You Can Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Now — If You Work One Volunteer Shift

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The state of California just announced a new and completely legal way to jump the line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Regardless of your eligibility, the state will let you get the vaccine if you work a volunteer shift at one of the vaccination sites. You can sign up for a shift on the website My Turn – Volunteer, which just launched on Friday.

The shifts are either four or eight hours in length, depending on your community. If you have any kind of medical training, you can volunteer to be a Vaccinator, a Vaccine Prep worker, or a  Patient Observer. If you don’t have any medical training, you can still sign up to be a Greeter, handle Registration, or perform Volunteer Management.

Now for the bad news — we tried signing up using both San Francisco and Oakland zip codes, and both of them produced the “We can’t find a location or shift that matches your search right now.” The message says to “Please check back soon.”

But that is likely a very temporary problem. According to the Chronicle, “The launch Friday was also to educate clinics about the new tool, and encourage them to start using it to fill up volunteer slots. So as more clinics sign up, more slots will open. Also, the state expects more vaccine sites to open in the next few weeks. People should keep checking back for opportunities, and they can also sign up for updates.”

So if you want that shot, a shift is likely to open up very soon. (Like getting a vaccine appointment, it seems to involve a lot of “Keep refreshing the page.”) You do have to be 18 or older to sign up for a volunteer shift, and volunteers do not need to be vaccinated to sign up.

You can sign up to volunteer and get your vaccine (hopefully soon) at

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Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.

1 Comment

  1. Spike Kahn
    March 11, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    i hate that the emphasis is gaming the system, listing minimum requirements to get vaccinated before your turn! Covid and mask-wearing has divided up the nation into those who care and are helping others, vs those who care only about themselves and helping only themselves. Wearing a mask, in the beginning, was said to protect others from you, not you from others, so only those caring for their fellow humans wore masks. Same now. Young’ns who think they’re immune don’t care about more vulnerable neighbors, so don’t wear their masks. Now, the vaccine as carrot to get volunteers to be altruistic and help others? How about decency and a sense of civic duty?