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Here’s how to sign up for your vaccine

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The distribution of vaccines to those over 65 years old continued in New York state as of Jan. 28. Despite the slowly unraveling process, most appointments to receive a shot will eventually need to be made through various government-run websites.

It’s no secret: Appointments for the coming weeks are booked. New York receives roughly 250,000 doses of the vaccine every week from the federal government, a portion of which is allocated to Nassau County. More than 55,000 vaccinations have been administered in the county, which has more than 1.3 million residents.

Still, it can be helpful to know what to expect when navigating the unfamiliar — and sometimes dysfunctional — websites. To eventually receive the vaccine, an appointment is required. A vaccine will not be given without an appointment. 

In addition to those over 65, eligible groups include doctors, nurses and health care workers, first responders, teachers and public transit, grocery store and public safety workers. Eligibility will open to more residents in the coming weeks and months.

The New York state website, www.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov, features an “Am I Eligible” app, which can be used by residents to check their eligibility before making an appointment.

Also available is a list of all state-run vaccination sites in New York. Nassau County is home to one at Jones Beach, although like all other sites, no appointments are currently available. There are 11 other sites shown, all with limited availability.

Nassau County has also established its own website for vaccine information, www.nassaucountyny.gov/vaccine. Several more county-run sites are shown, including Nassau Community College in Garden City, the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury and Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, as well as five others. Appointments are limited here, too.

Appointments for all sites will continue to open as eligibility requirements expand and more vaccines are delivered to the state. All vaccines received by officials are required to be used, according to federal guidelines.

Residents will need to be diligent in making appointments once it’s their turn. Problems have been reported about the New York state website, including it being inundated with heavy traffic, according to Nassau County officials. Appointments across the state were also canceled because of low vaccine supply, according to The New York Times.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, county officials operated a pop-up vaccine site at Union Baptist Church in Hempstead. Roughly 150 vaccination shots were given to pre-selected community members over age 65. Similar pop-up sites are likely to appear.

“Once we get adequate vaccine supply from the federal government, Nassau County is committed to an equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine,” Executive Laura Curran said in a statement. “As part of our efforts, the county is working closely with trusted messengers to build confidence in an equitable process, and with established partners to directly increase access in the communities hardest hit by the pandemic. The county will continue to vaccinate as many residents as we can across all communities so we can definitively win this war, get our lives back and get our economy roaring.”

The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which are being used in the county, require two doses. The state site should automatically schedule your second appointment, while county officials will reach out to residents who received their first doses at a county-run site.