Some tips on getting your shot

Posted 3/25/21

I hope I’m not putting the cart before the horse here, but I was finally able to get an appointment for a COVID vaccination for my wife and I tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that nothing …

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Some tips on getting your shot


I hope I’m not putting the cart before the horse here, but I was finally able to get an appointment for a COVID vaccination for my wife and I tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that nothing weird happens to interfere with it because it took me weeks of trying to get one. I think I have a window between snowstorms to get there, but that doesn’t mean some tanker truck isn’t going to crash and close the highway for hours or something.

I say highway because we are going to have to drive a ways to get to our appointments. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, to be specific. I wasn’t able to get an appointment anywhere closer to Golden. Luckily I heard about that site opening and called right away. It’s supposed to be able to handle several thousand people per day, so that may help take some of the pressure off of other locations and help to open things up a bit. They were great to work with, set things up very easily and managed to get my wife and I appointments on the same day. But, now that the word has gotten out and more people are eligible, getting two appointments on the same day may not be as easy for you as it was for me.

For those of you who have been eligible and trying to get you shots, you will probably have already gone through all of this, but with new groups of people becoming eligible every couple of weeks, let me pass on a little bit of information about what you are getting into.

OK, so the first thing you are going to need to keep up with is who is eligible and that changes every week or so. You are going to need to keep watching the news because you may think you are going to be eligible in two months, only to find out that they bumped things up and you will be on the “good to go” list in just a few days. This is a game of snooze-you-lose.

There are two web sites that you need to bookmark. One is for the State of Colorado’s COVID information page, and the other is for the Jefferson County COVID page, Both of these sites have the most updated information and lists of locations to get a vaccination. Just follow the links. OK, sounds simple enough, but nothing about this past year has been simple, has it? Get ready to line up for the 400 yard hurdle race.

So your first hurdle is just getting through signing up at all of these web sites. There are ones for grocery stores and pharmacies, health centers, mass vaccine locations and other assorted places that defy classification. The first thing you will find out is that some of them are not actually up and running yet. They have a plan in place to operate in the future, but not yet. You can sort through those pretty fast as they don’t have any way to sign up yet.

The next hurdle is that some of the sites are running way behind on updating themselves as to who is eligible. This is where this phased eligibility thing clashes with reality a bit. If you think you are going to get a jump on getting signed up because you heard you will be eligible next week, you will find that most of these sites are still playing catch up with the groups that have already been eligible and some of them are prioritizing people from previous age groups. They may not be updated to include your group until a couple of weeks later!. Take a look at places all over the metro area. Some counties have more locations.

The next hurdle is that some of these places, particularly the big health centers have you sign up and be put on a waiting list. Some are running on sort of a lottery system and will contact you via text or email when your number comes up. The good news is you don’t actually have to be a member or patient at any of them to get a shot, but it leaves you in limbo as to when you may get notified and some of them ask if you could be there in 15 minutes in case somebody else doesn’t show up.

So, after talking with several providers as well as numerous people that have already gone through this, here is my advice. Bookmark all the potential places, keep checking in with them daily, sign up for every list you can and be a little patient. Things get better each week and before long this hurdle race will become a sprint.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at

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