New Yorkers endure five hour wait for a covid jab

2 years ago

New York state residents have endured waits of over five hours to register for the Covid-19 vaccine after it became available for those age 30 and over on Tuesday. 

Those who became eligible when the lower age limit was reduced from 50 to 30 were quick to access booking websites but soon discovered there were very few appointments due to overwhelming demand.  

Glitchy websites that were slow to update the eligible age to 30 also helped cause lengthy virtual queues.  

Many of the state’s vaccination centres had been fully booked by Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday morning few new appointments had appeared on the websites. 

New York residents were faced with five hour waits to get vaccine appointments after over 30s became eligible on Tuesday (pictured, New Yorkers enjoy lunch hour in Union Square)

New York residents were faced with five hour waits to get vaccine appointments after over 30s became eligible on Tuesday (pictured, New Yorkers enjoy lunch hour in Union Square)

New York residents were faced with five hour waits to get vaccine appointments after over 30s became eligible on Tuesday (pictured, New Yorkers enjoy lunch hour in Union Square)

New York state's vaccine drive comes as the number of Covid cases have started to inch up once more, even as restrictions are being lifted

New York state's vaccine drive comes as the number of Covid cases have started to inch up once more, even as restrictions are being lifted

New York state’s vaccine drive comes as the number of Covid cases have started to inch up once more, even as restrictions are being lifted 

Many of New York state's vaccination centres had been fully booked by Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday morning few new appointments had appeared on websites as the population scrambled to organise their jabs

Many of New York state's vaccination centres had been fully booked by Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday morning few new appointments had appeared on websites as the population scrambled to organise their jabs

Many of New York state’s vaccination centres had been fully booked by Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday morning few new appointments had appeared on websites as the population scrambled to organise their jabs

About 54,600 people in New York tested positive for the virus in the last week, a number that has begun to inch up recently. Trends for new cases in New York are shown above in a chart from Johns Hopkins University

Approximately 14.2 million state residents became eligible for the jab when the age was lowered on Tuesday.

But residents said they logged into the state and city’s websites and frequently refreshed the pages without success. 

Some jab seekers were asked to phone vaccination centres to book appointments, but found either their calls went unanswered or the voicemail boxes were full. 

New York resident Emily Afton said she waited nearly five and a half hours to book her appointment. 

Taking to Twitter to vent her frustration, Afton said the lengthy process involved hours of ‘full panic refreshing pages and doing recaptchas and clicking on appointments as fast as humanly possible only to have them disappear.’   

New York state remains one of the worst affected by Covid-19, with a total of 50,148 deaths to date

New York state remains one of the worst affected by Covid-19, with a total of 50,148 deaths to date

New York state remains one of the worst affected by Covid-19, with a total of 50,148 deaths to date 

The US is averaging nearly 62,000 cases a day, up from 54,000 two weeks ago, but those numbers have inched up in recent days

The US is averaging nearly 62,000 cases a day, up from 54,000 two weeks ago, but those numbers have inched up in recent days

The US is averaging nearly 62,000 cases a day, up from 54,000 two weeks ago, but those numbers have inched up in recent days

Covid deaths in the US have continued to tail off in recent weeks, even as cases start to rise once again

Covid deaths in the US have continued to tail off in recent weeks, even as cases start to rise once again

Covid deaths in the US have continued to tail off in recent weeks, even as cases start to rise once again

Afton didn’t say when she had managed to book her vaccine appointment for, but artist Liz Jones said she waited five hours before finally booking an appointment in late May.

She told : ‘The vaccine page is like a gateway to gambling addiction… you have to refresh over and over again.’ 

‘It was incredibly frustrating. I was refreshing the pages for hours trying to find an appointment’.  

One reason for the lengthy delays were because the sudden increase in demand when the eligibility age is lowered causes problems for the glitchy website, according to the .   

But others claim some of the websites were not updated to make appointments available for those age 30 and over in time for the inevitable surge on Tuesday morning, causing the delays. 

Staten Island resident Laura Dasaro, 31, told the Post: ‘I fully expected that with the surge of people in this age group that availability would be scarce, but I didn’t anticipate that the process of finding an appointment would feel like going in circles.

‘The most frustrating part is not being able to refresh the page to see if new appointments open up without going back and re-certifying eligibility.

‘Most places are not taking first-dose appointments and those that are don’t have any appointments or direct you to call.’ 

Young people flocked online on Tuesday to book their Covid jabs, but found centres had no appointments available (pictured, residents visit Manhattan's Lower East Side neighbourhood)

Young people flocked online on Tuesday to book their Covid jabs, but found centres had no appointments available (pictured, residents visit Manhattan's Lower East Side neighbourhood)

Young people flocked Togel Online on Tuesday to book their Covid jabs, but found centres had no appointments available (pictured, residents visit Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighbourhood)

To date, 9,229,098 doses of vaccine have been administered to residents of New York State and a total of 3,257,703 people have received two jabs. 

Approximately 30.5 per cent of the state’s population have received a vaccine.  

New Yorkers may be able to expect another frustrating day of frantically searching for vaccine appointments when the jabs become available for over 16s at 8am on April 6. 

However, the vaccine rollout comes as New York rises to the number two state for new positive cases per 100,000 residents. 

The lack of improvement or even backsliding in recent weeks has raised concerns that the states are opening too quickly and people are letting down their guard too much, just as potentially more contagious variants of the virus are circulating more widely. 

‘When we’re seeing leveling off of cases or increase, that’s when it’s a time to rethink policies,’ said Roy Gulick, chief of the infectious diseases division at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

In February, New York Gov Andrew Cuomo allowed the state’s largest stadiums to host sporting events and concerts again, albeit at only 10 percent of normal capacity. 

New York City movie theaters have been allowed to reopen. Restaurants can now operate at 50 percent capacity in New York City and 75 percent capacity elsewhere in the state. Indoor fitness classes have resumed, too.  

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo (left) watches as Pastor Darryl Frazier (second left) and State Sen. Leroy Comrie get a COVID-19 vaccine before the opening of a mass vaccination site in the Queens borough of New York on February 24

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo (left) watches as Pastor Darryl Frazier (second left) and State Sen. Leroy Comrie get a COVID-19 vaccine before the opening of a mass vaccination site in the Queens borough of New York on February 24

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo (left) watches as Pastor Darryl Frazier (second left) and State Sen. Leroy Comrie get a COVID-19 vaccine before the opening of a mass vaccination site in the Queens borough of New York on February 24

A total of 3,257,703 New York state residents have received two jabs (pictured, a pharmacist prepares ta vaccine)

A total of 3,257,703 New York state residents have received two jabs (pictured, a pharmacist prepares ta vaccine)

A total of 3,257,703 New York state residents have received two jabs (pictured, a pharmacist prepares ta vaccine)

Approximately 30.5 per cent of New York state's population have received at least one vaccine, more than several US states

Approximately 30.5 per cent of New York state's population have received at least one vaccine, more than several US states

Approximately 30.5 per cent of New York state’s population have received at least one vaccine, more than several US states

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