The vaccine is available – sort of.

In NYS, phase 1B of the rollout began on Monday with those 75 and older becoming eligible (among others).  By Tuesday, folks 65-74 also became eligible. 

Some of our seniors immediately took the phone and waited on hold.  Some are still waiting.

Some went to the website.  These are some real responses:

“Ok, I’m on the website.  Now what?”

“It wants me to put in personal information (date of birth).  I’m not doing that.”

“They want me to go to Troy.  I’m not going to Troy.”

“They gave me a day in February.  It could snow in February.  I don’t drive in the snow.”

“I called the first 11 recommended vaccination sites.  Most didn’t answer.  Those who answered don’t actually have the vaccine.”

“The form said that there was an available appointment on Friday at 10:00.  I selected it.  The next screen said that there was no availability at that time.” 

This has become an incredibly onerous and frustrating project.  Fortunately, the Jewish community is here to help:

Spearheaded by Jewish Family Services (JFS), we have a team of volunteers and professionals ready to help.  We can try and register with you or for you.  There is already a waiting list as we all learn how to navigate the system, and information pushed out by the state and counties is updated daily. 

Whether you need help registering or getting to your appointment, we want to help. Call JFS' main number at (518) 482-8856.  The office is closed nights and weekends, so be sure to leave a message and your call will be returned as quickly as possible. 

If you live in the NNORC, feel free to call that number directly, (518) 514-2023

JFS’ website will also post information as it becomes available. 

Synagogues are helping, JCCs are helping, and Federation is helping.  In this case, it will take the whole village. 

Note: We will help within the system.  What we can’t do is work outside of the system.  We do not have access to extra doses or any preferential treatment at vaccination sites.  This is all tightly regulated by NYS. 

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