Having trouble finding a COVID-19 vaccination appointment? These online resources can help

Having trouble finding a COVID-19 vaccination appointment? These online resources can help

Monday marks the first day of widespread eligibility across the U.S. for a COVID-19 vaccination, but some people have still struggled to find appointments. While luck does play a part in success, you can increase your chances by tuning into crowdsourced info and using websites that crawl vaccine appointment pages for open time slots.

Here are several COVID-19 vaccination resources we’ve used, listed in order of success, along with some general tips.

Already got jabbed? We also have some tips for keeping your vaccination card safe.

Facebook Groups

This method is word-of-mouth on steroids. Look for a local vaccine-themed group where members frequently share new appointment availability (sometimes referred to as “drops”), info on walk-up locations, and the best times to hunt for appointments on pharmacy, local health care provider, and mass vaccination websites. The best groups also give rundowns on their vaccination experiences at different sites so others will know what to expect for parking, wait times, etc.

In our experience, these communities are extremely helpful in guiding others through specific situations and offering tailored advice. Some individuals even generously volunteer to book appointments on behalf of people struggling to find an appointment.

To find a Facebook Group for your area, search for the name of your city or region plus “vaccine hunters,” “vaccine help,” or “vaccine info.” Select “Groups” in Facebook’s search results filter to more easily find a match.

Join more than one group if you can—being part of both a city-specific and regional one provides a good cross-section of information. For some places, the best group may focus on your whole state.

Health care provider notification lists

Local health care provider networks typically allow members to sign up to be notified when they’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. (Some allow non-members to create an account for this purpose, too.) While getting a heads-up in this manner isn’t a guarantee of availability, anecdotally, our friends and family found open time slots after receiving a text or email saying that they could schedule an appointment. In fact, in areas hustling to get vaccines into arms, you may find that you’ll receive a notification before your own independent search bears fruit.

Websites that find COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Sites like VaccineFinder and VaccineSpotter crawl pharmacy websites to find open appointments, and usually let you filter your search by distance and type of vaccine. Often they’ll ferret out a less traveled location in your area that you may not have thought of otherwise.

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