Vaccine appointments voided at Stony Brook site due to mistaken sign-up link

State officials say an unpublished vaccine scheduling link was shared without authorization on social media this week.

News 12 Staff

Jan 15, 2021, 11:21 PM

Updated 1,183 days ago

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Frustrations are mounting after some Long Island residents who thought they had an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine found out that they do not.
State officials say an unpublished vaccine scheduling link was shared without authorization on social media this week.
The link allowed eligible New Yorkers to make appointments at different locations statewide that are not open yet - including one in Stony Brook. According to state officials, the appointment link was released early without authorization either by a hacker, or by someone who leaked it.
A statement from the state said in part, "We are currently contacting everyone who used the unauthorized link to inform them of the situation. As a reminder, the only way to sign up for vaccinations at state-operated locations is through the Department of Health's Am I Eligible website."
Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, says they felt it was important to reset the appointments in order to make sure the system "has to be fair."
In a statement, Stony Brook said, "Stony Brook is one of the New York state Department of Health (NYSDOH) designated locations for distribution. NYSDOH has sole responsibility and authority for determining vaccine eligibility, allotment of vaccine supply to PODs across the state, and when appointments at the location will be made available on the state site. You need to contact the DOH directly with your inquiry."
One of those affected was TJ Sundstrom from Nesconset, who thought he'd finally have a leg up on coronavirus. The teacher, who's a type-1 diabetic, and his 87-year-old grandmother both had confirmed appointments to be vaccinated at Stony Brook University.
"Getting that email yesterday was just ... it was deflating," says Sundstrom.
News 12's newsroom has been flooded with similar stories of people who thought their vaccination was on the horizon.
"At this point I don't know what I'm going to do," says Joe Marcellino, a volunteer firefighter in Port Jefferson Station.
As of Friday morning, the state's website said there were appointments available at Stony Brook University, but people we spoke with say they've already tried to sign up and were not successful.


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