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What Do You Do If You Want a Vaccination but Hate Crowds?

Jeff McNamee knows a few tricks.

This week, everyone in Oregon over the age of 16 became eligible to get a COVID-19 shot. In Portland, that’s creating a surge of demand. Much of the rush is being met by a mass vaccination site at the Oregon Convention Center.

Getting an appointment at the Convention Center is straightforward: After a couple of website crashes, the state came up with a lottery system. You no longer have to race for appointments online as you do with some of the other options. If you do nothing else, register with the state’s system for an appointment. Go to getvaccinated.oregon.gov and sign up now.

But what if you don’t want to wait for a random drawing? Or you loathe crowds? (Some 7,500 people a day flow in and out of the Convention Center; it’s an agoraphobe’s nightmare.)

That’s where Jeff McNamee comes in.

McNamee works in health IT and is a moderator for a Facebook group, now called Find a COVID Shot Oregon, that offers tips on booking appointments and leads on openings.

As our reporter Rachel Monahan compiled the best advice for booking a swift COVID-19 vaccination, McNamee was among her brain trust. In this interview, they discuss a fragmented system and the best web tools for navigating it.