New Yorkers with underlying health conditions like cancer, asthma, and kidney disease started getting vaccinated for COVID-19 Monday. But because the state does not have enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all eligible people, getting an appointment is not easy.
What You Need To Know
- New Yorkers with underlying health condition are the latest to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine
- 100, 000 appointments were booked by 1 p.m. Sunday after this group became eligible
- The state had to set up online waiting rooms similar to the Ticketmaster system to handle the demand
Because of his asthma Paul Stolarski is more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“I’m very, very careful. I don’t go anywhere to eat, I stay home, I go to work that’s it," said Stolarski.
He finally has some peace of mind. Monday he got his first dose of the vaccine at the Javits Center.
“It’s a relief. I hope everyone gets done quick we have to get this done."
His wife Leslee was able to get vaccinated a couple of weeks ago because she is a teacher.
“Even when I got my vaccine I did not feel relief that I could of because I was worried about him,“ said Mrs. Stolarski.
New Yorkers with asthma now qualify for the vaccine, part of an expansion of eligibility that also includes people with cancer, chronic kidney disease, heart conditions and obesity. Pregnant women can now get vaccinated too. The governor says New Yorkers with these kinds of conditions make up about 94% of the state's COVID-19 deaths.
Linda Zucker is a breast cancer survivor. She was able to book an appointment at the Javits Center for Monday morning.
“They tell me I’m not high risk anymore but I was happy to see that I was included in the list," said Zucker. "I’ll sleep much better tonight.“
But booking these appointments has not been easy. The state system was inundated with requests Sunday, when the newly eligible were first allowed to schedule a vaccination.
By 1 p.m. Sunday, 100,000 appointments were made. The state had to set up online waiting rooms similar to the Ticketmaster system that manages the heavy demand when tickets for popular concerts go on sale.
“We just got online early and kept hitting refresh, refresh on the website and all of a sudden an appointment popped up so that was quiet a relief,” said Leslee Stolarski.
Those lucky enough to get an appointment say you need to be patient and persistent .
“Continuously working either a phone or online seeing if you can get a cancellation. Such is life at this point," said Rick Stern. He had an appointment at the Javits Center Monday .
The problem continues to be not enough supply of the vaccine to inoculate all eligible New Yorkers. Those vaccinated Monday feeling lucky and appreciative.
“I can see my parents in a few weeks you know without a mask. So that will be nice,” said Zucker.