by Brandon Butler
“Tech Tips” for getting a vaccine 3/1/2021

Joanna Stern for The Wall Street Journal:

Congrats! You survived 12 months of pandemic! Now fragmented systems, shoddy websites and limited vaccine supply stand in the way of you and, well, the rest of your life.

It’s one of the most important human-vs.-machine battles of our time. And it’s made worse by the fact that most humans currently eligible to enter the fray are over 65 and not necessarily glued to a keyboard all day. Many sites don’t take appointments over the phone, either.

But let me tell you, these systems are maddeningly broken, no matter your age or technical skill level. From national pharmacy chains to hospitals to local supermarkets, every Covid-19 vaccine-appointment website I’ve been to has made me feel like I’m bad at computers. And I’ve, well, you know, been reviewing computers for nearly two decades!

I linked to The Verge’s story on terrible vaccine sign-up websites back in January; it’s sad (but not surprising) that it’s still this bad. Stern has some good tips, but you shouldn’t need “tech tips” or browser extensions to get a flu shot that your life literally depends on.