As New York expands eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to millions more people, including those 75 years old and older, concerns are being raised about the steps it takes to register online for an appointment.
Harris Ton’s 85-year-old mother is among the new batch of New Yorkers now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. She stood in line — among many others — on Monday after making an appointment through one of the city’s websites.
But others who showed up at the Brooklyn Army Terminal vaccination site were left confused by a process too digitally advanced for them. Those who did not have an appointment were turned away and told to call the city’s new hotline if they’re unable to complete registration online.
The hopeful but rejected walk-ins illustrate how dependent the appointment process is on technology and digital literacy.
New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer on Sunday called the online vaccine registration process a "major problem," especially for older residents.
The [Health Department] site for signing up for a COVID vaccination is complex, burdensome, and buggy,” Stringer said on Twitter.
According to the comptroller, the Health Department’s website features a multi-step verification process just to set up an account. Then users looking to make a vaccine appointment have to complete a six-step registration process that includes as many as 51 questions or fields to fill out and requires uploading images of an insurance card.