NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There's mass vaccine confusion in New York City. Thousands of people were left out in the COVID cold because their appointments for shots were suddenly canceled amid claims the state reportedly moved doses to other locations.
Jouzas Kazlas and his wife Rasa thought their fears about not surviving COVID could finally be put to rest when they scored an appointment to get the vaccine at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Their hopes were suddenly dashed when the appointments were suddenly canceled late Thursday.
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"You wait for months trying to be safe, trying to survive the virus and then all of the sudden you have an appointment, and you feel that there is hope. And then it's canceled. It's like being in a chess game, except someone else is moving the pawns," Rasa Kazlas said.
Sources told CBS2 that well over 4,000 people, many over 75 like Kazlas, got emails that said:
Unfortunately, your appointment has been cancelled due to a sudden decrease in the amount of COVID-19 vaccine being supplied to us.
Jouzas also got a phone call and was stunned when he pressed the caller for a reason.
"I said, just between us, why did this happen? And she said that New York State had decided to divert some of the vaccine to the new public vaccination centers that they were setting up," he said. "She mentioned, specifically, the one at Javits Center."
"I'm angry. I don't think that it needed to happen," Rasa said.
Patients at a number of other hospitals in the metropolitan area also had their vaccination appointments canceled.
Jack Sterne, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had no comment on claims supplies were being moved around. He said:
No one should have their appointment canceled, and like Mount Sinai we are sorry that this situation occurred... but unfortunately the federal government's supply doesn't come anywhere close to the demand here in New York.
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Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio said that city-run facilities will run out of vaccine next week. He called on the federal government to increase production.
"We have a fundamental problem here," de Blasio said. "We need maximum pressure on Washington and Albany, and on the manufacturers to deliver us hundreds of thousands of more doses immediately."
Cuomo said he's just as frustrated as the mayor, pointing out the feds cut New York's allotment of COVID-19 vaccine by 50,000 doses -- meaning less vaccine for the state's mass vaccinations centers like the one at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.
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