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A better vaccine distribution

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine shot on

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine shot on Feb. 3 in Westbury. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

In 1947, we had no computers, no internet, no television, few phones. But we had competent government. A smallpox scare returned, and every board of health made sure vaccinations were available. Schools and community centers were also utilized. The process was efficient and quick. In the early 1950s, the Salk polio vaccination was made available. The same process and results. Today, our governments — federal, state and local — trying to deal with the COVID-19 vaccine are all a mess ["Anger and anxiety on LI over the lack of vaccines," Letters, Jan. 31].

Coleman Kushner, Woodbury

Friday’s letters had seven versions of the same story ["Vaccine shop or cheese shop?," Letters, Feb. 2]. I and, I’m sure, thousands of other Long Islanders could add our tales of frustration, disappointment and anguish. Nights without sleep, predawn phone calls, fruitless internet searches — it’s been going on interminably. Why tell people to get vaccinated and make it nearly impossible for them to do so? Why make more people eligible when those already eligible can’t be accommodated? Is anybody out there listening to the voices of the people?

Barbara Graziano, Riverhead

I recently tried to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. I am 74 and don’t really mind waiting, I noticed the only places in the entire state with available appointments are: Syracuse, Potsdam and Plattsburgh. I read how a couple traveled to Plattsburgh for their vaccine ["For some LIers, a long journey to vaccination," News, Jan. 31]. I am not willing to do that. As a Canadian American (born and raised in Montreal) living on Long Island for 50 years, I can tell you that driving on winter trips is more treacherous than going without the vaccine. We often made that trip in winter when our children were young to spend holidays with family in Canada. The Northway, I-87 north of Albany, while a great road, is dangerous during snowstorms; visibility is often zero even without snow. Since there are available appointments upstate, they must have more vaccine than they need. Why doesn’t the state simply move those appointments and supplies to Long Island, particularly Suffolk County with a population of about 1.5 million and the only site, Stony Brook University, having no available appointments.

Beverly MacDonald, Lake Grove

"Wow," said my husband, a retired physician not given to superlatives, as we drove away from the Stony Brook University COVID-19 vaccination site, "That was impressive!" Indeed, it was. From the clear signage on the road and building to the people, the site was impressively well-run and staffed. Everyone we came in contact with — from the people directing traffic to registration people to the person who gave us our shots — was cheerful, friendly and efficient. We arrived around 2:40 p.m. for a 3:15 appointment and were back on the road by 3:40 p.m., including sitting for 15 minutes after the shots to be sure of no side effects. We never felt crowded or had to wait more than a couple of minutes. Yes, it was hard getting these appointments, but I thought it only fair to talk about something that went right.

Ellen Solow Holzman, Mattituck

We are all fending for ourselves in trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine. I just lost my 65-year-old, otherwise strong and healthy, wonderful brother to the coronavirus. We know the supply here is not enough, but securing an appointment shouldn’t be this chaotic, time-consuming and stressful. I suggest they use Medicare numbers for seniors. Assign us a date, place and time, giving options if possible. We’ll wait for the supply. Take this job off us. This is exactly like the states having to fend for themselves with personal protective equipment when the federal government left it on their shoulders. Now, it’s all on our shoulders. There are too many of us fighting to get an appointment. And couples or seniors can’t help their even more senior parents. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should organize this mess — just set up appointments for seniors. It’s about life and death.

Marian Meyer, Smithtown

It would be nice if the governor published telephone numbers of the sites in his daily update email that lists COVID-19 vaccinations ["State: 25G to get shots this week at pop-up sites," News, Feb. 4]. How are we supposed to make an appointment otherwise? He makes it extremely difficult for us seniors. I’m 83, my wife is 81, and I have been trying to get us vaccinated since 1B opened. His system makes it very difficult, nearly impossible. I have registered us on every website available, called every telephone number published and contacted test sites to no avail. No site or telephone registration number has ever responded, called or texted me with information. I think the state should reach out to seniors the way it seems to be reaching out to all other groups. It sure would be fairer.

John A. Nuss, Glen Cove

Why not have mobile units administer COVID-19 vaccinations? They could go to areas and administer them to those unable to travel.

Beth Rose Macht, Long Beach

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