Frustration grows as eligible people can’t get COVID shots

WWNY Frustration grows as eligible people can’t get COVID shots

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - There’s growing frustration as people, next in line to get the COVID vaccine, find it tough to get an appointment to get the shot. It’s supply and demand and with demand like this, there’s not enough supply to vaccinate everyone at once.

To add to the frustration, it was announced Tuesday another 1.8 million New Yorkers just became eligible to get the vaccine.

Kay McGovern has been isolated in her apartment for nearly a year due to COVID-19.

“It’s lonely. I had three kids. They’re all gone. My husband is gone,” she said.

McGovern is 80 years old and has underlying conditions, making her eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1B.

Her first stop: Kinney Drugs.

“When the website, Kinney’s website, went down, I went, ‘Well, I guess they’re not doing it,” she said.

But they were. All the appointments had been taken and now she’s left to wait.

“You get the senior citizens who live in nursing homes and bingo, they have all the vaccines they need. But it’s the people who are 75 plus, in my situation, who are kind of caught in between,” said McGovern.

It all comes down to supply, but that may have become more challenging.

On Tuesday, the state adopted new federal guidelines expanding the COVID-19 vaccine for ages 65 and up. That’s an additional 1.8 million people now on the the list.

“We receive 300,000 dosages per week. That has not changed. The federal government didn’t give us an additional allocation. At 300,000 per week, how do you effectively serve 7 million people - all of who which are eligible, all without priority,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

With a limited supply and scheduling done primarily online, many older people missed the opportunity.

“I read somewhere that 7,500 doses were scheduled in 5 hours. So there’s no way she was going to be able to get an appointment for the vaccine,” said Ellen Seidman.

Ellen Seidman has been helping her 80 year old friend through the process, but not everyone has that support system or internet connection.

“It’s hard to get the word out to this generation and this age group. If you don’t watch TV or have a computer, how are you going to be notified,” she said.

If you’re eligible, you can go to Kinney Drug’s website and enter your name, phone number, and email for updates about appointment availability.

But for many looking for the shot, it could be a wait - potentially for months.

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