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Installment 2: So I posted about my travails in signing up for a vaccine, and put the post on a local Facebook page. I was flooded with responses.

We are in New York State’s Stage 1B, which includes some health care workers who were not vaccinated in Stage 1A, teachers and others — first it was people 75 and older, and now people 65 and older. I am 66 years old. I had no trouble following through the process to establish eligibility on the New York site — but when I got to the “find a site” I was stumped.

From what I gather, it seems clear that the appointments are being rationed. Teachers were able to use the same site I was using and get appointments, while there were none available for me — though I filled out the eligibility form and was deemed eligible. By comparing notes, we figured out that, while people over 65 are eligible, people in occupations like health care worker and teacher are prioritized.

Some hospitals are vaccinating that are not included on the state app. I managed to book a slot in early March at Mount Sinai Health systems in New York City, but they are not visible on the state app. As I was finishing writing this post, a person who tried after me to book a slot emailed that she saw this on the Mount Sinai site: “Because of changes in the allocations of COVID-19 vaccine that we are receiving from New York State and New York City, we unfortunately have to temporarily pause scheduling of non-employees at this time. We are evaluating our vaccine supply and hope to be able to open up appointments again soon. Please check back here for the latest information about when you may be able to schedule. Per New York State guidance, we are continuing to vaccinate our eligible employees and our voluntary faculty and staff.”

‘Press 1 for English, then 2 for appointment’

Here’s one response, a private one from a southern Westchester woman.

Call Essen Health Care
(718) 583-7736
Press 1 for English
Then 2 for appointment (clearly I called a few times today) scored two appointments for this Thursday for myself (school district employee) and my mom ????????
And that was after I went through what you blogged all last night

It’s on the site. After lasts night failure online decided today if call for appointment. A friend said she got one there so I tried their first and scored.

Also know that there are new sites all the time being listed. It’s always being updated

Another tidbit I noticed last night after midnight there was a slew of appointments available at earlier dates. Perhaps some appointments get dropped and cleared from the system at midnight. For example my first appointment rescheduled was for March and then at 12:15 I was able to score another appointment for January 26. This morning I just tried to call to see if I can get something sooner

New locations are populating all day long

Also pretty easy to get appointment Dutchess county …
Starting looking north
Also pretty easy to get appt in Brooklyn and SI if you wish to travel ????
And the dutchess county hasn’t started with the next phase

New York college professors

A New York woman reports that “initially, there was confusion about whether or not she and her colleagues, as college professors, were even part of group 1B, as the teachers in this category have been defined in various settings since last spring as ‘teachers,’ ‘K-12 teachers,’ and ‘education workers.’ Some state definitions published in the spring clearly excluded post-secondary professors.

“After administrators shared information from the state confirming faculty eligibility, the faculty listserv has become a regular series of tips of sites that offer the shot, with recommendations stretching from the boroughs to Albany. A couple of her friends were able to get local appointments for this week, but only by jumping on the sites the instant the news broke last weekend and signing up, assuming they’d be asked for verification of eligibility later.”

She added: “Her county site, in contrast to other county sites who have released and filled appointments through April, for now is only releasing appointments week by week and has a notification system set up to send alerts when new appointments are released each week. She fully expects that she’ll need to deploy her well-honed 2 am curbside pickup grocery slot snagging skills to get a shot appointment locally. The other likely option is that her doctors’ office expects to be receiving shots and will be inviting patients in for appointments based on their eligibility.”

‘More slots as of an hour ago’

Here are a few other responses.

Westchester County Center opened more slots as of an hour ago. I got Feb. 2. That was after I got a slot in the Bronx for Feb. 25, which I canceled. I think more locations and slots will continue to open in the next few days.

just tried again on West County Center and all slots show full until April 11. This is frustrating !

I received communication from NYU (some of my doctors are there) that they will be giving the vaccine to those 65+ and they will contact their patients (and not to contact them).

My husband and I were able to get appointments once our group 1b opened
I checked first thing in the morning. No issues
I have an appointment on sat my husband 1/22.

Mount sinai vaccinating 65 +

‘The most frustrating part’

this is the most frustrating part. There seem to be many different sites and no clear direction. How does one find out about the hospitals, like Mt. Sinai, that are giving the vaccine? We assume the NYS site is comprehensive, but it clearly is not.

Not easy to navigate. [My husband] picked a March appt but by end of survey it was no longer available. Will try again tomorrow ????

My husband (75) received a text from NYU Langone yesterday advising that they’ll be in touch. I called several places today for myself (73) & they didn’t have the vaccine as yet or could not schedule an appointment at this time. Spent lots of time on phone waiting with no positive results.

javitz center has appts. use a manhattan zip code to search, when you go through the am i eligible state site….you can book online. the site is very busy it takes a while keep trying. it is frustrating but i was able to book for my relatives.

My Aunt got an appt yesterday for next week at Adalai Stevenson High School in the Bronx.

‘Check in the next few days’

Rite Aid in Hartsdale and Rye Beach Pharmacy say to check for times in the next few days. I think they’re waiting for vaccine delivery

Covid vaccine appointment tip. My sister set her alarm for 3am this morning and was able to get our father a vaccine appointment for Feb. @ the County Center. The system probably processes cancelations end of the day and slots open.
Also the County Center distributes Pfizer. And they automaticity give you an appointment for 3 weeks later for the second dose.

Would you mind posting the link for the county center- I havent been able to see how to actually book it there. I had a similar experience w mt sinai at midnight where spots opened for early march. But february would be even better. I will say from experience with the initial round of distribution that I anticipate as more sites open this week the supply will become much more plentiful and I will bet that many in this round will get their first shot by end of feb

overnight some slots open up. I don’t know exact time. My sister just set her alarm to 3am randomly to see if slots were open. This is how she always got her stop and shop peapod appointments so she decided to give it a try for this.

if you are a city teacher search the SOMOS site, I made appt Monday, got vaccine yesterday! Taft HS site in Bronx
link to li sites….updated throughout day.

A man in Tompkins County, N.Y., said he went to this site. On “Register here,” he got an “event full” response. He added: “Also tried the two phone numbers provided during a county sponsored mass voice mail. Both numbers down too.”

After my note about Essen Healthcare, a member of the group posted: “can’t thank you enough for this facility info! Finally got a live person (who was so nice) & have an appointment for this Friday at 2:45 pm! I was concerned about my husband, who’s 75 & a transplant patient & I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to get vaccinated. At the last moment I decided to join him in the vaccination.”

The first installment of this is here.

“Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the vaccine: How do you sign up in New York? I tried, and it wasn’t pretty.”

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...