If you’ve struggled before succeeding in lining up a Covid-19 vaccination, you know how frustrating the process can be. Imagine doing it 25 times.
Huntington resident Michelle Troiano has been helping others maneuver through the sometimes maddening system of claiming what seems to be rare openings before someone else does. As of Tuesday, she had assisted at least 25 people eager for protection against the virus, including some people who didn’t have access to computers or couldn’t figure out how to follow website directions.
“The more people vaccinated, the quicker we go through this,” she said. “If I can help, I’m blessed to be able to do this.” She also has driven a couple of people without transportation to appointments at the state Jones Beach vaccination site.
She said she discovered a few tricks while helping others, starting with persistence, noting that sometimes sites say there are no appointments are available but then openings appear. “You have to keep trying,” she said, noting that she’s spent 6 consecutive hours online trying to book appointments.
She also said that using multiple screens and browsers sequentially helped, but above all, a key to succeeding is remaining patient and calm through the process.
“I can’t sit back and watch people be so negative” about the process, she said. “This is the hardest rollout where individuals are so frustrated.”
Fifteen people she helped get appointments at Stony Brook University were among the 20,000 who lost their reservations when the state discovered an unauthorized link had circulated and canceled them.
She plans to get a tattoo with the names of the people she’s assisted when the epidemic is over.