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Why add more people to the vaccine list?

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks to reporters during

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks to reporters during a news conference on Feb. 8. Credit: Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/Mike Groll

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently expanded the list of those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to include taxi drivers, restaurant staff and some facility residents ["Gov expands eligible list for virus vaccinations," News, Feb. 3]. These will be added to prior categories of essential workers, those over 75, and then those over 65. Now, there will be even more people trying to schedule appointments for limited available spots. (I have been trying for four weeks on the phone and website for both the state and the county, only to be told there are no openings.) So the thinking seems to be: "Let’s add more people to compete for limited appointments." Basic leadership decision-making is based on "ready" (plan and research what needs to be done), "aim" (create a plan that looks to minimize obstacles) and "fire" (put the well-thought-out plan into action). The current thinking seems to be "ready" (let’s come up with something quickly without much research), "fire" (get it out there to show we are responding) and "aim" (oops, now how are we going to fix this?). Because of this repeated poor planning, many of us are reluctant to believe "I’m from the government, and I am here to help you."

Bob Ranieri,

St. James

Letters on COVID-19 vaccine distribution validate everything I’ve been going through to get the vaccine ["Vaccine shop or cheese shop," Letters, Feb. 5]. I like especially the reference to the Kafkaesque designer of the website. It’s true — you refresh it every day, and it leads you nowhere but Plattsburgh and Potsdam. Good luck driving there twice in the winter — without a snowstorm. Like one reader, all my friends and relatives in other states have been vaccinated. You know the phrase "We’re all in this together"? Well, we’re not, and never were. Many have jumped the line, and our governor has even opened vaccine eligibility to prisoners and taxi drivers. OK, send me to jail — I feel like I’ve been in one for months anyway. Your letters say it all: We seniors are frustrated and disgusted, and many of us will vote everyone in office out next time around.

Barbara Scherg,

North Babylon

I have spoken to more than 100 seniors, and no one 75 or older could get the COVID-19 vaccine in Nassau County. Something obviously is terribly wrong with the distribution at the state level. Vaccines have been available in New York City and readily available upstate in Plattsburgh and Potsdam, but Nassau County — apparently never.

Joan Ortiz,

New Hyde Park

As an active 79-year-old, I was thrilled to see that I would fall into the second level of distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, after spending hours and days trying to find a site where I could easily get the vaccine, I totally failed. Even worse, I could not find a location or appointment and our state government kept expanding the number of people who could obtain their vaccine. First, 65 and older, then taxi drivers, prisoners, et al. It appears that without a rollout using local pharmacies, houses of worship, school buildings, etc., I will probably not get my shots for several months, making my quarantine more than a year. In the 1950s, virtually the entire population of New York City received the polio vaccine within a short time frame. Why can’t we use that distribution system?

Judith Fields,


‘Annoying’ drug ads can be helpful

Regarding a reader’s recent letter, I had an experience with those annoying TV pharmaceutical commercials that might be useful ["Pharma companies need to pull back," Letters, Feb. 4]. Many of us only half-listen to those commercials, and one evening, during one for a medication I was taking, the ad stated that the medication could cause involuntary movements that may become permanent. This got my attention because I had developed a tremor in one of my hands. My handwriting also had become erratic. I immediately stopped taking the medication, the tremor disappeared and my handwriting returned to normal. I informed my doctor the next time I saw him. Yes, I should have read the literature that comes with each medication. But hearing that "annoying" commercial prevented me from developing a possibly permanent disability.

Miriam Chua,


We know better about D.C. rioters

During the Super Bowl’s televised celebrations following Tampa Bay’s ransacking of Kansas City, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians gave his staff and players all the credit, declaring, "I didn’t do a damn thing." We know better. During the Senate impeachment trial, following the mob’s ransacking of the Capitol, the defenders of the insurrectionists’ coach, former President Donald Trump, gave the rioters all the blame and declared, in essence, that he didn’t do a thing. We know better.

Zachary Murdock,

Cold Spring Harbor