To the editor:
Waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Montefiore Hospital is like waiting for Godot. It never arrives.
Here is what I experienced:
I am older than 65. I am a Montefiore patient. My primary care physician is in the Montefiore network.
When people older than 65 became eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, I called my primary care physician’s office. I get a recorded announcement telling me to call a number at Montefiore.
I call the Montefiore number. I get a recorded announcement. I leave my name and number to be put on a vaccine waiting list.
On Feb. 1, I get a text message from something called “Lumalink” that says “Montefiore patients 65 and over can now self-schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.” Lumalink gives me a link to click on to schedule the appointment. Great. I click this link and get a message saying “SSL connection error.”
I do this several times, and get the same message.
I then try calling the LumaLink number that sent me the text. I get a recorded announcement that says “this number is out of service.” I try this several times, and get the same message.
I then go on to the Montefiore My Chart. I click on the link to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination, and register myself. I wait. I don’t hear anything.
On Feb. 17, I go over to the Montefiore hospital to find out what is going on. I get sent from one office to another. Nobody knows anything. They tell me there is not even a computer list that they can check to see if I am even on the waiting list.
One lady suggests that I go over to “the Hutch, that’s where they give the shots.” What is “the Hutch”?
She tells me that it’s a Montefiore facility near the Hutchinson River Parkway. She says that maybe they have the waiting list there.
I walked out of Montefiore.
The next day, I walk into the city’s health department office on Worth Street. There, a man greets me in the lobby, takes my name and information, and puts me on the list.
I figured this would be another “Waiting for Godot.” But to my surprise, on Feb. 21, I get a call from the health department telling me that they have appointments available on the following Wednesday. Would I like one? At the Ford Foundation, no less.
I was scheduled to receive my COVID-19 vaccination that afternoon. I still haven’t heard from Montefiore.
Moral of the story? Don’t waste your time and endanger your health waiting for Montefiore.