If you're like me, I'm sure you've become frustrated trying to get a vaccine appointment and wondering what you're doing wrong. (They're certainly not making it easy! I mean, midnight, CVS? Why midnight??) Thanks to a few tips that friends passed along, I was able to secure multiple vaccine appointments in New Jersey so I'd like to share that knowledge with anyone who needs help. As of April 19th, everyone 16+ who lives or works in NJ will be eligible so get ready to book those appointments!
Here are three methods and how they worked for me.
Method 1: Atlantic Health registry
- Go to https://www.atlantichealth.org/conditions-treatments/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-vaccine.html
- Register to receive a vaccine.
- In a few days, you’ll receive an email and text telling you that there are appts available. Click the link in the text or email and schedule your appointment. In my experience, they will hold them for a day or two so book it quickly but don’t panic if you didn’t see the text or email right away.
Method 1 verdict: IT WORKED! I registered on March 25th and got the email and text saying I could schedule on the 30th. I was out of town and the appointments they were offering were before I was going to be back in NJ so I didn’t take one. I continued to check for a couple days but they didn’t list any new ones. I got another alert on April 6th saying there were more appointments available but I had already gotten another one by then. This is definitely the most stress-free option and there's no reason not to register.
Method 2: Following Twitter bots
- Follow the following Vaccine Bots on Twitter: @nj_vaccine (Vaccine Bot NJ) , @C19VaxxUpdates (VaxxUpdates) , @UCNJ_VaccineBot (UCNJ COVID Vaccine Bot)
- Check the little bell next to “following” so that you get alerts as soon as they post. Be sure to turn on notifications for Twitter on your phone.
- The first two will post appointments all over the state. Many are only available for the people who live and work in each county.
- FOR UNION COUNTY RESIDENTS: The UCNJ one posts are for the Union County vaccine site at Kean university. These will go VERY fast so click the link as soon as you see it. Say yes to Eligibility and No when it asks for insurance. (You don’t need it and if you stop to enter it, it'll time out and miss the appointment.)
Method 2 verdict: IT WORKED! I saw an alert for Union County appointments, I clicked the link and there were available appointments at Kean! I was still in Connecticut and needed one for the following week so I didn’t book one.
Method 3: CVS at Midnight
- Prepare a list of zip codes of towns that are not too far of a drive from you.
- At 11:50 pm, log on to https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine . Scroll down to the list of states. If you were to click on New Jersey, it would most likely say that each town is fully booked. You need to choose ANY state that has some availability like you see with Alabama below. Once you find a state with availability, click on Schedule an appointment now.
- Go through page by page and answer the questions. It will give you an opportunity to select the state. Once you get to the “Schedule Dose” page where you enter your zip code, enter your home zip code but don’t hit enter. WAIT.
- At EXACTLY 12 midnight, click enter and you should see some availability. If not, go back and enter a different zip code on your list until you find one. They’ll go FAST but they release more at 12:30, 1, and 1:30 am so try the same method again at those times.
Method 3 Verdict: IT WORKED! I did it once and got one in Roselle but since it was going to be while I was out of town, I set it up for my husband. I was able to schedule his two appts at one time. I did it again for myself and got one in Scotch plains. I went today and it was very easy and quick!
I hope this list can help some of you get an appointment! Thanks to two of my besties, Tracy and Jen, for sharing their tips with me!
Photo by Joshua Bamidele via Burst.