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It shouldn't be this difficult to get the COVID-19 vaccine

A Northwell Health registered nurse administers the COVID-19

A Northwell Health registered nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine in Westbury on Wednesday. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

I am convinced that the state COVID-19 vaccination appointment website was designed jointly by Monty Python and Franz Kafka. We are all John Cleese trying to snag a piece of cheese — any kind of cheese ["We want to hear from you," Editorial, Jan. 26]. For the unfamiliar, Cleese asks cheese shop proprietor Michael Palin for 41 distinct types of cheese only to be told, one by one, that none is available, and that the shop is, in fact, utterly cheese-less. This is akin to the experience when, after accepting an appointment time listed by the vaccine website as "available," the response is that it is not available, but please choose another available time from a truncated list. We click and repeat until we finally see: "No appointments are available." Then, the site’s true genius manifests with its Kafkaesque contributions: Click on an appointment and reply to a long sequence of questions, after which the appointment is no longer available. Or after almost successfully completing yet another attempt, be told to click on the "Register" button — which does not exist. Next time that you need a website, New York planners, please employ human-factors-conscious web designers rather than comedians.

Christopher Paul,

Bayport

Will someone please explain this COVID-19 vaccine priority rollout to me? My parents are 90 and 86, and since March have done their best to stay healthy and obey mask mandates and social distancing by staying in their home except for doctors’ appointments and short trips to get groceries. My husband, 64, is a leukemia survivor, has prostate cancer and asthma, but stays active and as healthy as he can. I am 63 and healthy, taking care of myself and my parents, staying active, eating well. But someone who is obese and a smoker will get a vaccine shot before any of us. Maybe I should tell my parents to start smoking and then I could finally get them an appointment.

Margie Engeldrum,

Islip Terrace

Nassau and Suffolk counties total close to 3 million people. The New York State vaccine website has one place in Suffolk (Stony Brook) and one place in Nassau (Jones Beach) listed as COVID-19 vaccine dispensing sites. If there were enough vaccines for everyone, it would take forever to service the population of both counties. Northwell Health, Mount Sinai and NYU Langone websites offer little or no information about vaccine availability. The same for CVS and Walgreens sites. Why are no large vaccine-dispensing sites opening for the large numbers of people who live on Long Island? As vaccine supplies increase, the 500 shots a day at each of the listed state Long Island sites will not be adequate.

Martin Rubenstein,

Port Jefferson Station

I’m 77, so I’m eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and quite willing to take it, but the serum seems to have dried up early and there is no information as to when we can see another round of vaccine. I go on the sign-up sites every day, and see no slots in my area, only sites way upstate. We need more information as to when we will be able to go to CVS or Walgreens or any other local site and get the shot.

Geri Incerto,

Blue Point

There’s little doubt that the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is greater than the supply. Many downstate New Yorkers are traveling upstate to get vaccinated. Since many of the manufacturers of this vaccine received taxpayer funding for development and distribution, they should be required to forgo the patent laws and share the vaccine formulas with any other manufacturer that can produce the vaccine. If we’re on a war footing, the government should act like it and get everyone vaccinated in a month or two.

Carl Borruso,

Valley Stream

Add another example of no-planning thinking to the state rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine appointments: No provision is made for necessary cancellation of appointments. My wife and I had confirmed appointments at the Javits Center for Monday when the major snowstorm was predicted. We tried in advance, in vain, to learn what would happen to our appointments. Knowing how this system has been working, we expect that we’ll simply be put at the back of the line and maybe will receive our shots around July 4.

Jay Roberts,

Jericho

Your editorial "For LI seniors, an elusive elixir" [Jan. 31] was spot on. I have spent days trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment without success except if I could drive to upstate Potsdam. No town or state agency is of help. Meanwhile, friends and family in New Jersey and Florida have been vaccinated and can safely shop and see family. Both the state and Nassau County have been useless in getting an appointment. They have failed us. As I am 84, I have no choice but to stay home without any personal contact with friends and family while Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo keeps broadening the list of those eligible for the vaccine. I will vote for no incumbent in future elections. They have demonstrated complete incompetence.

Elaine Miller,

Great Neck

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