High volume shuts down NY COVID vaccine website 'temporarily'

Updated: January 15, 2021 06:24 PM
Created: January 15, 2021 12:34 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC has received several messages from viewers sharing difficulty accessing New York Sate's vaccine website, and now, a message has flashed to say the website is on pause for the moment.

After filling out an eligibility form, and attempting to schedule an appointment at one of many of the state's announced sites, people were welcomed with a message saying: "Due to high volume, this site is temporarily unavailable. Please be patient and try again later."

The state just launched appointments for the Dome Arena in Henrietta Friday. State leaders, like Fingers Lakes Regional Director Vincent Esposito, warned demand was would be high. In his Friday COVID briefing, Governor Cuomo said expanded eligibility guidelines spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control increased NY's eligible population to 7.1 million people, which is out of the 15.4 million who could eventually get the shot.

As far as supply goes, Governor Cuomo said Friday, the state would see a dip in doses next week, as its usual 300,000 weekly stock will drop to 250,000 first doses. The state clarified that this will not impact people who already received the first dose, as that stock is kept separate. Cuomo took aim at the federal government, which is responsible for distributing the vaccines to the states, he said the expanded eligibility was on the premise that supplies would be available. 

Cuomo clarified the state does not know if people with pre-existing conditions qualify for the vaccine, as it awaits federal word, if the approval came down, that would make an additional 5 million people eligible. 

Additionally,  on Thursday, the state reported an unauthorized link previously misled some people into believing they had set up an appointment. Melissa Derosa, who is the Secretary to the Governor said the state has launched an investigation into how the link got to people.

Outside of the state-run clinics, locally, healthcare systems have launched appointment-only efforts, including Rochester Regional Health, and then, on Friday, both the University of Rochester Medical Center and Jordan Health announced efforts. In these cases, a person's doctor, or the health system itself will contact people to set up the appointment. 

Additionally, the state offers a phone line, where you  call 833-NYS-4-VAX

We will continue to follow this story.

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