Animal lovers can now get protected against coronavirus by visiting the Bronx Zoo to get their shot and a free ticket to visit the animals on a future date.

The Bronx Zoo is now a New York City-designated walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site on weekdays through Wednesday, June 30, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. As an incentive, anyone getting inoculated at the zoo vaccine site will walk away with a ticket for free admission on a visit in the future (so not on the same day at the vaccination).

Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said he and his staff are pleased to be a part of the city's efforts to get shots in the arms of New Yorkers. 

"We are all in this fight together to beat COVID-19," Breheny said in a statement. "Our participation, including offering free tickets to those who get vaccinated at the Bronx Zoo, will provide a very convenient option for our neighbors and all New Yorkers to get vaccinated."

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The clinic is offering the Pfizer vaccine, which means that anyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated. (A parent or guardian must accompany children 17 and under.)

To get your vaccination at the zoo, you must arrive at the Southern Boulevard Parking Lot, which is the location of the clinic. You can either walk to the lot via the Bronx Zoo pedestrian entrance on Southern Boulevard or drive there through the Southern Boulevard parking lot entrance. You'll be allowed to park in that lot while you get vaccinated.

Temporary medical tents and metal barricades in a parking lot at the Bronx Zoo

A COVID-19 vaccination site at the Bronx Zoo's Southern Boulevard Parking Lot, Friday, May 21, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society/Julie Larsen Maher)

"The Bronx Zoo has been assisting the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic," WCS said in a news release.

The zoo served as a staging area for emergency vehicles when the pandemic slammed New York in spring 2020 and as a COVID-19 testing site for Montefiore Medical Center employees. And several of the zoo's lions and tigers tested positive for coronavirus last year.

The city will also set up a vaccine site at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island in the near future, according to the WCS.

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A red river hog in a zoo habitat

A red river hog at the Bronx Zoo. (Courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society)

Bronx Zoo Vaccine Clinic FAQ

Here is a summary of the location, dates, times, and procedures, adapted from the Wildlife Conservation Society's FAQ page:

Where and When Can I Get Vaccinated?

Southern Boulevard Parking Lot, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460, Friday, May 21–Wednesday, June 30, 2021, WEEKDAYS ONLY, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Which Vaccine Is Being Offered at This Location?

The Pfizer vaccine, which requires two vaccine doses. Appointments for the second dose will be made on site after you get your first dose. After June 3, appointments for your second dose will be scheduled at an alternate location.

Who Can Get a Vaccination at the Bronx Zoo?

All New Yorkers ages 12 and older. Ages 12–17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

A sea lion habitat and signs about mask wearing and social distancing

The sea lion pool at the Bronx Zoo. (Courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society)

What Do I Need to Bring With Me?

Please refer to the NYC Vaccine Eligibility page to find out what type of ID you should bring. Also, please fill out the NYS COVID-19 Vaccine form before you arrive.

Why Should I Get My Vaccine at the Bronx Zoo?

Everyone getting a vaccine at the Bronx Zoo will get a complimentary ticket for a future visit. The Bronx Zoo determines the visit date; you cannot exchange it for a different day.

Can I Visit the Zoo After I Get My Vaccination?

Due to restrictions on the capacity at the zoo, the free ticket you get will be for a future visit date — not the day you get vaccinated.

You can read a full explanation of the vaccination logistics here.