Eligible New York City seniors desperate to get the COVID-19 vaccine said Friday that they haven’t found any available slots and are fed up with the Big Apple’s convoluted online jab signup system.
Frank Rodgers, 71, of Staten Island has repeatedly tried to make an appointment for him and his wife, 66, to get the vaccine since they became eligible earlier this month, but keeps running into walls.
“We don’t have an appointment. We don’t know where to go,” said Rodgers. “All our avenues of getting an appointment for the vaccine — there are none.”
Rodgers, a security officer for a private company, said he has tried to make an appointment at one of the city’s vaccine hubs in the borough.
“There was no availability,” he said. “Then it went to February, then it went to March and there still was no availability.”
Additionally, Rodgers said that the city’s online registration system makes the process all the more difficult.
“I am computer savvy, but there’s people my age that have no clue about getting online and making an appointment. All these people are being left out,” he said.
One 68-year-old Brooklyn resident said she “gave up” on trying to get a vaccine appointment as the city, as well as the state, grapples with a shortage of the coveted coronavirus doses.
“There’s no availability,” said the Park Slope woman, who did not want to be identified.
The retiree echoed frustrations about the city’s buggy appointment signup system.
“Whoever designed the program should be shot,” she railed, adding that would-be vaccine recipients are forced to keep inputting the same information whenever they attempt to make an appointment at one of the public or private vaccine sites listed on the Web site.
Less than two weeks ago, Alyssa Alaimo, 29, came to the aid of her Staten Island grandparents, aged 82 and 75, who were having trouble navigating the city’s vaccine registration system.
“My nonna works a computer and Facebook and couldn’t work [the city] site,” Alaimo said, noting that her grandparents thought the Big Apple’s system to sign up for a shot involved “too many steps” and was “unclear.”
“They asked me to make appointments for them because they didn’t know how,” said Alaimo.
Alaimo’s grandparents were finally able to snag a hard-to-get appointment to get inoculated, but it was cancelled as a result of vaccine supply shortage.
Frances Kraemer, 81, of Queens managed to get an appointment for the vaccine next month at Mount Sinai Hospital, but said she got an email advising her to “find other vaccination options” due to the limited vaccine supply.
“So it’s kind of iffy now. I feel very insecure,” she said. “I’m very troubled, anxious, and worried.”
The city this week was forced to reschedule more than 22,000 first-dose vaccine appointments for the two-dose shot and shutter its 15 vaccination hubs across the five boroughs through Sunday because of a lack of supply.
Staten Island Councilman Joe Borelli told The Post that his 68-year-old father, Alex, has also been having trouble getting an appointment for the vaccine.
“There just aren’t slots and not even given an option – ‘OK, we can take you three weeks’ or whatever the case may be,” Borelli said. “You have to learn how to game the system, like when to call.”
Borelli added, “This shouldn’t be like trying to get tickets to a Yankee playoff game.”