RANDOLPH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Eligible but unable to find an open vaccination appointment in New Jersey?
You’re not alone. It’s a frustration for many.READ MORE: Doctors Seeing More Neck, Back Pain Related To Working From Home
CBS2’s Meg Baker reports on the reasons why, and hope for the future.
Anne Caccamo keeps sticky notes around her house with COVID vaccine help hotline numbers on them. Like so many, she is eligible but has been unable to book an appointment.
“It gets frustrating,” Caccamo said. “I am on, like, four different sites and have not received anything so far.”
- New York State book online here or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX
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- Suffolk County more info here
- Westchester County more info here
- New Jersey book online here or call 1-855-568-0545
- Connecticut book online here
Flemington resident Carole Samson Landers and her husband are having the same issues.
“He’s a disabled veteran, having been injured in Vietnam, and has kidney problems, and is on dialysis,” she said.
Landers feels like she is going in circles on websites and calling locations directly.
“It’s Russian roulette,” she said.
Friends have gotten lucky on the same sites she’s been on. So why can’t she find an appointment?READ MORE: Harrison School District Taking Action To Bring All Students Back Into Classrooms Full Time In Coming Weeks
The short answer: Supply isn’t meeting demand.
Vaccination site organizers say they are not taking appointments unless they have vaccines to give out. They don’t want to turn anyone away if supply doesn’t come through from the federal government – it can be unpredictable.
Gov. Phil Murphy says help is on the way. Through a partnership with the federal government, CVS and RiteAid pharmacies will receive more than 27,000 doses.
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The governor urges eligible New Jersey residents to visit the websites of CVS and RiteAid for a list of locations where vaccine is available.
Brian Nightengale and Good Neighbor Pharmacy are helping with Phase 2 distribution of vaccines to pharmacies for the general public. He says this will be a game changer to speed up the process – most people live within five miles of a pharmacy.
“That trusted relationship, they know their patients… and pharmacists, have been trained and been doing vaccinations for a very long time, primarily flu,” Nightengale said.
Murphy touted surpassing one million vaccinations in the state, yet the process feels like it is taking forever for those like Caccamo, who can’t wait to hug her grandkids,
Murphy says we’ll see an increase in deliveries of vaccine to mega-sites in the next few weeks, which means more appointments will open up.
There’s a temporary pause on the ability of call centers to schedule appointments – so the hotline won’t help you schedule right now, but will answer any questions you might have.MORE NEWS: Blackface Costume Controversy Hits N.J. Town Of Lakewood
CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report.