NEW YORK - Phones ringing off the hook and websites crashing due to demand, senior citizens desperate for their COVID-19 vaccine shot say they are feeling defeated.
Donald and Marilyn Stevenson, both in their seventies, are among the millions of New Yorkers now eligible under Phase 1b of the state’s vaccination plan.
"I want to get the shot but I can’t do it," Donald said. "I just can’t do it."
The Huntington Station couple spent hours trying to make appointments to get into any of Long Island’s vaccination sites.
"I had my iPad open, my cellphone was getting on, I was getting directions from another person to help me," Marilyn said.
Computer glitches and millions of people competing for time slots has caused chaos and confusion. And it’s the same story in the city.
84-year-old Sam Weiskopf, the father of a FOX 5 NY producer, said he had to jump through hoops to make an appointment for March. He was a patient at Mount Sinai and calls it luck they helped him navigate the site to ultimately secure one.
"It must’ve been about 3 hours," Weiskopf said. "I called my councilwoman, my assemblyman. It was brutal, brutal."
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The Governor is calling for patience during what he says is an impatient time in history. The hope is as increased dosing becomes available there will be more opportunities for vaccine signup.
After hours of clicking and refreshing the website, Anthony and Judy Pinelli got their appointments earlier this week.
"I was hoping to get it as soon as possible," Anthony said.
But even those who had the first dose are confused about how scheduling works for the second.
"If I didn’t have my daughter to take over the computer I wouldn’t have had my shot," Judy said.
So far over 265,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New York.