coronavirus vaccine

‘Vaccine Angels' Continue to Help CT Residents Find Appointments, Share Booking Strategies

NBC Universal, Inc.

If you’re eligible for a vaccine and still struggling to find an appointment, there are tricks that can help you and your loved ones.

Thousands of Connecticut and New York residents scour, which takes you to a Facebook group where members help folks find available appointments.

“It’s really good willed people. Dedication, care and a lot of love coming in to help other people,” said Joel Leyden, the executive director of the site.

Members say make sure you’re checking all of your available sign-up options: the state’s website, health care providers, and pharmacies too.

“Things keep opening up all the time and I know not everybody has the time or the opportunity to maybe, to check frequently and if you do, you can check for others too,” said Monica Nica of Ridgefield, who believes she’s helped about 50 people make appointments.

Along those lines, don't be afraid to ask for help.

Melania Smith of East Norwalk is sure glad she posted her situation on the vaccine page. Someone helped her find an appointment for the next day.

“God bless her because like I said being older and not being technology savvy. It’s very hard for older people able to understand the ins and the outs.”

While not feasible for everyone, those helping folks within the group also suggest broadening the distance you’re willing to travel to get vaccinated.

“Clearly the more rural areas of the state specifically for Connecticut is where you can find stuff easier,” said Nica.

One of the best tips we learned from the “Vaccine Angels:” if the CVS website says there are no appointments available in Connecticut, don’t give up.

Click a different state instead like Alabama, and start the registration process.

Continue to fill out your eligibility information and when it asks you to choose your state: click Connecticut - and Monday we found an available appointment in Bloomfield.

“I think there’s a lot more out there than people realize. You have to work for it a little bit,” said Nica.

Remember, you can also call the state’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance line for help at 1-877-918-2224.

Those answering the phones understand the shot supply and demand problem firsthand and will try and point you in the best direction to get you vaccinated.

“We’ll book them over the phone if we can and if for any reason we don’t have an appointment that works for them, then we’re going to work with them to provide any guidance to make it easier,” said Lisa Tepper-Bates, president & CEO, United Way of CT.

And in your search if you find a better appointment option, make sure you cancel your original slot. In the meantime, be patient and persistent.

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