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COVID Vaccine: Long Island County Sites Swamped By Residents Trying To Make Vaccination Appointments

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Vaccination appointments are swamping some Long Island county sites, with time slots being released only one day out.

"How were you able to do it?" CBS2's Jennifer McLogan asked.

"Just like buying concert tickets, just kept trying," one person said.

"Refreshing, refreshing, refreshing and then all of a sudden, it would pop up," another person said.

As vaccine eligibility grows, supply shrinks.


Dr. Anthony Boutin, chief medical officer of Nassau University Medical Center, was able to inoculate 4,500 staff members, but now...

"We are out of vaccine, at least the first dose, as of tomorrow afternoon ... The supply chain starts with the federal government. As soon as we get our allocations, we will be ready to vaccinate the rest of the community," he said.

Some state-run vaccination sites, among them Jones Beach, open Thursday at 8 a.m., but Long Island residents report the sign-up system is constantly crashing.

Jones Beach started scheduling appointments Monday and by Tuesday afternoon, was completely filled through mid-April.

"I completely understand the frustration ... We are doing everything we can to open up the flood gates to get the vaccine in the arms," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.


Northwell Health is partnering with Nassau and Suffolk, opening nine new vaccination sites.

Some independent pharmacies are now going through a certification process with the state.

"Today, we actually feel like we are in a bit of a war zone. It made 1,000 appointments for the 100 shots that we got. Our phones are ringing off the hook," said Howard Jacobson, at the Rockville Centre Pharmacy.

They're doing their best to help.

"My daughter stepped up to the plate and made the appointment," one person said.

"My son came running into my room, yelling that he got the shot for me," another person said.

MORE -- COVID Vaccine: Eligible Long Island Residents Running Into All Kinds Of Problems Registering For Shots

The county is answering questions.

"I urge people, don't just make random first and second appointments. Your first and second dose should be at the same place," Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said.

The Office of the Aging has pledged to assist seniors navigate the system.

Meanwhile in Suffolk County, local veterans are being urged to take advantage of free rapid COVID-19 testing.


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