CAPTIAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – When it comes to scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine, some people who thought they had an appointment were surprised Friday morning when they learned it wasn’t legitimate.
Saratoga County resident Judy Krekower is 1 of the 7 million New Yorkers currently eligible to get the vaccine. She was eager to get on her laptop and schedule an appointment.
Last week, Judy booked an appointment to get a vaccine through the State Department of Health’s website. The website told her to go 800 North Pearl Street in Menands for an appointment at the Capital District Regional Office. Fast forward a few days, with her printed receipt she showed up Friday morning for her 9 a.m. appointment, but when she got to the parking lot of the building, nothing was there.
Once she arrived at the site, she knew something wasn’t right. “right away… there were no signs saying park here, nothing,” says Judy. Judy wasn’t alone. While she was there, a handful of people were also there hopeful for a shot but were turned away too. Around 10 a.m. this morning, judy received an email that appears to be from the State Department of Health that her 9 a.m. appointment had been cancelled.
NEWS10 reached out to the NYSDOH and received this statement below.
This was a fraudulent link for an invalid vaccination site. The only way for people to determine eligibility and schedule appointments at New York state-run vaccination sites is to visit our website or call our hotline at 1-833-697-4829.Jill Montag, Public Information Officer for New York State Department of Health
Judy doesn’t believe this was a fraudulent link or scam. “Obviously, if they cancelled it, they were aware of it,” she says.
State officials said they were aware that unpublished links were being shared without authorization. Governor Cuomo commented on this issue during his COVID-19 briefing. “When you have 7 million people and you have this kind of demand, and when you say it’s a limited supply, you create tension and anxiety in and of itself. You are going to have fraud. You’re going to have a black market.”
Judy’s next step was to try the new state site at UAlbany. She was hopeful she could get a second chance at vaccination after sharing her story. She was denied again and told she needed to reschedule. With frustration after what happened, she was still determined to get a appointment.
Judy went back to square one, but she considers herself lucky because she was able to book a new appointment. She is making a drive out to Utica next Wednesday to get the vaccine.
Due of short supply, state officials continue to remind New Yorkers to be patient while booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment and they will continue to investigate fraud.