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  • Julie Katz

How to snag a COVID-19 vaccine

There are no guarantees but here are some tips


With too few vaccines and such high demand, getting an appointment can be frustrating. Here are some tips to increase your odds:



  1. Make sure your age group has been called, otherwise you will be rejected.

  2. Make finding a vaccine a part time job. Work at it a few hours a day until you succeed.

  3. Try to register with as many places as possible. Health departments, drug stores and hospitals offer shots. Some may ask you to log-on with your ID, such as a hospital.

  4. If you are having trouble finding a vaccine online, have a younger relative help you.

  5. Health departments have a residency requirement but drug stores do not. When registering with a drug store, try several different zip codes that are twenty minutes away from you.

  6. If you can't get an appointment, try and try again. Try the website every hour or two each day for 10 - 12 hours a day. Appointments open up at different times and there seems to be no pattern because vaccine providers don't know when their next shipment is coming in and how many doses will be in it.

  7. Try a different browser.

  8. Be willing to drive a half hour or more for your appointment. Rural areas may get more doses than they can administer.

  9. Try to call pharmacies and ask if they take phone reservations. Some may hold a few doses for call-ins. Ask what happens if they have any extra doses at the end of the day and what they do with them. You may be able to go to the pharmacy at the end of the day and get a 'leftover'.

  10. Don't worry about being nice, be concerned with getting a vaccine. The pharmacy may be irritated if you call a few times, or try to register online and call but so what? Don't be worried about 'bothering' people. Assertive but nice makes a difference.

The most aggressive people who also have the ability to go online and drive far will be the ones who are vaccinated first. Many people, especially those in poverty and people of color have been left out of this vaccine race. Unfortunately, they are the ones who have been impacted the most by COVID-19.

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