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Vaccine sign-up confusion continues across NYS, appointments booked through April

Gareth Rhodes / New York State Department of Financial Services
Dorothy Foster, 90, receives the COVID-19 vaccine at her Queens nursing home.

One day after announcing that five new state-run vaccination sites are opening this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office is warning that appointments for the limited number of vaccines at those sites are already booked through April.

On Wednesday, Cuomo’s office announced that large-scale vaccination sites at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, the Westchester County Center, the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, State University of New York at Albany and Jones Beach are opening this week and will vaccinate thousands of New Yorkers in the coming months.

But by Thursday, a disclaimer on the governor’s website said that most appointments at the state-run sites are already filled through the end of April.

The state health department’s website previously listed other locations to get the vaccine, including some pharmacies and hospitals, but those sites on Thursday had been removed from the website. The disclaimer recommends that those eligible for the vaccine directly contact their local pharmacies, doctors’ offices and hospitals.

The disclaimer also said, with the inclusion of all New Yorkers over the age of 65, as well as health care workers and teachers, 7 million state residents are now eligible for the vaccine, but the federal government is only making available 300,000 doses a week.

According to the state Health Department’s website, new vaccination sites are to open in the coming weeks, including at state university centers in Buffalo, Binghamton, Potsdam and Stony Brook on Long Island and at sites in Rochester, Plattsburgh and Utica.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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