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  • (keyboard clacking)

  • (lively music)

  • - All set.

  • 265 vaccination appointments booked.

  • - [Joanna] Allow me to clarify.

  • That's over 200 COVID vaccine appointments

  • booked by this guy.

  • - Hi, I'm Kris Slevens.

  • I'm an unemployed IT geek from New Jersey

  • doing my best to secure COVID vaccine appointments

  • for seniors in my community.

  • - [Joanna] In case you haven't had the pleasure

  • of booking a COVID vaccine online,

  • it can suck.

  • And not only for people who aren't great at computers.

  • I just found a COVID vaccine appointment

  • for an 80-year-old family friend on Rite Aid,

  • and then a couple of minutes later it was gone.

  • I just feel like I don't know how to work the internet.

  • The websites all differ.

  • They're hard to navigate and appointments are very limited.

  • - Honestly, I'd equate it to a joint

  • sneaker release between Beyonce and Coldplay

  • that included free concert tickets.

  • It's a shame, but that's where we are

  • due to the fragmented rollout.

  • - [Joanna] Kris fist set out to book

  • 71 appointments for seniors,

  • 71 for his father who passed away at the age of 71,

  • possibly from COVID itself.

  • But after Kris had a booking system in place,

  • he just kept going.

  • So I decided to go study under the master

  • and get his best tips on booking appointments.

  • - Nice to meet you, I'm Kris.

  • - [Both] COVID bump.

  • - How intense is it in this world of vaccine booking?

  • - Right now we're at a point where milliseconds matter.

  • That's why I always try and suggest

  • using a desktop or laptop over a mobile phone.

  • - [Joanna] And don't worry

  • if you don't live here in New Jersey.

  • I was able to use his tips to book appointments

  • in New York, Maryland and Florida.

  • Plus I had Kris highlight specific tips

  • for nationwide pharmacy sites,

  • such as Rite Aid and CVS.

  • Okay, on to the tips.

  • Step one, bookmark the websites and learn the patterns.

  • Gather and bookmark the links to the websites

  • that allow you to make appointments in your area.

  • - My best suggestion would be

  • check your state resources

  • or if there are Facebook groups such as ours in New Jersey,

  • we post every single availability in real time.

  • - [Joanna] In some states there have been

  • aggregation sites built that list all the vaccine locations.

  • Facebook groups can also be very helpful

  • for knowing the patterns when new appointments are added.

  • - [Kris] CVS I would always suggest checking

  • at five AM to six AM.

  • That's when they load appointments.

  • For Rite Aid, I would suggest always checking

  • at 11:50 PM at night.

  • - Do you sleep at all?

  • - Most recently not a lot.

  • Maybe two, three hours a night.

  • - [Joanna] Rite Aid and CVS would not confirm

  • those appointment drop times,

  • but I had similar luck at booking around then.

  • Step two: set up autofill in your web browser.

  • - You're able to fill your address,

  • name, phone number and email address ahead of time,

  • be it in Chrome or any other web browser you have

  • so when it comes time to click that booking

  • you can automatically filly that information

  • without having to type it all in one go.

  • - [Joanna] All browsers have this.

  • In Chrome, go to preferences, autofill, addresses and more.

  • And Microsoft Edge, go to preferences, personal info.

  • In Safari, preferences, autofill.

  • One thing you cannot autofill, your insurance information.

  • But you can skip putting that info in altogether

  • on sites light Rite Aid and CVS.

  • Step three: set up browser extensions.

  • Now you're ready to book.

  • Just the little problem of figuring out

  • when the websites have appointments.

  • Two tools Kris uses are necessary.

  • The first: a browser refresh extension called Page Refresh.

  • This allows you to refresh the site

  • every few seconds or minutes without any clicking

  • so you can see if it's been updated

  • with new appointment times.

  • Kris keeps these windows open on his second monitor

  • so he can see them at all times.

  • This extension is available for Chrome and Microsoft Edge,

  • and the developer clearly states

  • the extension doesn't collect any user data.

  • - Keep the page refreshing,

  • but make sure to also keep the extension open

  • so you can stop it in an instant

  • and get started on booking.

  • - [Joanna] If you don't hit stop,

  • it could refresh the page

  • and you could lose the appointment opening.

  • The second tool is really cool.

  • It's called Visual Ping.

  • You input a website and you tell it

  • to watch a certain part of it, an image or text.

  • If there's a change to it,

  • it will alert you with an email.

  • You can also use the free web extension

  • and get alerted with a sound.

  • (notification chiming)

  • - Every website will say

  • there are no appointments available.

  • If you go in, select that element in Visual Ping,

  • have it alert you when that's gone,

  • you'll be able to score an appointment easily.

  • - [Joanna] I did that on this website here

  • and was able to book an appointment that way.

  • The downside is that you have to upgrade

  • to one of the higher tiers to have the tool

  • watch for changes to your site every five minutes.

  • The web extension is free,

  • but you have to be at a computer to be notified.

  • Do you think that when we publish this by next week,

  • you'll hit 300?

  • - Easily.

  • Until it gets as easy to schedule a COVID vaccine shot

  • as a flu shot, I'm gonna be continuing.

  • As rough as it is, it's a good feeling

  • to be able to get a senior an appointment

  • who would not have been able to otherwise.

  • (cheerful music)

(keyboard clacking)

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Three Tech Tips for Booking a Covid-19 Vaccine Appointment | WSJ

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/30
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