Inside Look at One CT Family's Search for COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments

"I haven’t been through anything like this since I tried to get Grateful Dead tickets. Haha,” Beverly Zeroogian said.

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Beverly Zeroogian had her two sons, Ben and Josh, in mind when she started planning days ago for the state of Connecticut to open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 16 and older.

She printed out a six-page spreadsheet, pre-registered them on websites and started looking Wednesday afternoon after she heard and saw some sites had opened the flood gates.

“I had two different numbers and two different phones going and the browsers and I kept refreshing the browsers and it was pretty frustrating because, at some times like the way the websites were set up, it would take you down this list of questions that you had to keep answering over and over again and then you would click and no appointments. And then, once in a while, it would say, 'Oh yes, there’s appointments in this location, choose what time you want,' and so you’d click to get the times and then it would say there’s no appointments. So yea, I was pretty fried yesterday,” Beverly Zeroogian, of Newtown, said.

She called it quits, went to bed and planned to gather the troops around midnight.

“My dad came in through the doorway and was like, 'Alright, we’re doing it.' And I was like, 'OK.' I didn’t really know what I was doing, but she was just like, 'Go to this site, you’ve got this login and you’re going to do this,' and I was like, 'Yes ma’am,'” Ben Becker, of Newtown, said.

Together they sat at the kitchen table, scouring the internet and working as a team to find open appointments.

Becker said the thought of seeing his grandparents again and returning to college motivated him.

They had a breakthrough on Big Y’s website.

At 12:05 a.m., she got the first appointment.

At that time, Zeroogian said, the website was showing there were 43 locations available. Within five minutes it dropped to 23.

Both Ben and Josh secured an appointment at Big Y before they were all gone by 12:25 a.m.

“I haven’t been through anything like this since I tried to get Grateful Dead tickets. Haha,” Zeroogian said.

Becker has an appointment on Tuesday and said many of his friends booked appointments that are weeks out, if they got an appointment at all.

“I’m pretty happy,” Becker said.

It’s a weight off their shoulders after both Zeroogian and her husband battled COVID-19 in January.

“I’m relieved because you know I’ve been through COVID, I’m still going through COVID. I have continued symptoms. I know how bad this is and how debilitating it’s been for me,” Zeroogian said.

Healthcare providers recommend people be patient and persistent when it comes to booking a vaccine appointment. Providers will continue to open up appointments as they get more vaccines.

Get tips here on how to book an appointment.

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