NEW YORK — "I just was denied, denied, denied," Julie Tadlock said, summing up her experience trying to get an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine Monday.
As an emergency medical technician, she was among the earliest groups eligible for the shot. But because of her underlying health conditions, she waited.
"I'm an epileptic, I also have high blood pressure," said Tadlock.
She explained that her caution stemmed from concern about how the vaccine might affect her medication.
"You put something new in your body, even if it doesn't affect you, as say making you sick, it can fatigue you, it can do all kinds of things that can cause seizures," Tadlock said.
But, after she got an alert that she was also eligible as someone with underlying health conditions, she tried to set an appointment but couldn't get through no matter how many times she tried.
"Every spare moment I got, I tried to call," said Tadlock. "It's very frustrating, especially when they're the ones that reached out."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledges it's a common problem caused by an abundance of vaccination sites but a lack of supply in the state.
"You have 10 million people eligible, 300,000 doses per week," said Cuomo, breaking down the numbers, "10 million people chasing the doses."
Cuomo says problems will likely persist until there's better coordination between the state and federal governments and until more doses become available.
"When you have increased dosages, that extensive distribution network will wind up being a positive and not a negative," said the governor.
Until she can get the shot, Tadlock, who spends her days conducting COVID-19 tests on fashion sets, says she'll have to do her best to stay protected, even as she worries about those more vulnerable than she is.
"People's lives are in their hands," Tadlock said of state and federal officials directing the response to the pandemic. "Get it together."
Did you know you can now watch, read and stay informed with NY1 wherever and whenever you want? Get the new Spectrum News app here.