Tips to help make online vaccine appointments a little easier

Feb 20, 2021, 5:00 AM
(Unsplash Photo)...
(Unsplash Photo)
(Unsplash Photo)

Q: Can you provide any tips for online vaccine appointment websites? They are so frustrating to use!

A: The classic supply vs. demand problem combined with poorly developed vaccine appointment websites is generating lots of frustration for those attempting to get scheduled for a vaccine.

Being tech-savvy doesn’t necessarily help with the frustration, but approaching the task with a strategy and a few tools may help.

Pregame preparation

Just like when you’re trying to buy seats for a very popular concert, knowing how the system works ahead of time will help you be more efficient.

Prior to the next group of appointments becoming available, go through the process required on the website so you’ll know what information you’ll need and what to expect.

Some websites may not retain information that you need to type every time, so either use your browser’s autofill feature or have the information in a document so you can copy and paste to make it faster and avoid typos.

Reloading or refreshing the page once you get to the available appointments screen is a vital task, so make sure you know what to click or which buttons to use on your keyboard.

Windows users can hit the F5 key, but it’s better to bypass the local cache to make sure you’re requesting new information by holding CTRL while hitting F5. Mac users can use Command+R to force a reload of the page.

You can also use auto-refresh utilities like Super Simple Auto Refresh for Chrome and Microsoft Edge, which will automatically refresh the page at an interval you choose.

If you decide to try one of these utilities, make sure you know how it works and how to tell it to stop so you don’t accidentally refresh when an appointment becomes available.

More is better

If you equate this process with an old-school radio station contest – caller No. 35 wins (fill in the blank) – you know that you’re going to be competing with a lot of others at the same time.

Your odds of getting through will increase if you are using multiple computers or have friends and family all attempting at the same time.

While you can try to use your smartphone as another device, I’ve found that many websites aren’t really properly rendering things on the small screen, so I’d recommend using as many computers as you can.

If you are comfortable resizing multiple browser windows on a single screen or you have multiple screens set up, you can increase the number of attempts per computer by either using multiple tabs or multiple browsers.

Expand your search

Most people assume that the closest locations are the best to try, but if you’re willing to drive to another county or city with fewer people, they may allow you to set an appointment which will increase your options.

Monitor pages for changes

Some sites will allow you to sign up for new appointment alerts or you can use a free utility such as that will automatically alert you whenever there’s a change to any webpage that announces new appointment availability.

Beware of scam websites, emails

Scammers are taking full advantage of this situation by creating fake sites and phishing emails, so be on the alert. Any website that asks you to put your credit card information to pay for your vaccine is a big red flag!

Data Doctors

(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Here’s what computer monitoring system SMART does for your device

If your computer takes forever to startup, freezes during startup or randomly crashes while in use, running a diagnostic program can help quickly determine if the problem is a failing hard drive.
4 days ago
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

In need of Gmail storage space cleanup tips? Here are a few to get you started

If you haven’t done much in the past to keep the clutter from building up in your Gmail account, there are a number of places where you can free up valuable storage space.
11 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Here are the latest online shopping tips for 2021

As the holiday seasons drives up purchase volumes, here are the latest online shopping safety tips.
18 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Column: Does Windows 11 Need Anti-Virus Software?

With all of the new security features in Windows 11, here's why you should consider security software packages.
25 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

What to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent Internet router, modem

There are pros and cons to both sides of the buy-versus-rent an internet modem/router question and there is no single answer for everyone.
1 month ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Data Doctors

Column: Why computer extended warranties are a waste

When it comes to computers, there are a variety of reasons that buying ‘extra protection’ up front can be a waste of money.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.
(Facebook Photo/NHTSA)...
Sweet James

Upcoming holiday season is peak time for DUI arrests

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. That’s why it’s important to remember to call Sweet James Accident Attorneys if you’re injured or arrested because of a DUI accident.

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Tips to help make online vaccine appointments a little easier