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Social Media Groups Offer Expertise in Tracking Down Vaccine Appointments

NBC Universal, Inc.

With the largest pool of Californians now able to schedule vaccine appointments, some may be finding it harder to land one. But an online community launched in the Bay Area may be able to help.

Some people trying to land a coveted COVID-19 vaccination appointment are turning to specialized Facebook groups such as San Francisco COVID-19 Vaccine Help. The administrators offer their expertise to others after they became fairly skilled at snatching up appointments for family members early on in the vaccination eligibility period.

Their Facebook page boasts more than 5,700 members and is updated frequently with openings for vaccines in San Francisco and surrounding areas. Group members are encouraged to share tips, success stories and asks questions surrounding the vaccination process.

Both women say it has been an honor to help others and offer tips for those looking for shots now that eligibility has expanded.

"I think the biggest piece of advice would be to cast a wide net and don’t get too focused on one site," Beth Stanley said. "And try to be informed about possible patterns of when appointments are released. … If there’s an appointment at Walgreens today it's probably smart to schedule an appointment at Walgreens during the period of time of when you’re looking."

Lee Nevo Lamprey added: "If you are new to the process and you feel lost please reach out. We are happy to help, and if you are able to help, help someone else."

There are many other social media groups dedicated to helping others land vaccine appointments, and experts say there’s no harm in joining multiple groups. One may post an opening that another misses, and that could be the post that lands a shot.

Both women agree knowledge is power, and helping others will get us all closer to establishing "community immunity."

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