NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – There were widespread reports of glitchy web pages and long wait times as newly eligible New Yorkers looked to make vaccine appointments on Sunday, a City Council member says.
New York state expanded vaccine eligibility to New Yorkers with many comorbidities, including cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, starting on Monday. Those residents were able to start making appointments on Sunday.
But with another round of eligibility expansion came another round of complaints.
“There were plenty of glitches, missing text. At times the site didn’t work on mobile,” City Councilman Mark Levine said.
Levine said the “state’s website was overwhelmed” Sunday and that he heard from some people who spent hours hitting refresh and trying different browsers, doing anything and everything to score a slot.
Levine is filing a bill in the City Council that would force the city to create one, unified website, bringing every scheduling system together.
“With the full resources of the city government, we can and should do better, and that’s the goal of our legislation,” Levine said. “Just like when you book an airline reservation, you can go to a single travel website and it brings together many, many different booking systems.”
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said it would review the legislation but that “the city has gone to great lengths to improve our websites and make this process easier for all New Yorkers.”
Jack Sterne, a spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, tweeted that the site “isn’t ‘glitchy’ or ‘crashing’—that’s false.”
“It’s working as intended to manage flow so it DOESN’T crash,” Sterne wrote.
Sterne said more than 100,000 appointments were booked on Sunday, which amounted to 350 appointments a minute.