The state-owned COVID-19 Vaccination Center opened in Jones Beach on Thursday, and all slots appear to have been taken until at least mid-April.
Thousands of long islanders are competing for reservations at various centers, but the number of people eligible for the vaccine exceeds the dose the state receives from the federal government. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that about 300,000 doses are shipped to New York each week, but more than 7 million residents are vaccinated.
The state opened several mass vaccination sites on Wednesday, including the Javits Center in Manhattan. According to the state, New Yorkers can make reservations on any state-owned site. State officials said more vaccination centers will be announced in the future, including Stony Brook next week.
The online scheduler, which ends in mid-April, has shown that it will not be available on the Jones Beach site, Field 3. State officials did not answer inquiries about the number of people who signed up for vaccination on Wednesday.
Glen Cove’s Pat Tracy said she was overwhelmed after failing to get promises at Jones Beach and elsewhere.
“Some of these places don’t show plans to be available until August,” Tracy said. “These websites don’t seem to work. Sometimes I’m told to give them a try, but I don’t have any other information.”
Leo Stimler, 78, of Garden City and his 75-year-old wife, Kathleen, were lucky. They made reservations on March 18th and 21st, after spending two days looking for slots in different parts of Nassau County.
However, the couple wanted to make an appointment sooner. “It’s not at least May,” Kathleen Stimler said.
On Wednesday, I had already received the first shot, but it was also confusing for those trying to book a second dose. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine need to be given twice. Pfizer is given every 21 days and Moderna is given every 28 days.
State officials said people who received the first vaccination at a large vaccination site they operate would be booked for a second vaccination before they left. They said people shouldn’t try to schedule a second shot through the state’s online portal.
However, some who received their first shot at a facility operated by Northwell Health, the county government, or elsewhere are still waiting for a reservation.
Cynthia Bruzozoski, a Garden City dentist who also works at the Suffolk County Medical Inspector’s Office, received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the Northwell facility on 31 December. However, despite several phone calls, she was unable to book a second shot.
“I thought I would have been contacted by now,” Brzozowski said.
Northwell spokesman Joe Kemp said everyone who received the first shot would receive a second dose within the required time frame. He said they would be contacted to make an appointment as the second day approached.
Besides state-owned sites, people on Long Island may be able to take shots at pharmacies. The independent pharmacist said it would accept qualified residents to make reservations on the website or by phone.
Howard Jacobson, owner of Rockville Center Pharmacy, took 100 doses on Tuesday, but scheduling on his website allowed 1,000 people to make reservations.
“There was a person making a phone call [Wednesday]”He said. “I’m sick of it. I apologize to you for this. People can’t get promises anywhere.”
Tom Dangero, who owns two pharmacies in Nassau, said he had received 600 doses distributed at his American pharmacy in Garden City.
“We will vaccinate our staff in the next few days, and then we should be ready to roll by Monday,” he said. “I will start making reservations soon.”
D’Angelo said his phone was ringing non-stop.
“I have a friend I didn’t know,” he said. “Someone knocks on our door. It’s nuts.”
Through the Federal Pact, the vaccine will “eventually be available at CVS pharmacy locations across the country, subject to state-determined population availability and prioritization,” the chain said in a statement. If it’s turned on for that program, you’re ready to go. “
The health system said it was immunizing qualified New Yorkers as soon as possible, but it was limited by supply.
“This is probably the largest public health initiative we’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, Chief Clinical Officer of Rockville Center-based Catholic Health Services. “It’s a large lift.”