Bronx, NY – New Yorkers have struggled to secure vaccination appointments in the first week of Phase 1B distribution due to a combination of inadequate testing sites and a convoluted and duplicative registration system. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz issued the following statement regarding concerns he has on the vaccine distribution process:
“It is outrageous that so many otherwise-eligible New Yorkers are being frozen out of the vaccine distribution process. We have been looking forward to a vaccine against COVID-19 for nine months. Why does it seem like we are only just now preparing the distribution process? Based on the inquiries my office has received, it seems clear that we need a tenfold increase in vaccination capacity in order to accommodate everybody who is eligible under current guidelines.
“There must be at least one large, public vaccine distribution site in every community so that all New Yorkers have equitable access to this life-saving medical treatment. We hold elections every year, using polling sites that meet much of the same criteria as the City and State are now using to evaluate vaccination sites. For example, Riverdale-Kingsbridge Academy and InTech Academy are both large sites that can serve many people in the community, and there are other middle and high schools that are closed right now which could serve as mass vaccination sites. Why are these locations not being prepared immediately for public vaccine distribution?
“We need to have city and state leaders coordinating to offer a streamlined portal for New Yorkers to easily see where vaccines are available to them. We need sufficient supply of vaccines, which has been complicated by Donald Trump’s failure to secure and deploy enough doses for everyone who needs one, but this will hopefully be rectified starting on January 20. We are hopefully approaching the beginning of the end of this pandemic and it is unconscionable to botch this key element in our state’s recovery from COVID-19.”