Emily Rotter with her husband Jonathan and sons, Jordan, at left, and ZackPhoto by Jo Bryan
By Sarah Martin
Last week, after New York State announced that all adults were now eligible for the vaccine, there was a mad dash to computers. I heard the news on a flight to Florida. After many attempts to connect via Jet Blue WiFi, I managed to secure an appointment for my 41-year-old husband in May — in Oneonta. “It’s only a five-hour drive from home,” I explained. “And I hear Oneonta is beautiful this time of year,” I added, not quite selling him on the ten-hour roundtrip drive.
Meanwhile, a friend texted me: “Did you get an appointment yet? If not, I have a friend who can help.” That friend is Emily Rotter, who has made it her mission to help family, friends, and strangers across Rye and the tri-state area get appointments for the Covid-19 vaccine.
When Emily, who is immuno-compromised, received her vaccine in early March, she felt a flood of relief. “I remember standing in my kitchen back in December, watching the news while my 3-year-old was eating breakfast. Seeing a nurse in New York City be the first to receive the vaccine, I couldn’t hold back tears. I don’t think I realized how much weight we’d all been carrying on our shoulders the past year, but I simultaneously recognized that we were all going to get through this soon.”
A friend of mine recently hired a “professional appointment searcher” for $200 to get an appointment this week. Emily provides her services free of charge. To date, she has made over 25 appointments, including one for my husband this Saturday at the County Center in White Plains.
As a mother of two young boys, free time is <not> something Emily has in excess, but out of the kindness of her heart she has spent countless hours faithfully hitting refresh on her computer. Her technique for bookings: keeping multiple windows open and having such fast thumbs that the system briefly locked her out assuming she was a robot.
“Every time I get someone an appointment, it makes me feel great because one more person is protected,” she said brightly.
If you need an appointment, Emily says she’s happy to help. Email her at