Finally, another thread to vent and share your “why is it so fucking hard to get an appointment” vaccination woes!
It can also be a place where you can share any hot tips about how to locate the vaccine in your particular state or area.
If any of the stickers speak to you, let me know which one you want.
Or, you can have the ever-calming Penelope sticker.
*All hail MazeDancer for the stickers.
This thread is in the sidebar along with the I Got the Shot! threads.
I keep getting reminder e-mails to come get my first shot.
I had it March 20th.
I want my second shot and all but jeez there has to be a record somewhere that I had it already!
I’m another one of those people who looked for a red county and found an appointment there. In fact, as I look at the Wayne County (NC) health department page, they have 60+ appointment slots for Monday.
It certainly looks like rural Trump-voting counties are the place to get shots if you can get there: https://www.thedailybeast.com/vaccine-hunters-target-trump-counties-for-easy-appointments
I got an appointment for the vaccine at my local clinic. If you click their “COVID-19 Information” link, they take you to a page which basically says, Hey we’ll call you when it’s time, don’t bother us in the meantime. But if you use the standard appointment mechanism there is an option to select a lab appointment for the COVID-19 vax. It’s there, but hidden in plain sight. My appointment is on a Sunday in a rural TFG-friendly area.
New Deal democrat
The proper name is, “Vaccination Hunger Games.”
I called a toll-free number setup by my blue state gov’t. The first day their systems were down, and (as someone who has to sometimes answer a phone about systems not working) i was nice to the woman, especially since their job was so important.
The next morning I made an appointment across the street from my workplace. It’s for Monday after next, and the followup in four weeks after that.
I lucked out.
I also had much better going there than on two big websites (localized to my state, I believe).
Colorado just started general availability today. Probably going to take weeks for an appointment, but still good news :)
Hot tip! Join the military and get the shot early.
If you’re within driving distance from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the mass vaccination site in Salisbury does not check ID and is taking anyone who shows up. My college student son and a high school senior friend (who didn’t have any ID) got their first shots today – Pfizer.
I was extremely skeptical of Maryland’s pre-registration system (you register as soon as you meet the latest eligibility requirements and they’re supposed to call you as soon as they have appointments available at one of the mass vax cites), but I actually got a call today – 10 days after my eligibility window opened. I scheduled my first appointment for next week and the second for three weeks later. It was so easy!
For my husband, I went on the CVS and Safeway websites and scouted every location in the state until I found one with an available appointment. The first couple times I tried the appointments were gone by the time I finished completing the form, but I was finally able to get one for next week at a Safeway 15 miles away.
I’ll go out on a limb and say blind, dumb luck may be the biggest factor in determining ease of vaccine scheduling. At least is was for us. My wife and I are just plain dumb lucky to live in a county that generally is pretty ahead of things especially considering we are in Florida. I didn’t get us in on the first round of weekly vaccines because I didn’t yet know about it (we are olds and were in the first cohort of citizen vaccine recipients) but I did get us in on the second. Then I made a reservation in our county for my wife’s sister who lives in an adjacent county in which the online reservation system was (is still?) a shambles. Now, since vaccines are open for all over 18 beginning next week, yesterday I made reservations in my county for my daughter and her husband who live two counties away. She had tried everything people had told to her to do to no avail.
Now before you start asking “Where is this wonderful county” and “How can I live there in peace and harmony with a universe gone mad”, I must mea culpa that until recently, my county also employed a certain Mr. Greenberg as county tax collector so there’s that.
Another piece of luck that helped us was that I spend a fair amount of time reading news online, especially local bits since we don’t watch any news programs on the television machine.
Granted we had the advantage of being old enough to be among the first eligible and there was less competition for spots (though at the beginning, 900-1200 appointments per week were being sucked up within 30 minutes of becoming available). However, I will continue to consider ease of obtaining a vaccine to be mostly dependent on where you live and how likely you are to have current information about registering for vaccines.
Just my point of view.
We wondered how to go about making an appointment, who to call and so forth. I looked at the county health dept web site and found a contact number. I gave them our info and we got a call and texts when they had the vaccine on hand to open slots. We were snowed in when they called with our first opportunity but the next call came a few days later. One thing that grumped me a little was that they didn’t automatically make an appointment for the second shot when I was in for the first. Had to call them back to make one.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
I am pre-registered in PA so I get to see the weekly email updates that no, we’re (Pennsylvania) still in group 1A, maybe halfway through, we’ll finish any week now, no idea when we’ll get to anyone else.
However there was a shift in the last couple days, starting with President Joe’s new accelerated deadlines. The state says they have improved supply lines and can plan better and farther out, and the county says that the state finally pulled their heads out of their asses and gave the counties more autonomy.
Bottom line: Group 1B opens on Monday, 1C the week after that, and the general unwashed masses (that’s me) on Apr 19.
Not that I expect a vaccine in April, but at least expect I’ll be able to make an appointment.
The latest email update from the county, with snark about the state:
I used http://www.vaccinefinder.org to find my first shot. Easy to navigate the website, type in your zip code and select your search radius and it will pull up who has vaccine in stock and the type. You also can filter for the shot you want J&J, Pfizer, or Modena. Then from there you can go to the providers website to make your appointment.
@JB: Wow, that’s amazing. Red county fools don’t want their shots. I can’t wait for the first country song about that.
On Tuesday, after waiting in line 40 minutes for #1, my wife was told 2nd appointment had to be exactly 4 weeks in the future at the same time, and if that didn’t work, go home.
She stayed in line,got the shot,came home and called the number she had been given if she needed to reschedule. They said they can’t do that.
I am not exactly sure what you mean by that.
That is bizarre. I was given a window of several weeks.
I think pre-registration is the way to go. My parents have told me all kinds of horror stories about working with Oregon’s system, which doesn’t use preregistration. Instead of signing up once and waiting their turn, they had to try to sign up again and again, filling out page after page of information. Each time, the system would either crap out from being overloaded or tell them all the spots were taken. They finally got appointments, but it was a huge hassle.
Lauren Romeo, MD
Well, here’s my first comment ever on Balloon Juice…I’m a doctor treating SARs Covid-19 Patients and I got my Moderna vaccine in February, my husband just got his two days ago. I would like to tell everyone that this was just a DEM Hoax, as our last potus told us, but it’s not. I take care of patients in an LTAC hospital…Long Term Acute Care. That means ventilators and hemodialysis…etc. I see the people that survived but may or may not recover. Lots of deaths and lots of long term medical problems.
I can only be glad that we have a normally functioning POTUS now. Please take care of yourselves.
If and when you have time to do the Firefox tweak post, suggestion for a title, alliteration always being in style:
This NPR article on how to sign up for the vaccine may still be useful. Links to various states.
That’s how I got mine last month-90 minute drive into the heart of Trump country, where there were so many places offering I was able to choose which brand of shot I wanted. Second shot is set for April 12, but I’m okay to get it as of Thursday the 8th, so I’m going to call and see if I can come in Friday the 9th so as to have the weekend to recover since I had a strong immune response to the first shot.
@Lauren Romeo, MD: Welcome to commenting!
Your first comment had to be manually approved, but going forward they should go right through.
Unfortunately, I don’t love the troops :(
@NotMax: I have been thinking that Saturday afternoon seemed like a good time.
Nothing to share yet but love the duck!
I’m beginning to think about returning to the States, probably sometime in May, so getting vaccinated is on my mind. It isn’t feasible here in The Bahamas. I’ll have to traverse the entire East Coast to get to my doctor in Maine, who for the past two-plus months has been urging me to come in, so I need to research whether I can/ought to find a vaccination site on arrival in Florida, in Virginia where I’ll be for a while, or back in Maine. I think the sooner the better. Has anyone had experience getting the first and second doses in different places?
A Florida friend who was out of States and couldn’t make his appointment for the second shot signed up for another first shot and told the nurse who administered it actually was his second shot; they adjusted his records.
@zhena gogolia: so was I, and so were my sons.
@Lauren Romeo, MD:
Thank you — I can’t imagine what you’ve been through.
Lauren Romeo, MD
@NotMax: Love that.
I got my first shot last week at Ravens Stadium in Baltimore, where the University of Maryland Medical Center has set up. Web site:
New appointment slots become available at midnight, though I don’t know which days; the first time I checked at at 12:05 I got in. During the 15-minute waiting period after their shot, people make their next appointment.
Oregon’s site is not great. Alot of their links are to OHSU, which seems to have a 5 day rolling window of registration.
I used the CDC site and it basically showed me my pharmacy has appointments (and which vaccines they have). I linked through to the pharmacy and set up an appointment there for next week.
A bit nervous though since I haven’t received a confirmation email after several hours (I just made the appt. this morning).
@Yutsano: I wonder if it’s a WA thing. Three weeks AFTER receiving my 2nd Pfizer vaccination, I got a text telling me I was now eligible for my Covid vaccine shot. I replied I’d BEEN ELIGIBLE since Jan, and had received both already, but thanks anyway.??♀️
Oh yeah, I’m going through this today. What really torques my turtle is that there is a vaccination station about half a mile away from my house. When I call for an appointment, There is so much demand so I’m driving about 50 miles or so each way. If I have to go that far, I will. But I am going to try the local place. I’m walking up to the station. The guy told me to come back as they were closing down. Hopefully I might get some vaccine that isn’t being used.
Enderville Something I dunno
According to my brother it was easy to sign up for a vaccine appointment online. It was so easy he could do it blindfolded and with both arms tied. I set the process in motion so he could assist in getting my mother’s first shot. My father’s earlier was a chore as the county website wanted to know his vitals, insurance, etc. His Medicare card became stuck in the middle section of his wallet and would not come out. This added to the frustration as time was of the essence. Finally removed the information entered and … gone. Try again for another opening. Repeat. Eventually I snagged one. Could the expert genius do better? He admitted only to mom later that he was surprised all the spaces were filled in 13 minutes. He was typing and typing, cutting, pasting in the fields. Now that almost everyone is eligible for a vaccine I expect more pandemonium. Or you can somehow walk into a shot that’s available. Or have connections as most co-workers knew someone who knew somebody. “We got ours in January.”
Lauren Romeo, MD
@zhena gogolia: It’s been horrible and so depressing that I thought of quitting altogether. But, I needed to stay in and do whatever I could…My patients and their families have been through the worst as far as we know in this generation. It’s not about me, it’s about us.
Just hang tough we can do all of this.
@Lauren Romeo, MD: Thanks for everything you do during this terrible time.
Backwards Ohio, run by Republicans got one thing right: people with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities are at a very high risk of hospitalization and death, and in response, Ohio opened up eligibility for adults with I/DD in late January (right after the elderly).
The Hamilton County Board of I/DD *called us* and invited Ohio Son for his jabs.
About six weeks later, they announced caretakers — a category that includes parents — were eligible. So we are the exception that proves the rule as far as hassle-free vaccine appointment-making goes.
My mom got her two shots. We were able to schedule the first one using a link emailed by her county’s health department. They scheduled her second dose themselves, and notified us via email.
My first dose will be in a week. I called a 1-800 Kaiser Permanente number and was on hold for an hour, but beats navigating the clusterf*ck of private-pharmacy websites; some would needle me about eligibility before announcing that “lol actually we don’t even have any slots open”.
Pleasantly surprised at how this turned out, but we live in WA near Seattle. I’m not even currently with Kaiser, will definitely keep them in mind in the future.
This will be my second night volunteering for the vaccination drive thru site in my little town outside Austin. Last night we had 200 vaccinations to give. We opened the gates at 5:30. It was first come, no appointment. We had our 200 doses met by 6:30 and we weren’t even starting until 7. It was our first night doing it so we were figuring it out on the fly and had to do a couple of staged relocations when we found we had lighting issues. It took us until 10:30. Those people waited 4 hours.
Tonight we’re doing the same thing. By the end we had it figured out so tonight should go faster and smoother. Doing it all again for as much of Saturday as we have doses.
I am eternally grateful for my small town mayor fighting with everything to get us on the state distribution list but it’s crazy making how hard it is. Meanwhile there are many counties in Texas that have no takers left for the vaccines but they don’t appear to be doing much shifting in the distribution to the counties that desperately need it.
So, this is the problem I saw coming a year ago. The effectiveness of push vs pull mechanisms for activities that have a greater social than individual benefit are not in question.
We don’t need you to get vaccinated for your sake. We need you vaccinated for our sake. So, you can’t wait for people to take the initiative, because a lot of them will see the costs (time, hassle, stress, etc.) being higher than the benefits. So, society needs to take the initiative. This is why we manage vaccinations in schools – the schools do the work. My experience was getting close to this goal.
I was eligible for a vaccine about a month ago due to my job. I told my boss I wouldn’t pursue a vaccination because there were higher risk individuals who needed the limited supply of shots before me. But, I wouldn’t refuse it if I was approached. After 2 weeks I was approached. First by my HMO, who said ‘it’s time for your shot, click this link and choose a location and time’. I did that, told the app to sort by the closest locations and I chose the first available time at the location up the street from me. This was very good! I didn’t need to search for a link. I actually got the notification and scheduled the appt during a meeting with my boss. It took about 15 seconds. I expect we’ll see more of this kind of thing as time goes on.
Check in was outside, I had to fill out a prep form while standing in a kind of Southwest Airlines boarding line. When there were 20 people in the line a staffer would walk us over to where the shots were being administered (a different building, and 4 floors up), did traffic control for the elevators, etc. Another staffer did traffic control out of the elevators, and took the forms, where they’d organize 1st vs 2nd shots, Pfizer vs Moderna. Nurses would come with a sticker indicating what you were getting and pull people in both on available space as well as what shot you were getting (from what I could tell there was a Moderna section and Pfizer section, and nurses only had one or the other on their cart, never both.)
Once I was in the room getting the shot (room held about 50 people) there were 3 people handling scheduling the 2nd appt. There was a sign at the front of the room saying if you were getting Pfizer, your next would be on or around this date, check your calendar. If you were getting Moderna is was on or around this other date. One nurse was going to us individually while we were doing our 15 minute wait (also checking on how we were doing) and getting general restrictions on next appt, and taking that to two people in the back in a little tented room doing the actual scheduling. I could see they had a layout of the room with tokens they’d put on each seat to tell if you’d been scheduled or not which they’d reset for each patient. They came back with a sticker with my next appt time on it and put it on my vaccination card. Again, I didn’t need to take the initiative, they did that, and incorporated it into the monitoring activity they needed to do anyway.
The whole process let me be incredibly lazy, such that not doing these things felt like more effort than just doing them. And that’s what you want for public health implementation, and where we’ll eventually need to get to.
Honestly, if Joe had been president a year ago, I’d have expected that the state exchanges/Healthcare.gov along with K-12 would have been tasked with organizing this. It’d be an expansion of their authority with a budget bill to fund it
[Edit] I’ll add that the day after I made my first appointment, I got a similar invitation from my employer for a shot, along with a way to tell them that I had already arranged for one and they could take me off their list. I got another invitation from a 3rd organization later that same day, which I similarly notified. So it’s not a unique property of my HMO, but seems to be a growing standard for implementation here.
I know a lot of folks who were told the way to get an appointment was to go to every pharmacy and store that had online signup and make an appointment. Some folks were signing up with a dozen or more vaccination centers. This has caused a lot of distribution problems at the private business run sites (pharmacies/Walmarts/Walgreens/etc) out in the burbs and rural areas.
The university partnered with the city of Cleveland early on to get permission to set up a vaccine site on campus. But you have to be a resident of the city to get on the waiting list. this exclusion had the advantage of keeping the nearby white flight suburbanites who clog up the system out of the mix for at least the first month or so. And of course meant getting the vaccine to the most needy who couldn’t easily get to a pharmacy if their community didn’t have one. Now that the U is more organized they are expanding the eligibility to those who work in the city too (city first responders were always eligible no matter their residency). I imagine as their applicants go down they will be expanding the eligibility even more to non residents. But I imagine getting incoming students vaccinated will come first. They were much more organized the day of my second shot (a month into opening) than they were for my first shot (their second day). The U also had an advantage of having been run a testing site for several months and had more than adequate staffing from 3 area hospitals and numerous health education campuses. they also have a lot of experience in registering lots of people for lots of different kinds of events.
I get the impression that adequate staff and organizational experience in event planning may be the determining factor in whether your institution/region/state is doing a poor, adequate, good, or excellent job with their vaccination numbers. I would assume that sooner or later FEMA and the guard will start to step in where those state health departments are just not getting up to speed or their governors are actively trying to sabotage the effort.
Lauren Romeo, MD
@RSA: And thank you as well.
Here in Georgia, checking in on the Walgreens site between 7 and 8 AM every day seemed to work. Be sure that you already have an account set up on the site (one for each person).
I’m in Quebec. We are now in another lockdown because restaurants, gyms and schools had to be open, because reasons and now the variants of concern are predicted to overrun our very over rated health care system. When will I get a shot? Who the fuck knows. They still haven’t gotten the over 70s anywhere near done. Some of the private nursing homes/congregate care facilities are not done yet. Il Douche, our business man premier (governor) say everybody can get one effin’ shot by St. Jean Baptiste day (Quebec 4th of July, but on June 24). Bullshit. Will never happen. Canada is relying on the good-will of other countries for vaccine production and nobody has any spare goodwill right now. I’m hoping I (over 60) will be able to get one shot by mid-summer) and maybe a second one by late fall. Oh, yeah, and everyone has to wait 4+months for a second shot. And God knows whatever system in place to make a reservation, will very likely not work. C’est la vie!
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
@Nina: Yeah I heard about that one but would rather get an appointment as it’s a 2.5 hour drive for me and I’m not going that far to wind up getting stiffed. Is there a way to make an appointment for that specific site?
@JB: here in WV, in Hardy County, the health dept are having trouble filling all the available slots, so notices go out saying “call in, we have doses” pretty much every vaccination day. I learned last week that a lot of women aren’t getting vaccinated because of unsubstantiated internet rumors that it might damage women of child hearing age. Also, WV is Trump country so probably a lot of white males aren’t getting vaccinated as well.
@Lauren Romeo, MD:
I have had some friends and family members diagnosed with Covid-19. Fortunately, they all pulled through. The medical professionals involved have all been great and caring people.
@Van Buren: That’s weird. When I got my first shot the automatically scheduled us for a second shot four weeks later. So all the same people were sitting around when we went in for our second, because they were getting theirs also.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
@MaryL: I’m technically not eligible in MD yet. Almost 52 but no comorbidities so I’m just below the age cutoff. I think I’d have to technically perjure myself to go through the pharmacy. I’m pre registered for the mass vax sites as of yesterday. Would drive to Salisbury if they gave me an appointment, or Hagerstown, or anywhere else. My wife is a nurse practitioner and has been a really long year and I’m ready to be protected ASAP even if it’s a major inconvenience.
J R in WV
Here in WV there is a state DHHR web site where you can register. We signed up as soon as I found it, and there is a field where you can list your relevant medical history, which appears to be taken into account, as out first shots were pretty soon. Wife has had pulmonary disease, including had part of a lung removed for necrosis. Also total permanent disability as of 2006. I am her caregiver, also.
I entered our landline phone as there is no cell connectivity at our house, and our email. The first shot was in February, after the massive ice storm, and driving thru the county seat ( a tiny rural town) was strange as the power was out in the whole county, and so town was shut down like 4 am Sunday night. But the Primary Care Clinic on the other side of town was running on their Kohler diesel generators, fully operational.
It was a miserable sleety day, also too. But no crowds, people showed up a few minutes before their appointment, there was a table with two staff to take and enter your data, another table where staff were filling syringes as people arrived, and two shot stations. Then chairs spread out in the room to wait your 15 minutes.
While we waited I (ever curious) asked how many shots they could do in a day, they maxed out around 130-140 a day, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but every day that adds up pretty fast. The second shot was on a beautiful spring day, drive through. Went as smooth and professionally as the first one. While we waited, I asked one of the staff watching for events, and was informed that since starting vaccinations in January they had exactly Zero — 0.00 adverse reactions requiring medical intervention~!!~ So hurray. The clinic with doctors is right there if needed.
Other friends have made appointments with pharmacies around the southern part of the state, some as far away as Mercer county, which is a 3 hour drive!! Others just 30 or 40 minutes away. I did get drowsy after shot two, slept 13 -14 hours that night and the next night, and took a long nap both the second afternoon and the third afternoon. Then I started with muscle cramps in odd places. That’s still going on, tho I am prone to chronic muscle spasms causing pinched nerves for decades now. Perhaps from getting hit by a sports car back in 1972 while riding a 10-speed bike in a thunderstorm…? Who knows.
Would take this set of vaccinations again in a heart beat even knowing I would have these same reactions. Naps are not a bad thing when you’re 70 and retired AND sleepy.
@Lauren Romeo, MD:
Thank you for all your work. I can’t imagine the stories that you can tell.
Hot tip! Join the military and get shot early.
…amazing that the word “the” could be such a consequential addition or subtraction from the above sentence. Kinda like “eats shoots and leaves” and the placement of the comma.
I made an appointment yesterday for this coming Sunday through Kaiser, my provider – after 2+ hours of clicking and clicking and clicking on their site. Availability changed constantly. At first all I could find was Fresno or Sacramento (I’m in San Francisco), but eventually appointments popped up in Richmond – a 30-minute drive away, but so what.
I simultaneously checked the public vax sites and pharmacies/grocery chains, and saw a few rare openings, but they were always gone by the time I got through their clunky registration pages.
I am SO relieved. Just need to not catch COVID for the next month – easy, right?
@Lauren Romeo, MD:
A simple thank you doesn’t seem nearly enough to express how grateful we all are for how you have cared for COVID patients and for what you have had to endure. I hope you are also caring for yourself.
Springtime palate cleanser
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
@Lauren Romeo, MD: Thank you so much. Must have been a terrible year. My wife is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in adolescent health. She doesn’t work with Covid patients in theory but has had multiple known exposures and who knows how many unknown, but so far neither of us have gotten it unless we had asymptomatic cases we never clued in to.
@joel hanes: So cute!
Thanks to the housemate’s family whose determination to get all of themselves vaccinated ASAP and all of their patients too, I am more than a month past the second shot. The county app was a bit sketchy in the beginning (TFG was still in office), but they got it going perfectly by the time I got the first shot.
@Lauren Romeo, MD: Thanks for going through the year of hell and I hope for better days ahead for you. The last week here has been the first that deaths started dropping and are all residents not in elder care, so our priority vaccinations must be almost completely done.
@Van Buren: My Moderna #2 was scheduled when I got #1, for exactly 4 weeks later: Tomorrow. The day before my immediate family (who I haven’t seen in months) gathers for Easter supper. I tried to change it. They said forget it. So I’ll probably be dropping ibuprofen & shivering under the covers all alone come Sunday afternoon.
@Lauren Romeo, MD: So many thanks for toughing it out. There are many heartbreaking stories that people cannot bring themselves to tell. My partner’s sister has fallen into the conspiracy that the vaccine alters your DNA. She’s old enough to have been around before the first polio vaccine so should know better. Covid victims are invisible. Polio survivors were highly visible. Human motivation has not evolved to function well in a complex and interlinked society.
rabbit troop sux
@What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?:
I hear you. I’m in DC and not eligible yet (mid 50s). My dad is fully vaccinated (70s also in DC) and so is my daughter (mid 20s – Social Worker in Md). DC seems to be stuck at the age 65+ and/or 18+ with a qualifying medical condition stage. Next week we have family members coming into town for a funeral. I’m trying not to worry too much.
I technically (health insurance software developer) qualified for a Phase 1C vaccine, but since I work from home, I thought I should wait and let other people who actually have to meet people face-to-face for their jobs to get the vaccine first. However, a lot of people pushed me to get it ASAP. So I checked the schedule, and it was wide open. So, I figured the people who wanted the vaccine must have gotten it already. Got my first shot last week, next one on April 18.
I have heard about Walgreens and 7 am as the magic time that their site refreshes open slots. In Tennessee with Walmart it was midnight that they refreshed new open slots. That’s how I snagged my appointment.
@not_a_cylon: Our experience with Kaiser as long time members in Seattle was very different. My partner managed to get on their website in mid January and got his first vacc on January 21st, second in mid February. The website kept telling me my password was incorrect. I managed to get through on the phone and got my first appointment for March 6th. I kept trying because I’m 1b – high risk, but Kaiser wouldn’t budge. In mid February the website recognized my password and I was notified I could get vaccinated in mid-March. Wow!
The site was at Kaiser WA headquarters. Google didn’t have an accurate map. It showed Longacres (former racetrack) Way crossing the river – no bridge! The tiny two lane Street had no street sign and looked like it was the entrance to a Transit center parking lot. Kaiser had no signage, except at the entrance to their parking lot. Fortunately they didn’t toss me out for being 20 minutes late – I drive around for 30 minutes, ugh.
My second was scheduled at “Rainier”. Our local clinic is called the Rainier Clinic. But no, they meant the Rainier Building at headquarters… Since my first vacc was set at a building across the street from the Rainier Building, with a different name, of course, I was confused.
Comedy of errors…
I’m one week after my second so probably 86% by now.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
@rabbit troop sux: Biden should get the federal government involved in picking up the pace in DC. They get so screwed in so many ways by not being a State it’s only fair that the feds give them some extra help.
West of the Rockies
Republicans won’t be muzzled! Or vaccinated, evidently.
(Or educated, enlightened, corrected…)
rabbit troop sux
@What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?:
I registered with VA (my employer) so we’ll see. I forgot to mention my partner got his first shot this week through VA -he’s a veteran. I’m the only one in my small bubble who can’t hug anyone.
“Take this shot and shove it
You ain’t the boss of me no more”
@Yutsano: Same experience w/my first one, and I’m guessing no, they don’t share records. The only one that knows unless you gave permission is the org that gave you the shot.
@Lauren Romeo, MD: Lauren, if you are interesting in writing something up about what it’s been like for you this past year, let me know.
Maybe it would be too painful for you, but who knows, maybe it could help you process it.
If you see this, let me know what you think?
In MA, refreshing time is Walgreens at 7 am and CVS at midnight. But once you get a Walgreens appt it’s virtually impossible to cancel, for any reason. You can eventually get to the pharmacy, but as far as I can tell, they never pick up the phone (there were always “more than three” people ahead of me).
This is not *quite* in the spirit of venting, but I just made appts for us to get Moderna in 29 Palms, 4 weeks after our first shot in Mississippi. Gripe: Rite Aid only lets you schedule Shot #1. They could bounce us because they didn’t give us #1 or because we’re not California residents. But at least I have a place to show up and make my case.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
@rabbit troop sux: Yeah, literally every other adult in my extended family has gotten at least one dose we’re talking MI, OH, PA, VT, NH and CA. We’re all within 5-ish years of each other age wise. Sucks being the odd man out here in MD
I found out the hard way that the Kaiser web page and the mobile app are Not The Same, and the web page has browser-specific sign-in bugs. I gave up on the Web page after going through Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, and hitting the wall somewhere between sign-in and the first set of questions. By contrast, the iOS mobile app works 90% of the time, unless the server is down and everything times out.
But then I found out that Kroger/King Soopers had a store pharmacy sign-up, and went with that instead.
I hear you about the CenTex Fustercluck. I preregistered with Austin Public Health and Williamson County and never got a sniff. Kelly Reeves (the Round Rock ISD football stadium) creates a traffic nightmare on Parmer all the way down to 620 and up to Avery Ranch whenever it’s open, and I imagine that Circuit of the Americas and Dell Diamond aren’t much better.
I get mine at the CVS on Highway 80 in San Marcos, just on the other side of the freeway from Texas State.
ETA: I found appts for both shots through vaccinefinder.org.
I’ve only been in the ranks of obsessive refreshers for a week, so I have no expectations of getting an appointment soon. The county will email me when my turn comes up, and in the meantime, I am marveling at how bad the systems for most of the pharmacy chains are. The CDC site will tell me which local pharmacies have vaccine supplies (only a few.) But for some reason, they don’t have information on who has appointments available (none.) To find that out, I need to follow the like to each chain’s website. The better ones go directly to the selected store, the worse ones just go to a general site and you have to try to find the same store again. About half require you to create an account. The worst, Walmart (of course), makes you create an account, answer eligibility questions, and then shows you only the current week, with it not at all obvious that there are no appointments. Then if you change stores, you have to answer the eligibility questions again.
I guess there are no areas within 50 miles that are Trumpy enough, since I haven’t found any appointments.
Also for Massachusetts, this bot IDs appointment slots: https://mobile.twitter.com/vaccinetime
@Skepticat: See my comments above. I’m working on two shots at different places, we’ll see how it works out. It will have to somewhere, somehow, ‘cause I’m not goin’ back to Mississippi any time soon.
@AnotherBruce: Oy, it worked I got the shot. Could not even feel it. Yeeehaw!
Old Skool approach working in East Austin.
My very first comment here: This is all a matter of extreme luck… can’t tell you how many times I “refreshed” various sites, both public and commercial, in a vain attempt to score first vax appt at a site within biking or bussing distance. Then in just the past hour a slot next week opened up at the chain drugstore a five-minute walk away! Moral of the story — keep trying!
Jacqueline Squid Onassis
Living in Oregon without any of the very short list of very specific comorbidities (and being unwilling to lie about it) makes it likely I will be the last person in the US to be eligible. With the state announcing everybody will be eligible on 5/1, I may be able to get fully vaccinated before the end of June. Maybe.
In the meantime, I am subject to regular emails from the state telling me that I’m not eligible. Joy.
Costco pharmacy wasn’t listed in the California web page, but they are giving out vaccinations as well.
Check the locations near you; they may not all be doing it.
ETA The ones I’ve checked have the J&J, if they have anything.
@Origuy: I tried that just for giggles (I already have an appointment at Kaiser) and there was nothing available, but the Coliseum in Oakland has LOTS of appointments for tomorrow and Sunday.
Costco is part of the federal program, so usually the appointments aren’t linked to county residence.
Federal vaccination program by state
I saw a tip that was interesting.
If you are in an area where there are no local appointments look for appointments at places tRump won by a landslide in 2020. The Daily Beast even wrote on it. Those are places with higher COVID/vaccine deniers.
If you live in WA, there IS a site to check your vaccination status. https://myirmobile.com/
If you register, it will have all vaccination history. Works for Mississippi, AZ., LA, MD, ND, and WV
Let me know if that works for you….
I was going to vent. But instead I went back to myturn.ca.gov one more time and got an appointment for tomorrow afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. Woot!
In Washington, DOH has a new web site to help you find vax.
Every zip I’ve put in has appointments available.
randal m sexton
The Bay Area seemed to be starving for appointments. Many people I know who just became eligible are knocking themselves out on the cvs, walgreens, sutter, and san mateo/santa clara websites to no avail. Yesterday I said fuck it, and started looking in Fresno County, a 3 hour drive away, a very Republican county and got one for today in just a few minutes. My guess is the allocations for areas is based on the population — so places that are ‘hesitant’ will have unused vaccines. Its most important to get them in arms, and my arm had room for one, so today drove to fresno and back. The bay area is probably one of the LEAST hesitant areas in the country. So YAAY I got a jab.
Thank you, and good luck.
@Uncle Cosmo: Hey, not necessarily! I just had Moderna #2 two-and-a-half days ago. No side effects other than a slightly tender upper arm and slightly enlarged lymph node on that side. No problems at all.
I went and perused the statistics tables very closely in the vaccine study for Moderna. Only about 20% of vacc recipients had side effects bad enough to ground them for a day or more. And 5% of placebo recipients had side effects of that severity. (This included everything from headache to chills to nausea to body aches — all categories of effects, but all measured in terms of “was it so bad you didn’t leave the house”.)
So on average humans in the trial feel shitty 1 out of every 20 days anyway, vax or no vax.
When signing up at CVS or Walgreens keep in mind they add appointment blocks to the calendar daily, max 5 days out. The new appointments are loaded into the system between 10pm and 5am EST.
They Call Me Blue
I was really frustrated* yesterday after a couple of days trying to find appointments after my wife and I became eligible on Tuesday. But apparently our daughter-in-law was determined to get us vaccinated, and she messaged us last night that appointments were available at one of our county-run mass vaccination sites. I was able to nab 2 before they were gone, and my wife and I had an amazingly efficient drive-though experience with our first doses of Moderna. Who says government can run things well? Rite-Aid’s site hadn’t even updated the logic in their web page to reflect the latest eligibility rules.
*What was frustrating was not that appointments weren’t available, but that I kept getting taken down rabbit holes where it *appeared* that appointments were available.
Kaiser sent me two hours to Sacramento in two weeks, so I hit refresh for an intermenable time and Walgreems came through for Monday. People saying interwebbing at 4am or so is optimal, but I think these CVS/Walgreens get a few days notice – the stocks must be delivered before opening because they cant store them. So they don’t get much notice, it’s day-to-day with them.
But get logins at cvs/walgreens. I’d see availability but by the time got an account the appt were gone.
It’s fun to joke about it, but I really don’t think that’s what’s happening here. It’s simply a matter of population density.
Imagine every eligible person with a car is willing to travel 50 miles to get an appointment. If you live in a city like San Francisco or Atlanta, there are millions of people looking for the same appointment you are. If you live 40 miles away, you’re competing for those city appointments, but you ‘re just as willing to travel 90 miles from the city center. So those rural vaccination centers don’t have as many people fighting for appointments.
That was my strategy. As soon as I became eligible I searched for available appointments, then picked the site furthest from the major population centers. Success on first try.
(It also helps to be woken up by a sleeping child swatting you in the face at 4 a.m. on the day access opens.)
What about out by Front Royal? (I haven’t looked, just guessing.)
@Betsy: Not necessarily, true – but when I factor in my experience after
AntiquaModerna #1 (queasy & chilly that evening, 3 days of arm pain following) the odds do not seem to be in my favor.
If yinz don’t hear from me before late Sunday either I’m out like a light or having way too good of a time with grandniece, grandnephew and the rest of House CosmoNought.
Hi, this is for San Francisco juicers. You have to keep bombing the website. It took me four days, trying at odd hours, to get my partner an appointment — she works in the food industry and qualified almost immediately. Now it was my turn, as they have lowered eligibility to age 50.
I don’t drive, and would prefer not to use public transportation until I have gotten the jab so I’m limited to a few locations in the city. I found no appts at all the last two days, then this morning Walgreen’s locations became available.
I had to open a Walgreen’s account, and then the real fun and games began. I got as far as booking dose one right in my neighborhood only to receive the dreaded “Appt no longer available” message before I could book #2. I kept reloading and starting over and for the next 1/2 hour or so only distant locations turned up. But then magically my neighborhood location re-appeared! For this Monday! And this time I was able to book both doses before they vanished.
Be patient. Be persistent. And get that jab! Good luck.
PS: I’ve been a lurker for years and this is the first comment I have posted. Thanks and appreciation to the fine writers at BJ, and I love the duck, dog and occasional Steve updates!
@Baseball Tony: Welcome to commenting! You likely know that a person’s first comment has to be manually approved, but after that, they go right through.
@RoonieRoo: My son and DIL live in Austin and had appointments about 1.5 hours away in a very red county for Monday, but were able to get the shots yesterday in Austin. The red county availability seems to be a thing. He said he heard of people flying into Texas to get the shot in a red county
ETA: our county in Ohio is pretty red but still availability was low. So we travelled to a redder county to get our shots.
@Kim Walker: I used to live in Quebec but moved back to Washington state last spring. I have a friend who’s in Val David – over 60 – who managed to get her first Pfizer a couple of weeks ago, but the second one isn’t scheduled until July. I am concerned about all my friend in Quebec and Ontario. Hang in there.
We have had quite the experience getting jabbed. My husband was automagically in the first group (over 65). I started out trying to get his shot. I joined a facebook group called South Florida Vaccination Information. I finally found a shot for him in Fort Pierce late Saturday night for the following Wednesday. I had also signed him up with Broward Health. They weren’t doing shots at the hospital but had public sites around the county. Well they called him on the Friday before and he had his phone blocker on so that any call that didn’t come from a known number in his directory went straight to voicemail. Sigh. They called back again to schedule him and he had unblocked the number they had called from the first time. Only they didn’t call back from that number. Grr. Then the Monday between getting his shot in Fort Pierce and the Wednesday after, he was in a meeting and put his phone on silence. Again he missed the call. He nearly died from his first vaccine. Not from the shot but because I threatened to drive over him with my car if he didn’t unblock his phone. On the way to work on Tuesday they called him again with an appointment for Friday. He took that one and canceled the one in FP (that was an hour and a half drive each way. What to do if he had a reaction?)
He got his first jab February 26.
My son and I had our paperwork ready from the doctor stating that we had medical issues that put us at higher risk. The state signup site had a button for that but it didn’t work. It was just there to look at. The facebook group had a post about someone getting a shot at one of the county parks using a phone number. They let me schedule mine because the state was lowering the age to 60 the next week but they wouldn’t let me schedule W’s shot because he was too young. I called for an appointment on Thursday March 11 at 3 pm. She gave me a choice of appointments (there were 5 or 6 available the next day.) I filled out the online form and was ready to go. I took W with me (along with all the paperwork) the next day.
A very sweet young man named Diego came up for the form. Turns out the system had lost the one I had done the night before. So while he was filling it out again on his tablet, I asked about W getting a shot. I showed him the paperwork and he took it to his supervisor. He came back and asked if I wanted to do it today. OH HELL YEAH! So we filled out W’s forms and we both got our shot that day.
Friday April 2 we both got our second shot and now we’re going through the feverish, chills part.
I took W to McDonald’s Friday night. I asked him how he was doing. “Fine”. I told him my arm was a little sore but it wasn’t too bad. He said, “Yeah, me too. But it’s worth it.”
When my husband got his second shot, I drove him to his site. I had published the phone number of the office I called and W’s teacher had his shot scheduled for the same place/time. So W got to see his teacher for the first time in a year. They were both so happy to see each other.
The reason I drove D to his second shot (a week after my first shot) was that I had had a reaction to my first shot almost immediately. My sugar crashed and I started drinking a sugared soda and ate 7-8 peppermint candies on the 30 minute drive home. When I got there, my sugar was 72 (AFTER all the sugar I had taken). So we were each other’s designated driver on the second shots. D’s coworker said her brother had crashed the day before and he got the Pfizer shot too. They told us about fever, chills and some other side effects but not sugar crashing.
My daughter got her first shot at Walmart in Kissimmee March 21 and her husband was the following Friday. We are slowly getting everyone their shot and getting a little more relaxed about the possibility of actually getting to see each other again.
We just got our second Pfizer shot in eastern Ohio, about 2 hour drive from Pittsburgh. Ohio is vaccinating all ages now, but they seem to still have lots of slots at RiteAid stores.
RiteAid is pretty easy to navigate, all in all.
BTW, for us, the 2nd shot really knocked us out for 24 hours, starting about 12 hours after the shot. It’s sort of funny how you feel like you have a moderately bad case of the flu, but you know that this is all due to your body’s reaction, since you aren’t really infected by a virus.
Yesterday the local evening news did a feature on a local vaccine clinic at a state college that didn’t have people sign up so they were letting people walk in for lack of customers. Today the story is “stay away” all their appointments were full and they had people trying to walk in besides.
I just went through my normal provider (Kaiser Permanente) who put a special “covid appointments” button on the front page of their member website. After that it was their normal scheduling system, pared down for the locations doing the vaccinations. At least they had one up in the high desert instead of an hour or two away (depending on the time of day).
We have several Facebook and other volunteer groups helping people find shots in our state which was really helpful since it’s been extremely hard to find an appointment anywhere close to home in mostly blue central New Jersey, but easier to find down in red, trumpier southern NJ. I had my first shot (Moderna) down there after trying for weeks to find an appointment and not being able to find anything closer, and I was resigned to the 3-hour round trip to south Jersey for shot #2. I’ve checked every day for my 2nd after trying all the CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aids within 45 minutes drive as well as local mega centers with no luck.
Then this morning one of the volunteer sites tweeted that CVS was live with new appointments and was able to reschedule my second shot just 30 minutes from home! I feel like I won the lottery!