Seventy-one-year-old Ramkaran Rohit is fed up.
“I’m frustrated about it. Because every morning I call in, and every day I call in and I couldn’t get an appointment,” said Rohit.
Not only is he unable to get an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination, there is no vaccination site anywhere near his home in Jamaica, Queens.
“Closer is better, you know,” said Rohit.
It's a challenge for many living in the Eastern half of Queens.
The blue dots on the map below show vaccination sites. Neighborhoods like Beechurst, Whitestone, Bayside, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Glen Oaks and Queens Village don’t have a single vaccine hub.
Linda Silverman of Queens Village says she had to drive to the Bronx to get her first shot of the vaccine.
“It’s pretty bad. I don’t understand why they don’t -- they have Van Buren here, they have Cardozo, they have a lot of schools locally they could have done it. Bayside High School," said Silverman. "We don’t have the best transportation here either."
Not only are these communities in Eastern Queens vaccine deserts, many also are transportation deserts. City Councilman Barry Grodenchik's district doesn’t have a subway or commuter rail line.
Unless they drive, and many seniors do not, there is no easy way for residents here to travel to a vaccination appointment once they get one.
Grodenchik says he’s personally been in touch with Mayor Bill de Blasio and his staff, offering up locations in his district for possible hubs — with no response.
“This is lunacy,” said Grodenchik. "So, Mr. Mayor, if you’re watching, we really need sites out here. And we don’t just need one, we need multiple sites.”
A mayoral spokesperson says the city is continuing to identify sites and build out the network of locations as more vaccine becomes available.
A spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state plans to open pop-up vaccine sites in Northeast Queens within the coming weeks.
It's an expansion that can’t come soon enough for eligible residents like Ramkaran Rohit.