Some finding success signing up for vaccine through Walmart website, despite having to stay up late

Posted at 5:37 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 20:31:37-05

DENVER — Last week, Walmart and Sam’s Club began administering COVID-19 vaccines through the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. But getting an appointment for a vaccine has proven to be a challenge for many.

An educator in Arvada, who asked his name not be used in this story, was having trouble booking a spot for the shot until a couple of days ago.

"I wouldn’t expect Walmart and the vaccine to kind of go hand and hand," he tells Denver7.

It took a bit of persistence, a lot of refreshing and tons of web browsers, but it happened.

"I was up [late] refreshing all the Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid websites, and then at [midnight] the Walmart one refreshed and there is something in Denver," he said of his confirmed vaccine appointment.

And there in lies the trick, a nightly alarm just before midnight to refresh website after website. It's an idea first shared on the Colorado Vaccine Hunters Facebook Page.

"Nobody is up at midnight. So the people who are, the very people that are needing the shots, are not able to get what they need," said Centennial resident Krista McFarland.

McFarland worries her parents and others in the 65 and up group won't be able to access the site because of the time of night.

Michael Mingroni lives in Massachusetts. His father lives in Parker. So, at 1:45 a.m. EST, Michael woke up to sign his father up through Walmart's website halfway across the country.

"The amount of necessary information you need to book [an appointment] is not a lot," Mingroni said.

The sign-up asks for only the basic information: Name, date of birth, and how you're eligible.

The problem some are having, is the follow up shot. That Arvada teacher says he got a phone call to schedule a second appointment hours after our interview. However, Mingroni's Dad has yet to get that call.

We reached out to Walmart and the CDC, and will update you when we hear back.

To sign up, you first must be eligible through state guidelines. Then you simply go to Walmart's or the Sam's Club sign up website. A Walmart representative tells us it will be a first come, first serve basis.