More vaccine appointment cancellations lead to frustration for Long Islanders; state allocation runs dry

Some of the final vaccine doses from the week's allocation were administered Friday at Stony Brook University, but for Long Islanders who still don't know when they'll be vaccinated, there's even more frustration and confusion.

News 12 Staff

Jan 23, 2021, 6:28 PM

Updated 1,277 days ago

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Hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine appointments have been wiped out over the last few weeks due to a lack of supply, and now for some who have had a particularly tough time with the vaccine process, it's happened again.
Some of the final vaccine doses from the week's allocation were administered Friday at Stony Brook University. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state ran out of its allocation ahead of the weekend.
The governor blamed the federal government for increasing the pool of eligible people while decreasing the state's allocation. He's now urging providers not to make appointments unless they are sure they will have enough of the vaccine.
"You now have 7 million people, all who are eligible and they're chasing 250,000 vaccines per week," says Cuomo. "It made no sense, and it created chaos."
Cuomo says it's not clear when New York will receive more doses, but that they will be shipped on a rolling basis.
But for Long Islanders who still don't know when they'll be vaccinated, there's even more frustration and confusion.
Some have even had appointments canceled at the Stony Brook facility twice. The first time was due to an unauthorized link that was shared, and the state ended up canceling all appointments because of it. But then Thursday a ray of hope emerged when those same people obtained a phone number to call the state to have appointments reinstated.
However, those appointments were canceled just hours after they were made without explanation. 
State officials tell News 12 that it's because in some isolated incidents, New Yorkers who had used the unauthorized link to book appointments that were later canceled contacted the call center and incorrectly had their unauthorized appointments reinstated.
They say that shouldn't not have happened -- because the reinstatement process is only for those with legitimate appointments that were canceled through user error, so the unauthorized appointments were canceled again.
State officials say the system has been updated to ensure this does not happen going forward.
In a statement, the state Department of Health said, "We are committed to distributing the vaccine in a fair and equitable way, which is why the state canceled appointments that were incorrectly booked through an unauthorized link. In some limited cases, those with canceled unauthorized appointments were able to have them reinstated over the phone -- this was incorrect, and has since been resolved."


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