Frustrations grow as some are unable to find COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 17:29:19-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Barbara Bulmahn of Williamsville is 81 years old. She said she's disappointed she hasn’t been able to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine online.

"It's just very frustrating. Then you just get to the point where you give up," she said."I started at six in the morning. I did every Tops that was listed and everything was full. I guess I should've done it right after midnight or something but I didn't think about that you'd have to do it that early."

Bulmahn said she tried several pharmacies but couldn't find an availability.

"And I take a medication that lowers my immune system, so I've got all kinds of issues," said Bulmahn.

A Tops spokesperson said Tops pharmacies did "receive a small allocation at many" stores. And as Tops get more doses, it will continue to make appointments.

Erie County's Department of Health said the COVID-19 vaccine supply is extremely limited. It will be several months before all groups within Phase 1A and 1B are able to be fully vaccinated with the two required doses.

The Health Department's message: try to be patient, this will be a long process. The Department of Health said as the vaccine supply expands, additional appointments will open up at county, state, pharmacy and community sites.

In Bulmahn's case, she has an iPad and access to internet, so there's still a way for her to eventually schedule an appointment.

Others may not be as lucky.

"My daughter in the doctor's office, she's got patients calling all day long. They don't have a computer, they aren't computer savvy - wanting her to book them appointments. They can't do that out of a doctor's office. I feel bad at least I'm computer savvy, but it's getting me nowhere," said Bulmahn.

The County's Health Department said they will have a vaccine call center to assist in scheduling appointments at a later time. Right now they are not making appointments by phone.