7 On Your Side: Dos and don'ts of making a COVID vaccine appointment

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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Getting an appointment for a COVID vaccine has proven to be a difficult task at times. 7 On Your Side has some dos and don'ts to try to make the process easier.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Getting an appointment for a COVID vaccine has proven to be a difficult task at times. 7 On Your Side has some dos and don'ts to try to make the process easier.

"Three phones, two cells, a landline, and two iPads," Jeanine Wallace said.

The Wallaces were using five different devices manned by a small army of tech, kids, neighbors, and friends.

"Hang up, redial, hang up, redial," Craig Wallace said.

The Wallaces were willing to go the distance.

"On the iPad, it would be refresh, refresh, refresh," they said.

It took 11 and a half hours of work to secure their vaccines, for now.

RELATED: Vaccine tracker for New Jersey

"I think it's only a matter of time," they said. "There's a very good chance we are going to get canceled!"

Jeanine and her husband Craig were already canceled once. They are anxious to get back to babysitting their granddaughter, Harper.

The qualified 65-year-old endured crashing sites and disconnected calls.

"The rollout for seniors has been disastrous," said Dr. Stanley Weiss, a Rutgers Epidemiologist.

Dr. Weiss helped make shots more accessible for seniors in Paterson but says in New Jersey, the system is equally impossibly difficult to navigate.

"We need to make it simpler first step we have to have a more centralized way of making appointments right now every locality you get put on hold, you put in information they lose information," Dr. Weiss said.

Social media is filled with frustrated vaccine venters.

"A complete waste of time...a total joke," said Steven about the New Jersey Hotline.

"My confirmed appointment canceled!" another person posted

"Website crashed," lamented many.

There are also plenty of success stories.

"I got a leftover dose, go at closing time," is a popular trending tip.

"Go on all the sites late in the afternoon when people cancel," advised Cheryl Grossell.

"One last time I went onto the computer, I don't know how it happened Nina," Wallace said.

The Wallaces got their vaccines reinstated for February 18th through the state website which is linked with Northwell Health.

Their tips include:

1) Use different devices simultaneously; the landline and the iPad were successful for their bookings.

2) Use AutoFill to complete your address, date of birth, and insurance information on forms quickly.

3) Enlist family and friends to take shifts holding or monitoring sites.

4) Go directly to an exact date on the calendar.

"I did not scroll through all different dates. I went right to February 18th," Jeanine Wallace said.

"What most people do is go through all these different events lists of different appointments and by the time they choose it's gone, it's gone!" she said.

Their doctor also recommended pre-registering on a few sites to increase their odds.

Above all, keep trying!

What you don't want to do is take someone else's slot, so if you get confirmed make sure you cancel your registration on to other sites.

Also, you should be prepared to show ID to show that you qualify.

It is also recommended that you immunize in your community.

Don't register with a fake address. We've heard some people are doing this to jump the line. If you lie on your registration, the offense is punishable by up to a year in jail.



Do you have an issue with a company that you haven't been able to resolve? If so, 7 On Your Side wants to help you!

Email 7OnYourSideNina@abc.com, or contact Nina on her Facebook page or tweet her at Twitter @7OnYourSideNY! You can also call the 7 On Your Side Hotline at 917-260-7697 or fill out the form below.