New York City Seniors Struggling Through Confusing COVID-19 Vaccine Enrollment Process – CBS New York

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Seniors have joined the list of those qualified to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but the simple injection in the arm has not been so easy to obtain for many of our older New Yorkers, who find the process confusing.
Some of the city’s most vulnerable lined up at sites across the city on Monday for what they hope is a life-saving vaccine, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

Harris Ton brought her 85-year-old mother, who had lung cancer, to the new vaccination center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

” I feel good. I feel very excited, ”Ton said.

But the desire for many New Yorkers over 75 to be included in Phase 1B has been met with confusion. Some showed up at vaccination sites, like the one at Brooklyn Army Terminal, not knowing they had to register and make an appointment.

“I don’t know what we’re supposed to do,” said one senior.

PLUS: COVID Vaccine: Frustration, Confusion Surround NYC Online Dating Process As State Moves Into Phase 1B

A frustrated Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee and her husband had registration papers and eagerly came to the Army Terminal’s 24/7 site for a photo, but the Canarsie couple were turned down.

“I’m not happy at the moment. I just spent all this time coming here. I’m not allowed in, ”the worker told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.

Even the elderly who showed up with help were lost.

Senior lawyer Annette Fisher said she registered her clients online, but the website was confusing.

“It gave all three recipients, so I said, OK, I guess we come over here and wait in line. Maybe it’s their idea to make an appointment. He didn’t say, now go do something else to get a date, ”Fisher said.

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Walter Costas, a Brooklyn resident, said he was worried he didn’t have a computer to register for the vaccine.

“I have to take my granddaughter or my daughter to make an appointment,” Costas said.

Some who managed to make an appointment still encountered problems. Teacher Jackie Spitzer received an email telling her not to arrive more than five minutes before her time slot, but when she got to the South Bronx Educational Campus, the line circled the block.

“They said it didn’t matter. It’s first come, first served, ”Spitzer said. “It was about 33 degrees today, so we had all been there for about two hours.”

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi announced that the city is launching an awareness program for seniors and a hotline – 1-877-VAX-4NYC – where people can go. register by phone. It’s an effort to make sure they reach older people who may not have internet access.

“We will also be doing more proactive outreach with robocalls to seniors to guide them to where they need to go, including our hotline, to be able to figure out how to register for an appointment slot. you, ”Chokshi said.

PLUS: COVID in New York: Governor Cuomo Expands Vaccine Eligibility, Warns It Could Take Weeks or Months to Get Appointment

Hospital groups, including the Mount Sinai Health System, have asked doctors to contact their elderly patients as well.

“We also made communications with various community leaders,” said Dr. David Reich. “Our hope is also through these connections that we will get this message across.”

The city is urging all New Yorkers to do their part by reaching out to qualified seniors in their lives to make sure they know the vaccine is available and where they can get it.

CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez and Jessica Layton contributed to this report

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