HV Residents Can Enter a Vaccine ‘Lottery’ to Receive Their Shot
If you're eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and can't seem to make an appointment, perhaps luck will be on your side.
A change to how Dutchess County residents can receive their vaccines is aimed at making the system fairer and less frustrating, but some aren't happy with the thought of leaving their health up to chance.
This week, County Executive Marc Molinaro announced that those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the county points of dispensing, or PODs, will need to fill out a new form that will essentially enroll them in a lottery for a limited amount of appointments.
Previously, those who were eligible for vaccines would sign up for text or email alerts to let them know when appointments were available. Then, they would need to rush to the website to sign up. Most were left angry and frustrated when those appointments were gobbled up quicker than a Playstation 5.
The new system will simply pick a random group of eligible residents and send them messages letting them know when they can show up for their vaccine. Similar to a lottery, the idea is to make the playing field more even, and lower the stress levels of those who have been shut out of appointments in an unsuccessful attempt to refresh their browser the fastest.
Most people are happy with the plan, but some have complained that changing the rules now, just when they have figured out a "system" for snagging an appointment, is unfair. Some also say they would rather put the fate of their health in their own hands instead of leaving it up to chance. Others are suspicious of which eligible groups will be given priority over others.
Of course, no one will ever agree on how to fairly dole out the highly coveted vaccines, but proponents of the new system say that it simply makes the most sense. They also point out that those who still wish to seek out their own appointment are more than welcome to do so.
The new sign-up system is only in place for the Dutchess County PODs. Residents can still book their own appointments at state-run sites and pharmacies. A list of all locations, with links to their sign-up pages, is available on the Dutchess County website.
In a live address on Wednesday, Molinaro urged patience. With millions of New York residents eligible for a vaccine and a limited supply coming in each week, it will take some time before most people will be able to make an appointment.