MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island’s COVID positivity rate is among the state’s highest, and residents say they’re fed up with a lack of vaccine supply.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, they’re demanding streamlined websites to book appointments.
Alice Sheehan, 81, of Bohemia, had a vaccination appointment but was turned away after a 45-mile drive to New York City.
“Was it a pain in the tail? Yeah,” she told McLogan. “I was on the list. The confirmation number was there. My name was there.”
But her zip code was not part of the five boroughs.
Some lawmakers are crying foul, because Long Island accepts qualifying New York City residents.
“If you look at the vaccine-to-resident ratio, which is a percentage of course, New York City is getting a larger ratio of the vaccine,” said Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti.
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Long Island’s positivity rate is the state’s highest.
“Long Island has been problematic for a period of time,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
There are demands for more sites. New York City’s website has 200-plus locations for appointments. Suffolk merely directs to the state-run website. Nassau lists county, Northwell and pharmacy links.
The confusion and frustration have led to new efforts to streamline.
“We want to make sure that we have links to them, that we have links to every new place that pops up that’s doing vaccines, so we can be a one-stop shop,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
Liu Post in Brookville is the newest pod expansion.
“We’re here, we’re ready to rock, we’re ready to roll,” one worker said.
“It is simple supply and demand on a mega-scale,” Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein added.
Walgreens, CVS and independent pharmacies say they are confident they can inoculate thousands of Long Island residents in the coming week.
“Local pharmacies are the most accessible health care provider. People can walk in, make their appointment, come back and get their vaccine, which is what we’re doing here,” said Thomas D’Angelo, president of New York State Pharmacists Society.
Pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, health departments, state sites like Jones Beach and daily pop-ups are waiting for supply.
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