My mom has a legitimate question. I am not sure if this is true in all areas, but it is here in New York. The ONLY way one can find out if you are eligible for a vaccine and sign up to get one is online. You can't walk in somewhere, make a phone call, or fill out paperwork and mail it.

I am of course helping her navigate this, as she is not capable of doing this herself. She wants to know why she can't just walk to the pharmacy like she did for a flu shot. She doesn't understand why she can't get it from her doctor. She is a narcissist and can't understand that 99.9% of the people who want a vaccine are going to have to wait awhile, even if they are in the groups who are already eligible.

Her legitimate question in all this is how do people who do not have Internet access, or are unable to navigate the online process, and have no one to do it for them, getting signed up for the vaccine?

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Where do you live in New York? My friend got an appointment at the Westchester County Center by calling. Yankees stadium gives out tickets. Montefiore hospital has a site and a place to call. Of course one does have to hold on! These are downstate suggestions. Upstate is probably different.
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Reply to KathleenQ

Unfortunately, every state is different, and there is some inconsistency within states as well. In my state, there really is no infrastructure for asking any questions. The attitude is that if you are in one of the high priority groups, you will be contacted by your employers. Older people living at home are not in the priority groups. I subscribe to my state's information newsletter, but all I can find out is that those over 70 will become eligible sometime in the next 2 or 3 weeks. No info on what should be done at that point. We are just in a wait and see mode and continuing to isolate at home.
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Reply to LittleOrchid

bolliveb: Imho, it will depend on your category/age. I am in the 1c category and am in the queue for vaccination, but presently my state is still working in the 1a category. I am 74 years of age.

So since you state that your mother does NOT have online access, if she is able to have either a landline or a cellular phone, she could call 833-697-4829, which is the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline. Good luck.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Call your local health department.
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Reply to Littlesister1

Where I live, there is a number to call. Start calling your health dept, City councilman or councilwoman for help.
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Reply to MaryKathleen

Keep hunting for a phone number, but in the meantime, check your local and chain pharmacies. You won't get the vaccine when you walk in, but they should be able to get you (or Mom) registered and onto the waiting list. Specify that you need telephone notification when appointments are offered.

This whole process is going to speed up and vaccines are gong to become increasingly accessible. Hang in there. She will find one.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie

There are usually phone numbers to call, like your health department, to assist with signing up. The news shares contact numbers quite often. Or you can just call your local health department (both counties and cities have sites set up in Texas) and ask for information. You may even have a 211 or 311 number in your area to address all kinds of needs.
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Reply to my2cents

with great difficulty, if at all. But as they finally have realized this issue, there is might want to check in with your local area agency on aging. Most if not all areas of the country are covered by one. I have the unenviable task of contacting a list of providers (usually a local newspaper or the to local board of health by now has put one together) and checking to see on what the process is for the providers. And yes, the majority do require, at least here in our area internet access(plus of course a computer and ability to use it) for pre registering or scheduling. A massive challenge if ever there was one. BUT our local AAA now has a 24/7 hotline to answer questions and help people navigate it all even helping to register and schedule, based on the caller's location so they can go closest to home. It should not have to be so hard, but for now it is, and progress is being made to make it easier. If connecting with the local AAA doesn't work, then if you want to help I'd look up local drug store chains. We have at least one who was allowing people to call them or pre register in person. Good luck!
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Reply to gdaughter

In Jacksonville, FL., you just cxall a toll free number, leave your name, phone #, age, job or other qualifying info. In about n3 days you get a callback with your appt. date and time.

The process varies from county to county in Florida.
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Reply to garylee

I feel for both of you. I know that it must be frustrating for you and I am sure that it is difficult for your mom to understand as well.

Most of us have acknowledged enormous gratitude to the scientists that have developed the vaccine.

Think about how our world was before vaccines were created.

I remember how grateful my parents were for the polio vaccine. My grandmother lost a child to polio.

The COVID-19 vaccine came out rather quickly and distribution has been somewhat unorganized.

People can call the phone numbers mentioned or go online for information.

Some people are finding out through health care portals.

There are extra vaccines out there. They become available for a variety of reasons. A few of us are fortunate to receive them.

People are signing up on multiple sites, then don’t notify the other sites, therefore creating surplus dosages.

Your mom is used to obtaining a vaccine easily, such as when she receives her flu shot.

Reassure her that you are doing your best to help her acquire her vaccination as quickly as possible.

Best of luck to you and your mom.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Just a word of warning.

I have read on Reddit that men and women in Europe who have taken the vaccine have died from it ( I think it was with in two days). Not everyone of course but that is one thing they are rioting about there is the citizens refuse to take it because of this.

You might want to go on to find articles about covid.

Being a naturalpath for over forty years I prefer to make sure I take vitamin b, c, d, exercise every day and get the proper sleep. This my way of dealing with my life and have not been sick a day in my life for over forty years.
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Reply to Christservant
disgustedtoo Feb 5, 2021
While your hero Dr Mercola does promote *some* sensible health practices (eating non-processed foods, getting exercise, etc.) he also promotes his own *business*, raking in some 7mil in 2010 alone:

"The site and his company, Mercola LLC, brought in roughly $7 million in 2010 through the sale of a variety of alternative medicine treatments and dietary supplements. The site promotes a number of disproven health ideas, including the notion that homeopathy can treat autism, and that vaccinations have hidden detriments to human health."

NOTE: dietary supplements, in particular Vitamins, are NOT regulated and as long as the seller makes no outlandish claims about efficacy, they are left alone to self-regulate.

While some of his *practices* and *claims* may have some truth in them, for the most part this person comes off as a modern day snake-oil salesman. For the record, I do not espouse drugs - if there is a healthy alternative, I would prefer doctors promote that before jumping to medications. Some hypertension, diabetes II, high cholesterol CAN be managed and/or reversed with a healthy diet and exercise, but some cannot. Most of his *claims* have no studies behind them, just rhetoric that supports his claims.

As for the deaths post-vaccine, there have been a handful of deaths occurring vs the MILLIONS of doses given. MANY of those deaths were either elderly with serious underlying conditions, or was a result of contracting the virus BEFORE the vaccination can provide protection, sometimes before the second dose is administered.***

"Protection begins seven to 14 days after the second vaccination (depending on the vaccine) so it is possible to become ill and die from COVID-19 after receiving only the first dose."

"I have read on Reddit..."

So, if I join Reddit or FB or some other social media site, or make my own website and promote my own cure for $20 a pop, and 2 million people buy into my quackery, I could make quite a profit (40mil!) Depending on what "cure" I use, it would cost me little or nothing for it and ALL of it would be pocketed. Hmmm, maybe I should consider this...

Don't believe everything you read on some social media page or website. For every one of those, there are LEGIT sites and reports that can refute those ridiculous claims.

Have you tried hydroxychloroquine? Ingesting bleach? Sticking a bright light up your butt? THOSE were claims by the messiah. HE took that drug, a DRUG mind you, and it did NOT protect him, did it?

***Had my mother had her second stroke a little later, AFTER getting the first vaccine, or even the second one, people on your "social media" pages might attribute her passing to the vaccine. Nope. She was 97, with dementia and high BP, and had the first stroke around Labor Day. SHE was vulnerable, but NOT to the vaccine.

(side note - I think MOST people today understand that tanning beds are NOT a healthy way to "look" healthy. Your Doc sold these and had to pay a huge fine AND reimburse those who bought them: "In 2016, Mercola agreed to pay up to $5.3 million restitution after federal regulators complained that he made false claims about tanning beds that he sold.")
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What does your state Dept. of Health advise on their website?

Here in PA I was able to register several people online for vaccines at Rite Aid through their direct website ( Not sure if this is only for PA or other states as well. There is an online health questionnaire form to complete and then you have to sign (a challenge using a mouse) and then you get scheduled. It was easy and my husband and I got the vaccine yesterday.

My SIL and her husband, and my aunt, are older and do not have Internet access so I registered them.
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Reply to TekkieChikk

While you may have to pick through the "hits", the easiest way to find your own sign up site/instructions is search:

sign up for vaccine in XX

where XX is your state's 2 letter designation. Funny that for NY and CA, the first hit was the right one. My own state? Nope. Had to weed through some news postings to find it!
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Reply to disgustedtoo

I have a friend whose mom has the same queation;we are in NYC.

As mentioned, this has to do with how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must be stored.

If she is willing to wait for the J&J vaccine, access may be better.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
disgustedtoo Feb 4, 2021
Countrymouse provided the phone number, but my reply to her comment includes the web site, which has a lot more information. While likely their preference is to have it all done online, if you read through the web page, there are options, including that filling in the required form after getting an appt can be done at the vaccine site as well.

I'm sure there's at least one person with enough brains on board to know there are going to be a lot of people who don't have internet access, esp elders. There are some who are computer savvy, but there are others who are not or just don't have the money for the equipment and service.

Check out the web page and let your friend know!
"You can also call the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829)."

If you know of any seniors who don't have internet access, give them that number. I got it from NY state website via the CDC, took me about five minutes to find it.

I can't speak for what's going on anywhere else, but I do know that where I live GPs' practices are on the phone round the clock contacting every person who is eligible. I expect every practice in every jurisdiction is doing its best, and it won't come as news to anyone in health care that seniors, the most vulnerable group in this context, are often not online.
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Reply to Countrymouse
NeedHelpWithMom Feb 2, 2021
Wonderful reply! Thanks for providing this information for her, CM!
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Tell her that the current vaccines need to be refrigerated well below freezing and this take equipment that isn't widely available. Tell her vaccines currently in testing will be one shot, and will not require this freezing. Tell her that this is all new and we are all doing the best we can and that meanwhile, given that every state, indeed every country has their own ways of doing things, it is somewhat chaotic.
I called my Kaiser appointment line and never did go online here in California. While I was on the phone for THREE HOURS waiting, it did get done. I can't speak for New York. I am wishing all good luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
worriedinCali Feb 2, 2021
Non-kaiser patients in Cali have to register through a website, I think each county has their own registration portal.
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