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NY lawmakers call for state guidance as residents struggle to book COVID-19 vaccinations

While federal distribution is a huge part of the problem, some state lawmakers also believe the state can do more to help highly affected areas get the vaccines to those who need it the most.

News 12 Staff

Jan 15, 2021, 11:23 PM

Updated 1,253 days ago

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Residents in Rockland say they are frustrated at the struggles they have faced trying to get their COVID-19 shot.
Erika Blecker-White says she has spent the pandemic doing everything she can to keep her parents safe. Her father has to go for hemodialysis three days a week and her mother is immune compromised.
"My parents have been married for almost 60 years," she says. "They can't even sleep in the same bedroom right now."
Blecker-White says called three straight days this week in an attempt to get her parents vaccinated. Eventually, she succeeded. But when she showed up to the hospital, it said the vaccination center she was schedule for was closed.
"It's just absolutely frustrating and in the interim, I have a bunch of seniors who have asked for help and there is no help for seniors who are most at risk," she says.
Blecker-White's story is not uncommon throughout Rockland County. Some state lawmakers say the vaccine distribution process has created panic for their constituents.
"It's a matter of life and death, and again, a lot of this comes to the federal government," says state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick. "We aren't getting the doses we need from the federal government. If we don't have vaccines, we can't give the vaccinations."
While federal distribution is a huge part of the problem, some state lawmakers also believe the state can do more to help highly affected areas get the vaccines to those who need it the most.
"This is an important public health issue. It is the most important public health issue and we need a centralized state distribution process that works directly with residents in the counties to get vaccines into people's arms as soon as possible so that we can start saving lives," says Sen. Reichlin-Melnick.
Gov. Cuomo said in his press briefing Friday that starting next week, New York's weekly vaccine allocation will go down to 250,000 doses from 300,000 due to a lack of federal stockpile.


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