Coronavirus News: Canceled COVID vaccine appointment frustrates 88-year-old grandmother

COVID-19 News and Information
LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- One 88-year-old grandmother said she felt frustrated and furious after getting confirmed, then abruptly canceled out of getting her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

"I was excited and very happy especially because I could protect those I love," Josephine (Jo) Racer said was when she got an emailed confirmation from New York State, saying she was scheduled - on the first of next month at Jones Beach - to get the first shot of the COVID vaccine.

Racer could finally stop worrying about the possibility of infecting her kids and grandkids she lives with.

"The only way I can help them is by helping myself," she said.

However, the very next morning her joy turned to despair when she got this email telling her when the vaccine appointment was canceled.

"I was not a happy camper," her daughter-in-law Amy Mogel said.

She tried calling and emailing the state -- even went to local legislators, but she was shut out on getting the shot.

"Jones Beach has no appointment available," Mogel said.

She's worried because her mom has a heart condition and her dad goes to Dialysis every day.

"My mom's 88," Mogel said. "She had emergency stents put in back in September, and she's that much more vulnerable."

7 On Your Side decided to contact the state's Department of Health.

And hours later, they said it identified the error in its system and apologized to Racer for the inconvenience. By the end of the day, 7 On Your Side called Racer's family, letting them know it reinstated her original appointment to get the vaccine.

"Thanks so much for being so thoughtful and compassionate," Racer said.

The state's health department released a statement on the incident:

"This issue is separate from the fraudulent links for sites not open yet that was referred to at the briefing. This is a situation where people clicked on a link in the confirmation email and may not have realized they were canceling their appointments. We have made changes to the system to prevent this from happening again. We encourage people to visit our website."

Click here to determine eligibility and schedule appointments at New York State-run vaccination sites or call our hotline at 1-833-697-4829.

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