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Tips from Press Democrat readers for scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment

For information about how to schedule a vaccine in Sonoma County, go here.

Track coronavirus cases in Sonoma County, across California, the United States and around the world here.

For more stories about the coronavirus, go here.

Scheduling a coronavirus vaccination appointment can be confusing, time-consuming and frustrating.

Residents who are 50 and older, and those with severe health conditions, currently are eligible to receive the vaccine. Anyone aged 16 to 64 will be eligible to get a shot starting April 15.

If you’re eligible for the vaccine but haven’t managed to snag an appointment, we asked vaccinated Press Democrat readers to share their tips.

Here’s what they suggested:

1.) Check several websites periodically throughout the day.

“Don’t give up. Keep trying. If you have to check five times a day, then do that,” Kristin Ell of Santa Rosa said. “Appointments seem to come available at random times during the day. I’m vaccinated and it took me half a week!”

2.) Check online for appointments at midnight or early in the morning

“I have booked 15 appointments for people who were having trouble getting them,” Katie, a Petaluma resident, said. “New appointments become available on CVS at midnight and then again at 2 or 3 (a.m.).”

Chelsea Smith of Sonoma also suggested checking CVS and Rite Aid’s websites at midnight for appointments. She recommended following Sonoma Valley Community Health Center on Facebook because available appointments often are listed there, too.

3.) If the provider allows it, schedule a vaccination out of town.

“Kaiser-San Rafael had dozens of open appointments every day for weeks in advance when I couldn't find any open appointments locally,” Coleen of Santa Rosa said.

If your provider is Kaiser Permanente, where you live doesn’t determine where you receive a vaccine. Kaiser allows patients “to book appointments at our medical centers that are most convenient to them, including vaccinations,” the provider said in a statement.

Federal vaccine sites and some pharmacies such as CVS will vaccinate any California resident at any of their sites, ABC7 News recently reported. But most county-run vaccination sites do not allow you to schedule an appointment if you aren’t a resident.

The County of Sonoma is discouraging those who live elsewhere from making appointments at county-run vaccination sites, especially since many are targeting under-served populations such as the Latino community, communications specialist Matt Brown said.

4.) Join Nextdoor because people are sharing information about appointments there.

“Nextdoor has been an amazing resource,“ Kim Schaffer said. ”People are posting links when available.“

For information about how to schedule a vaccine in Sonoma County, go here.

Track coronavirus cases in Sonoma County, across California, the United States and around the world here.

For more stories about the coronavirus, go here.

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