Long Islanders Bemoan Covid-19 Vaccine Registration System

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As New York’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout expands to include more of the population, some Long Islanders are upset with the registration process.

All appointments must be made online, which has led to some technical difficulties and confusion; plus, few appointments are available, given that New York has limited vaccine supply.

“I, along with our residents, am frustrated with NY State’s online vaccine registration system, which has been experiencing persistent crashes due to high demand from increased eligibility,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement. “These failures are unacceptable and the state must resolve these issues immediately.”

Wading River resident Dino DiIorio said he and his family have spent many hours trying to get a vaccination appointment for his mother, 83-year-old Helena DiIorio, who has a rare, severe lung infection. Helena’s medical specialists agree she should be “top of the list” for the vaccine, Dino said. However, individual doctors cannot decide this, and Dino has repeatedly been told to register Helena through an online form. So far, all appointments have been taken.

“It is vital that she does not contract Covid-19 because she would not be able to survive it,” Dino said. “She needs this vaccine. But those 75 or older with medical conditions are now competing with hundreds of people 65 and older, and you can’t get these appointments.”

Online systems have had to quickly update eligibility requirements as they include more people. As of Tuesday, all people 65 and older were added to the list, which also includes public-facing healthcare workers, public safety and transit workers, first responders, public-facing grocery store employees, and in-person educators, as well as nursing home staff and residents.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked New Yorkers for “patience at an impatient time” as the state waits for increases in vaccine allocations from the federal government to meet high demand.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has not yet responded to requests for comment.

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