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In-Depth: How to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for someone else

Family, friends, neighbors try to help others
Posted at 6:06 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 10:27:46-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As seniors struggle to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments online, many are turning to friends, family, and neighbors for help.

"I look at it as a matter of life or death," says Jean Froning, who has helped over two dozen people book appointments. "I might be saving a life."

According to a spokesperson from San Diego County, anyone can book an appointment for someone else, regardless of tier or their relation to the person they're helping.

But, the county says you'll need to gather as much data as you can to help fill out the online forms quickly.

Among the information you need is:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Insurance information
  • Mother's maiden name

However, if you're missing information like SSN or insurance, there are workarounds.

The county website has instructions that say you can enter 000-00-0000 for the Social Security Number and select "Someone Else" under the insurance information when asked who will pay for the costs associated with the shot.

People like Froman, who have helped others secure appointments, say it's crucial to have all of that information on hand before you start looking for an appointment.

That makes it easier and faster to fill out the online forms.

"It's often the case, and we hear this over and over again, where a person will start registering themselves, and before they can even get down a couple of fields, the appointment's gone," says Sylvia Lange, who has helped around a dozen people get appointments.

"The issue is speed," she says. "I get all the data that I need right up front, so the minute I get a green light, I quickly, quickly, quickly get it all completed to be able to grab the available appointment."

Meanwhile, different vaccination locations use different websites to make an appointment. Lange says trying all of them increases the chance that you'll be successful.

"I keep all the windows open," she says. "Then in between tasks, I'm constantly refreshing and refreshing and grabbing when I can."

Most county-run vaccine locations use the MyTurn website run by the state. Sharp Rees-Stealy and sites run by County Fire use the PrepMod system through CalVax.org. The Petco Super Station and Rady Children's Hospital use UC San Diego Health's MyChart App. Grocery stores and pharmacies all have their own websites for booking.

The County COVID-19 Vaccine Information website has direct links for all of them to start booking an appointment.

Above all, Lange and Froman say, don't give up.