New York State responds to concerns about making COVID-19 vaccine appointments online

Posted at 1:26 PM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 17:03:38-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York State says it is responding to some concerns regarding people facing difficulties making a COVID-19 vaccine appointment via the state's Am I Eligible site.

On Sunday, New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying health conditions were able to begin making appointments for COVID-19 vaccines.

Several people told 7 Eyewitness News they were running into problems with the state's website, whether it was due to high volume, or problems with their browser.

According to Gov. Cuomo's office, if you're experiencing an issue with your browser, you should clear your cache on that browser and if that doesn't work, try another browser.

The state says the website's system is being impacted by the high volume of people looking to schedule appointments.

Gov. Cuomo's office says the number of people who can schedule appointments at one time at each site is limited.

Once the number of people who can be allowed to schedule an appointment fills up, people go into a “waiting room” that holds their place in line.

Those people are then admitted from the “waiting room” to the scheduling system on a first-come, first-served basis.

Both the scheduling system and the "waiting room" have filled up at times on Sunday, due to the large number of people trying to schedule appointments and the low allocation of doses.

Gov. Cuomo's office says new appointment slots are being rolled out on Sunday and throughout the week, including in Western New York at the University at Buffalo's South Campus.

In a statement to 7 Eyewitness News, Gov. Cuomo's Office provided the following

The State’s Am I Eligible screening tool and scheduling site are fully functional, with an average of 350 appointments booked per minute so far today. As expected, the site is experiencing a tremendous increase in volume after appointments were opened to New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions this morning — we have been warning New Yorkers this would happen for the last week, and to mitigate any issues, we added an online waiting room and are releasing new appointments on a rolling basis. As we’ve shown in recent days, our distribution network is firing on all cylinders, and as the supply of vaccine expands we stand ready to get more shots into people’s arms.
Gov. Cuomo's office

The Erie County Department of Health says it will begin vaccinating those with comorbidities and underlying health conditions beginning on Monday, February 15th like the rest of New York State.

As of Saturday, the Erie County Department of Health had not been notified of the vaccine allotment for this population for the week of February 14th.

Kaleida Health released the following statement on Saturday regarding its plans to vaccinate people with comorbidities and underlying health conditions

We are working with the Erie County Department of Health, our partner hospitals in the community, as well as our physician leadership to ensure that there is consistency on vaccination for those with comorbidities when it begins next week. That said, there are still a lot of unknowns at this time such as exact information on quantities that we may receive or what the precise timeline of delivery will be. What we do know, however, is that this will be an extremely limited resource and that demand will quickly exceed supply. So this is expected to be a very long and evolving process.
Kaleida Health