Ever since COVID-19 vaccination scheduling started, I've heard from listeners that have struggled and struggled and struggled to get an appointment and get a vaccine in New Jersey.  This despite a larger volume of vaccines being released and distributed and despite these individuals being in one of the earliest eligible groups, ranging from 1A to 1B to 1C.  Yesterday, I learned several little-known "secrets" that will get you an appointment quickly.  Let's dive in.

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It is very important that you are aware that you MUST be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine before you use any of these "tricks."  To check eligibility, check NJ.Gov and their article here.  Once you've confirmed, read on.

The secrets and tricks you'll read will likely surprise you or frustrate you.  I’ve had multiple family members in other states get their vaccines right away without such a hassle.  It shouldn't be so hard here in New Jersey, right?  I have had a mixture of emotions and reactions, but I also understand when demand is sky high and supply is low the people that figure out how each distributor's systems work will be the ones that benefit first.  Thankfully, it is expected that the number of vaccines available in New Jersey will rise.

While the volume of vaccines grows, so will the demand.  Starting on April 5th, New Jersey increases eligibility to people 55-64, people 16+ with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and workers in the following fields:

  • Communications, IT, media
  • Laundry services
  • Real estate, building, and home services,
  • Retail financial institutions
  • Sanitation
  • Utilities
  • Higher Education
  • Librarians

So, the information I will share will likely be very helpful to you, your friends, and your family.  Share with anyone that's been having trouble or you anticipate having trouble.  It can be quite frustrating.

There's A Group of 134,000 Crowdsourcing Real Time Information

A Facebook group formed on January 15, 2021 called "New Jersey Covid Vaccine Info" is delivering information on newly available appointments.  This group of volunteers has learned the ins and outs of all the distributors.  They have a keen sense of WHEN appointments will be available and HOW to make sure you get one.  A quick browse around the group will give you much-needed intel and if you follow it the odds are good you'll have an appointment by the end of the week.  If you need, some volunteers are even kind enough to do it for you.  Amazing.

Twitter Bots Are Spitting Out Available Appointments Fast

There are at least 2 Twitter accounts that share great information, constantly updating you of new and available appointment times.  If you follow these, they often tell you immediately when distributors "drop" new appointments, sites where they are available, and how many appointments are available.  The two I've been following and would recommend are Vaccine Bot NJ and Vaxx Updates.  

Hawaii Is A Great Way to Schedule Appointments in New Jersey Through CVS

It sounds so odd, but it's true...at least as of March 28, 2021.  You see, whenever one tries to find an available appointment in New Jersey via CVS you get "fully booked."  Sometimes that is not correct and there are bookings available, which is why joining the Facebook group or following the Twitter bots above is helpful.  If the group identifies bookings have opened up, start by choosing another state with available bookings, like Hawaii, and you can then get around that stop sign.

Staying Up Late or Waking Up Early And Having Your Information Ready Is Key

This weekend, I watched as CVS opened up thousands of appointments at midnight, 12:30 am, 1:00 am, 1:30 am, and so forth.  I also watched as Rite Aid seemingly opened theirs up at daybreak.  Both happened on the weekends, booked quickly, and the appointments available were for a window of just a couple of days, meaning there are multiple drops during the week.  When you get that "drop" and start filling out the questionnaire, make sure to have your info ready including your insurance and prescription intel.  It is part of the process.

Here's the full List Of Ocean County, New Jersey Vaccine Locations (3/20/21)

Bookmark this page and follow the sites below to sign up for one of the vaccines approved by the FDA for emergency use during the pandemic.

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