Frustration grows with vaccine rollout plan

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ALBANY, NY – Frustrations continue to grow over the state’s vaccine rollout with state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle saying there are major issues on multiple levels.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on the complaints they’re receiving.

State lawmakers say their phones have been ringing off the hook with constituents calling confused and disappointed that they haven’t been able to book an appointment to receive a vaccine.

In a statement Republican Senator Phil Boyle said today:
“Governor Cuomo’s vaccine rollout can only be described as utter chaos. Millions of New Yorkers have no idea when or where they can receive their life-saving shots, and they feel totally abandoned by their state government.”

The state’s website has a banner alert explaining that the Federal government has only given the state about 300,000 vaccines per week for the 7 million New Yorkers who are now eligible and that as a result “supply is very limited.”

It also says that “vaccines are also available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments statewide.”

But, Stephen Acquario with the New York State Association of Counties says that is overwhelming local health department offices that presently have few if any doses to give to the general public that are eligible.

On Wednesday Assemblymember Pat Fahy said she had constituents on the phone for hours trying to get through and that she hears some are booking into April.

((Pat Fahy, NYS Assemblymember))
We need more vaccines but the whole infrastructure that has been set up and we’ve had weeks to do this… the website is not user friendly, nor is accessible and the phones are not being answered. Serious logistical problems. It’s a big disappointment.

Acquario says while the goal is to have the infrastructure prepared for when New York does receive more doses, in the interim it will take patience.

((Stephen Acquario, NYSAC Executive Director))
It’s don’t give up in the interim. We have to encourage all those that are currently eligible to register with the State of New York and the “Am I Eligible?” portal, you need to do that, you need to take that first step by registering and then begin to look and see if an appointment is available.

Out of the state vaccine sites for those eligible the Javits Center and the State Fairgrounds have available appointments.

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