If you have been trying to get an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine and have not, you are going through the same anxiety, frustration, and sleepless nights that I did. If you can call searching the internet day and night resourceful, then I guess I am resourceful in that respect because I received my first vaccine on Jan. 25, just before my deadline on this column.
Rather than bore you with my personal experience once I arrived at my vaccine site – for example standing on a line in below freezing temperatures for 45 minutes, only get in another line inside for 30 minutes to register for the second vaccine, and then another line to finally get the vaccine – I will just give you the current situation on vaccines in New York, after I give you some Covid-19 facts.
The Moderna Covid19 vaccine may not protect everyone. The duration of protection against Covid-19 is currently unknown. There is a chance the Moderna vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, weakness, etc. In my case, I could not fall asleep the first night. The vaccine is yet unproven, but in a clinical trial, it was shown to PREVENT Covid-19 following two doses given one month apart.
The stress involved in trying to find an available vaccine is one of the most stressful things I have ever had to go through, as you, because no one wants to die. The shortage of vaccines is inexcusable, but you know with whom the blame lies.
My county ran out of vaccines. The major state vaccine areas – such as the Javits Center, Westchester County Center – HAD NOT HAD ANY AVAILABLE APPOINTMENTS FOR OVER A WEEK, with appointments scheduled into April already!
New York City vaccine sights also have zero vaccines, so thousands of appointments had to be CANCELLED. With President Biden’s commitment to 150 million vaccines in 100 days, shortly, the over-burdened need for vaccines should be reduced, along with our blood pressure.
You should be aware that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams publicly stated that taxi drivers and FHV drivers should be prioritized for vaccines, along with health care workers and seniors. Since TLC-licensed drivers may drive dozens of people in their vehicles daily, it only makes sense to have all licensed TLC drivers vaccinated immediately.
The craziness we have been tossed in the middle of will wind down shortly as vaccine producers are ramping up production, and on January 26, the United States purchased 200 million more doses for Americans.
Do not make yourself sick over not having an appointment or having an appointment cancelled. You will be able to schedule an appointment for a vaccine in a few weeks or a few months… but they are coming!
UBER: The shameful part of NOT being looked upon as an employee during this Covid-19 time is not making UBER responsible for an unemployment claim, not having any company health insurance, no guaranteed income, no pension, no sick leave etc.
I tip my hat to Colin Lowry, then upstate driver, whose claim to the NYS Department of Labor found that he was an EMPLOYEE of UBER! Uber of course objected, and of course the determination stood. UBER appealed, and finally, the New York State SUPREME COURT ruled last month that Uber exercised enough control over its drivers to establish an employment relationship with them. This was and is because UBER controls drivers’ access to their passengers, calculates and collects fares and drivers’ rate of compensation.
Also cited besides UBER controlling the vehicle used, was that UBER provides a navigation system, tracks the driver’s location on the app throughout the trip, and reserves the right to adjust the fare if the driver takes a longer or inefficient route.
That said, you should be aware that UBER has spent $2.5 million dollars in lobbying in Washington in 2020 and LYFT spent $2.2 million in Washington lobbying last year as well. I believe UBER and LYFT are counting on silent help from the former chief Counsel of UBER and current husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, along with their generous political contributions to attain a federal law which would supersede state law, and once again leave us drivers to fend for ourselves financially.
Make no mistake: The fact that UBER stock jumped 46% over the past 12 months… just maybe, insiders know more than we do.
I wish all of you the best of luck in getting an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine soon. Stay well, stay healthy, be happy, because brighter days are coming. Wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance, and let’s get Covid-19 under control together.