CINCINNATI (WKRC) - As states expand their rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, some people are still having trouble getting an appointment.
A third-party website, yourcovidshot.com, promises to do the work for you by checking your eligibility and securing a vaccine appointment for free. It’s available in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Mary Bolouri says the site will officially launch on Wednesday. She says she came up with the idea after her grandmother died from COVID-19 in December, a week before a vaccine became available.
“I since learned, by making it a priority to get my husband a vaccine, that it was really difficult and hard to get a vaccine,” Bolouri said.
While Bolouri hopes to streamline the process and reach those who are underserved, experts say you should always make informed decisions when choosing to use a third-party booking site.
Bolouri says the site is “safe and secure” when it comes to collecting personal information. Right now, it’s still a manual system, so any personal information you might be asked by vaccine provider when booking an appointment, like your name, address, or contact information, will be visible to those booking it. She expects the site to be automated in about a week.
“If anyone needs help, we want to give them help,” Bolouri said.
The Better Business Bureau serving Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana says you should also research a website before giving personal information.
“Red flags of fake websites include personal hard luck stories, spelling and grammar mistakes, and stock images that are copy and pasted from legitimate websites,” Sara Kemerer, BBB Public Relations Specialist, said. “If a website is asking for personal information or any amount of money in order to book your vaccine appointment, that’s a sign the website could be fake.”
A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Health says the department is not familiar with the website and encouraged Ohioans to get information at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Additionally, a streamlined scheduling tool is expected to launch in Ohio in the coming weeks. You can find the state vaccination websites for Kentucky here, and Indiana here.