1. Go to your state website and find out if you or the person you are helping is qualified for the vaccine. The CDC has a state by state list of all the websites here. It is towards the bottom of the page on the right under "How do I get a vaccine". You should screenshot the confirmation that you are eligible or print it off. You will need it when you go to get the vaccine.
2. Most states have either a list or a map of the locations that vaccines are available. Research all of them. Open tabs in your browser for all locations that you would consider traveling to. Throughout the day (I do every hour) refresh these web pages to see if there are any openings. Check back on the map every few days as new locations are added.
3. Search for local Facebook groups in your state that are helping people find spots as they open up. Join the group and watch for people to post openings. Some of the groups have “search parties” that are there to directly help individuals who need it. If there isn’t a group in your area, consider starting one yourself. In WA, that group is called "Find A Shot WA" linked here.
4. Have a notepad with the following information written down even if it is your own information. The pressure of having to enter this quickly can be overwhelming and cause a person to forget some of this important data. Speed is everything. Every site is asking for different information so you're better off having it all just in case.
TIP: If the info blank doesn’t indicate that it is required, skip it. Again, everything is about speed.
Many of the sites also ask a series of questions that you need to know the answers to. Have a conversation about these before you go to register:
Have you ever had covid?
Have you had a vaccine of any type in the last 14 days?
Do you plan on getting any other type of vaccine in the next 14 days?
Have you been in contact with someone without a mask that has covid in the last 14 days?
Have you ever had an anaphylactic reaction to anything?
Have you ever had an allergic reaction to a vaccine?
Have you seen your primary care doctor in the last year?
Is there any reason they've advised you not to get the vaccine?
Are you on blood thinners?
Do you currently have HIV or cancer or anything else that would suppress your immune system?
5. If you are working from a computer, there is a feature called “auto-fill”. Have the info you need already stored in Auto-fill and it will save you time when you go to register.
6. Don’t select the first available date/time you see. Select one a few hours later or the next day. In general, people select the first slot and it will likely be filled before you can finish entering your info.
7. If the location you have selected, comes up as having no available time slots, DO NOT hit “back”. Instead, scroll up on the page and select a different location. If you hit the back arrow, it will erase all of the data fields you have already entered.