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COVID Vaccine: New Yorkers Frustrated By Lack Of Appointments; Officials Blame Low Supply

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The COVID vaccine rollout in the Tri-State Area is failing to meet demand.

From overloaded websites to supply shortages, many are having issues getting appointments, CBS2's John Dias reported Thursday.

It's a sight that will put many to ease -- uniformed troops helping New York's oldest into the Jacob Javits Center, which has been transformed into a vaccine mega hub, after an almost year of agony.

"It has been long and I hope this works out," Upper East Side resident Hal Einhorn said.

Most at the site said they feel fortunate they're healthy enough to get the shot.

"We've been very lucky. We did what we were supposed to do," one person said.


One married couple together for almost 60 years have battled the pandemic together. On Thursday, they started their journey to beat it by getting their first doses. They said they were thankful to be able to get appointments.

"We have two good sons and they took care of it because I am not that good at the computer," one said.

Others have been dealing with major issues.

"No, I wasn't able to do it," said Alejandro Garzon of the Upper West Side.

"You call and they say, 'Call at another time. We are overwhelmed,'" Miriam Cortazzo added.

One 78-year-old woman said she was hoping to get a walk-in spot Thursday, after her neighbors thought they got approval for her on Wednesday.

"Just as they were closing, and I was told it was OK," the woman said.

But on Thursday morning, when they returned, her site said it was out of its extra allotment of doses.

"I haven't seen my grandchildren for two years now. I want to get moving," Marcelle Rosenstrauch said.

But she's going to have to wait even longer.

"Earliest appointment at the Javits is March 15, which is two months exactly from now," one man said.

Many also reported no available time slots for months in Westchester and Rockland counties.

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus told CBS2 supply is a challenge there.

"We have requested an additional 3,000 doses Friday and only received 200," Neuhaus said.


Back in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling on the federal government for more doses, saying at the rate the city is going, it will be out by next week.

Meanwhile, starting Thursday in New Jersey residents 65 and older are eligible for a COVID vaccine, along with certain people between 16 and 64, if they are battling health issues like cancer, kidney disease or are smokers.

"Smoking puts you at significant risk for an adverse result from COVID-19 and there are 2 million smokers in New Jersey that fit into this category," state Health Commissioner Dr. Judy Persichilli said.

While some do not agree with that method, others argue it will keep the hospitals from being overrun.

Mayor de Blasio is again calling for a travel ban on flights from the United Kingdom, after 12 more cases of the new coronavirus strain linked to the U.K. have been found in New York state -- two in the city and four on Long Island.


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