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People registered to get COVID vaccine turned away at Niagara Street health care provider

2 On Your Side heard from some frustrated viewers who were registered to get Moderna's COVID vaccine and had appointments, but were turned away at the last moment.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As New York state continues to try to keep up with demand of COVID vaccine, 2 On Your Side has heard from some viewers who had appointments to get the vaccine Thursday but were turned away from a local health care provider.

This all started after some frustrated viewers told us about what happened at Urban Family Practice on Niagara Street.

People here waited hours to get the shot and then were turned away after others who were not registered got the shot.

Urban Family Practice is run by Dr. Raul Vazquez. He says his practice got 500 doses of vaccine this week and ran out of doses Thursday when there was a line of more than 60 people trying to get the Moderna vaccine.

Dr. Vazquez said many people were pre-registered, but there were others who were not registered who still fell within Phase 1 prioritization and who got the shot as walk-ins.

Others who had been waiting hours and were registered were turned away.

"We were also trying to be sort of helpful, and we did some walk-ins of some police officers, teachers and fire individuals because it’s first responders. I think they’re all scrambling trying to do this on their own," Dr. Vazquez said.

"I apologize to the viewer, and I apologize for the inconvenience."

One viewer who contacted us and was turned away was older than 65.

Dr. Vazquez tells us that people who were turned away have been put on a waiting list to get the vaccine whenever additional doses come in.

"As soon as we get the vaccines, we’re going to be reaching out to these individuals telling them okay this is your scheduled appointment," Dr. Vazquez said. 

Urban Family Practice says it wasn’t trying to play favorites, they were just trying to get the vaccine out as fast as possible and going forward will still take walk-ins because there are no shows.

Dr. Vazquez also says this is just another example of how more vaccine is needed.

"Are we going to be perfect? No. Is it what we have to do to grow? Yes," he added. 


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