New York :
A extreme dose of patience and especially a long time to get an appointment via internet or by phone, is required to be immunized against COVID-19 in the Big Apple. The process for older adults Until now it can be even more complicated, when a month has passed since a vaccination plan began that in the city has only reached the arm of the 3.60% of the population.
Hundreds of people over 65 and their families they went this Thursday to the new mass vaccination center in ‘The Armory Track and Field ‘, at Upper Manhattan, enabled by the New York Governorate in association with NewYork-Presbyterian, with the certainty that just by being eligible, they would be inoculated. At the door an official only guaranteed them a paper with the ways to get the appointment.
Several Washington Heights residents reported that communication to schedule inoculation generally takes hours. And, not always, the long wait culminates in the confirmation of a time, a date and a place.
This was the experience of the Dominican Yomaira Picona who this week has tried, unsuccessfully, to make an appointment so that his 89 year old mother can be vaccinated.
“Yesterday my son lasted two and a half hours stuck waiting for the telephone line provided by the City and they never answered him. Today I personally came to this new center, I didn’t achieve anything either. I went to the hospital and it was impossible, ”Picona said.
And the elderly who live alone?
The experience of the also Quisqueyana Marisol García, 68 years old, it was no different. His attempt was for the appointment system enabled by the City via the internet, to facilitate the information of each vaccination center, where it is required to load a series of data so that the system assign a site and a date automatically.
“I would like to know how they are going to do thousands of elderly who live alone and they have no family to fill out this form. When they announced that they would open these centers, we assumed it was to give more facilities to the elderly. But no! This week my family has tried to enter that platform and they have not achieved anything. That’s why I came personally and they gave me just one piece of paper to call, ”shared García, who has been trying to find a location to be vaccinated since Monday.
Meanwhile, the Colombian Diana Mejías, 45, commented that he was able to quickly connect with the government’s vaccines website, although in his case, his 87 year old grandmother who lives on Cabrini Avenue in Washington Heights will have to wait until the January 25 to get immunized in ‘The Armory’ the only center available, for now, in the Upper Manhattan.
There is no exception: appointments are required
Currently the vaccine is provided to people 65 years of age and older, teachers and education workers, first responders, public safety workers, public transportation workers, supermarket workers, health care providers and staff with direct contact with patients.
The New York Health authorities have insisted that in order to have access to vaccines in the centers installed, both by the Mayor’s Office and the Government, without exception, in All sites are by scheduled appointment only.
None of the open sites in the five boroughs will inoculate people, even if they are in the eligible group and do not have an appointment scheduled. It is further emphasized that if you are not currently eligible, no registrations or calls are made that would further collapse the systems.
Before this process, the ‘New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Form’ must be completed, which will be required by the person administering the drug.
There are other requirements. If you are eligible for vaccination based on your job, you must have a proof of employmentsuch as an employee identification card, a letter from your employer or affiliated organization, or a recent pay stub to your appointment.
People over 65 years of age must have in addition to the proof of the appointment, a proof of age.
Look at the irony. Inside many hospitals there are doctors and employees with all the facilities to put it on and they reject it. For us, older adults everything is slow. We see this as a salvation to live longer and reunite without so much fear with our loved ones “, reacted the Mexican Luisa Orozco, 70 years old, who took a train from The Bronx to 168 St Station to go to ‘The Armory Track and Field’ assuming like many that just being eligible could be “punctured” with the first dose.
City brings vaccines to NYCHA
In the middle of a process that has been rated “slow” in New York City And with an ambitious goal of delivering the new Pfizer or Moderna drugs to one million New Yorkers in January, this Thursday Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the opening of new vaccination clinics in NYCHA public housing developments special to residents. over 65 years old.
Immunization centers will open in the Van Dyke I and II houses in Brooklyn, Cassidy Lafayette Houses in Staten Island and Polo Grounds Towers in Manhattan this weekend. With plans to expand to different parts of the city in the coming weeks.
“Our priority has been to reach older adults in the communities of color hardest hit by this pandemic. And with our partners from NYCHA and other agencies, we are doing just that, ”said the commissioner of the City Department of Aging (DFTA), Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez.
In accordance with City guidelines, staff at senior centers within these NYCHA developments will communicate with seniors to ensure they are vaccinated and have the help you need to do it.
How and where to get vaccinated?
- All people over 65 or those eligible to be vaccinated in group 1A and 1B They have two ways to find out how and where to get vaccinated, and to make an appointment: the phone line 877-VAX-4NYC and the website nyc.gov/vaccinefinder
- In New York State, you can use the “Am I Eligible” app and https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ to verify your eligibility and schedule.
- New York State also has a vaccination hotline that you can call to schedule a vaccination: 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829).
- The new vaccination site at 216 Fort Washington Avenue at the corner of 169th Street established at ‘The Armory Track and Field’ offers COVID-19 vaccines to people over 65 with appointments scheduled from this Thursday.
- To make an appointment on this new site, NewYork-Presbyterian patients 65 and older can use the ColumbiaDoctors online patient portal, Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Connect.
- Patients who do not have a Connect and people 65 and older who are not ColumbiaDoctors, Weill Cornell Medicine, and NewYork-Presbyterian patients can set up an account by visiting VaccineTogetherNY.org.
This is how the vaccine moves in NYC
- 303,671 eligible people of groups 1A and 1B had been immunized against the coronavirus in the Big Apple until the closing of this edition, which implies 3.60% of its 8.4 million inhabitants.
- 794,650 doses of Pfizer and Moderna have been received by the city of New York.
- 35.7% of the available inoculations have been applied.
- 35,748 doses were administered in NYC on Wednesday, about 7,000 more than the day before.