Tips for obtaining the hard to get Covid vaccine appointments

BeautifulDay

Senior Member
Messages
370
Likes
1,137
I've had to make several vaccine appointments for my senior parents, my special needs brother, me, and my kids with mitochondrial disease. Every state is different. In our state, we all qualify. Except for our 11 year old (who is too young). We've all had our first vaccines. I was able to get these appointments at 3 different vaccine sites.

Here are my tips.

1) If you are not computer savvy or do not have a computer, ask a friend to make your appointment for you. My parents and brother never would have gotten appointments.

2) If you hear of a friend getting an appointment, ask how they did it. Online, link, day of week, time of day?

3) Keep trying. Around the clock anytime I was awake, I'd try the various sites.

4) Over time I learned which sites released appointments what days and times. One site released them far out once a week. One site released all the next week appointments at 8 a.m on the prior Friday. One site released them every weekday at 8:30 a.m. for appointments 7 days out.

5) Once I figured out when a site released appointments, I'd push refresh on the site for the 5 minutes following expected release. Example, the site that released new appointments for 7 days out at 8:30 a.m., at around 8:33 am after pushing refresh multiple times I'd be able to get one appointment for a family member before they'd all disappear. So doing this a few days in a row, I was able to get several family members appointments at this site.

6) I had to learn what each site asked for and type very quickly. Example, I needed everyone's birthdays and social security numbers readily available. I learned if I took time to put in insurance information (insurance company, group number, member i.d.), that would lead to me losing the appointment to someone else. Best to put "no insurance" and N/A quickly and present insurance card at site on the day of the vaccine. Also if they list multiple times dont pick top ones or bottom ones, as more people do that and again they'll disappear.

7) If you get an appointment a long way out, take it and keep looking for a sooner appointment. When you get one, you can cancel the farther out appointment. People cancel appointments. So keep checking.

8) Its a numbers game, you're more likely to win the more you play. So keep checking the sites.

9) Be careful of hackers that create fake vaccine websites. They want your information.

I hope this helps!
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
3,619
Likes
6,227
Yes, and here (TX) we have drugstores that are giving a few vaccines, but do let people in the store have them if they want just to completely empty the vaccine bottles.

I agree....ask, ask and ask again. No one thinks you're crazy b/c most people are scurrying about trying to get the immunizations themselves. It does help to have a doctor send in a request for you. I was able to get an appt. at a newly opened vaccine site for just one week out. My husband had the Moderna vaccine and has to travel a much longer distance for it, but he also has a date for the second dose. I assume I'll get mine on Saturday. This I think if the Johnson & Johnson one (one dose, too) goes through final testing without a hitch, we should be in much better shape within the next 2 mos. I hope so....for the sake of those who want it.

Also saw something interesting on the news last night. Women undergoing fertility treatments are afraid to have the immunization b/c they've been told that it could cause antibodies against any implantation. Where that came from, I have no idea. I think this is a group that really doesn't know what to do, pregnant or not, and needs special guidance. Won't we be glad when this is all settled for those who want the vaccine? Yours, Lenora.
 

Zebra

Senior Member
Messages
613
Likes
2,502
Location
Northern California
Hi @BeautifulDay

I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to write up all these tips!

Today I spent my afternoon working the phone and filling out online vaccination appointment forms trying to get my 86 year old mother her first vaccination. It was a series of dead ends, and it really wiped me out. I will resume the fight on Monday.

Thanks again for sharing your experience and what you learned from it. Really appreciate it!

P. S.: It does no good to say this, but I sure wish this vaccine rollout had been done better. Feels like it's "every man for themselves" out there, and I wish I had more stamina to help my awesome mom, who, BTW, recently survived an emergency hospitalization during a COVID surge. We are so lucky!!!
 
Messages
6,180
Likes
14,473
Location
South east England
P. S.: It does no good to say this, but I sure wish this vaccine rollout had been done better. Feels like it's "every man for themselves" out there
Over here it's being done by the NHS. We have 9 different priority groups and the NHS contacts people in order of the risk of serious illness or death. Nobody can jump the queue. It's free for everyone and it's all going very well. About the only success we have had here.
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
3,619
Likes
6,227
Hello Everyone....I did have the first round of a Pfizer Vaccine today. It went extremely well, I can't fault one single thing. I was in and out in 30 minutes, including the 15 minute wait time for reactions. Thus far, nothing although I think my arm may be a little sore. Nothing to report on, really.

Everyone here is eligible for free vaccinations, and I'm still rather surprised at the sheer numbers of people who don't want it. I'll be returning in 3 weeks for my second vaccination. My husband will receive his (at a different location) on Thursday coming.

If this goes as smoothly as this did today, there should be no complaints. Out of interest, I asked an EMT guy if he'd had any problems with reactions. His answer: They hadn't had one all week. So I consider that to be good news and I'm thankful for all the people who volunteered their time and expertise. There were so many of them. Yours, Lenora.
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
3,619
Likes
6,227
It's too bad that your 85 yr. old mother can't get the vaccine. I would absolutely would keep checking back and back again as far the as the list goes. You don't have to go to any one specific location here, so perhaps you could go more and more afield than you're thinking.

It's true that they could have done a better job with the rollout of the vaccine. Call your mother's doctor's office & see if there is anywhere new opening up that they know about. Good luck. Yours, Lenora.
 

Gingergrrl

Senior Member
Messages
15,850
Likes
46,942

valentinelynx

Senior Member
Messages
1,306
Likes
3,450
Location
Tucson
Wow, you all qualify? Here in Tucson, AZ, they just started letting people 70+ get vaccinated. Next will be 65+ (probably not for a few weeks) and after that they'll get to group 1C, people with illnesses that put them at extra risk. At the rate things are going, I don't know if that will be before April or May.
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
3,619
Likes
6,227
Yes, @ Valentinelynx....We suddenly had what seems to be an explosion of vaccines. We even received a recorded call from another county saying that while we had been at 246,051, we had been moved up to the mid-40,000 range & we would receive another phone call (which we won't need).

You don't know what the serum will be until you're called about the vaccination, so if you're holding out for a special one (just Moderna & Pfizer here at the moment) you may have to wait for others. It did start with people over 70, then quickly moved down the list. I don't know what makes the difference...probably how much your state bought. I really don't know. Out of interest, the hand-out for the Pfizer Vaccine pointed out that the available vaccinations are not FDA approved. Yours, Lenora.