Stop waiting for COVID Godot


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.

Yes, please.

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.

Jerald Kreppel

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Jerald Kreppel,