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Those with pre-existing conditions hunt for vaccine appointment

"Closest you can get is 80 miles from my house"
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Posted at 5:01 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 16:52:42-05

“It’s like everything that can happen — has happened to me,” laughed Krista Belling, Clarence resident.

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Krista Belling, Clarence resident, in a Zoom interview.

Belling responded with a light-hearted comment about her health, but she says she has four pre-existing conditions appearing on the New York State's comorbidity list that qualify her to get vaccinated.

That includes cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

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NYS website for vaccine appointments.

The state starting taking appointments for those with pre-existing conditions Sunday morning on it's website, but Belling says she cannot get an appointment at Buffalo's only site at the University at Buffalo.

“The closest you can get is 80-miles from my house,” Belling declared. “I think it's kind of odd that the distribution is very skewed to the eastern part of the state."

“Really it's going to be patience also as well as persistence,” remarked Dr. Joseph Chow, president, Western New York Immediate Care.

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Dr. Joseph Chow, president, Western New York Immediate Care, during a Zoom interview.

Chow said he understands the frustration, but also reminds us of how many people are now eligible for the vaccine and that includes those hospitalized for other illness..

“If you take a look at all the amount of the potential patients — who may be able to get it — we are looking into the hundreds of thousands — not only in the hospital as well as out of the hospital,” explained Chow.

“What is your biggest frustration as a health care provider in watching this roll out?” Buckley asked.

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Dr. Joseph Chow, president, Western New York Immediate Care.

“We just really need to wait for that supply of the vaccine to come in — certainly that's frustrating — not only for the clinicians but also for the community out there,” Chow responded.

Chow says as more vaccines arrive — more appointment slots should begin to open.

Belling says she hopes that's true.

“They did say they were going to have some rolling distribution, but you know does that mean I have to just go every five seconds,” Belling noted.

“You still have to follow a certain cadence of getting the vaccine,” Chow replied.

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Vaccine stickers.

Dr. Chow also reminds you that if you travel out of the area to get vaccinated, you would be required to travel to the same site for the second dose.

“You do need to go back either three or four weeks later so keep that in mind, also if you have to travel far this is winter in Western New York and you’re going to have to back to the same location,” Chow explained.