Get Vaccine: A Garden command that helps you book appointments at Berlin's vaccination centers
By Eythor Magnusson
June 02, 2021
Vaccination openings in real time
We just added a Garden command that automatically checks for openings at one of Berlin's vaccination centers in real time. Just run it in your terminal and get on with your day.
Every time there's an opening, you'll get a notification. Clicking it will take you directly to Doctolib.de where you can make an appointment for the respective vaccination center.
Note that demand is high and a lot of people are watching for openings. One trick we've heard is to not go for the first opening you see in the Doctolib calendar—that's what everyone else is trying for. Instead, scroll forward and find a later appointment.
I simply had a hard time getting a vaccine appointment myself, and a friend of mine pointed me to Impstoff.Link (thanks Andrea!). It's a website that shows you openings in the Berlin vaccination centers.
I didn't want to spend the entire day refreshing my browser, so my first instinct was to write some code to automate that. Well, it just so happens that I spend most of time working on Garden, and the project has everything set up to run these kind of operations. Literally the fastest way for me to automate this was to add a simple Garden command that checks the Impstoff.Link API at an interval and lets me know if there are openings.
Okay cool, but how do I get this working?
You need to install Garden and run the appropriate command from your terminal. Depending on your tech-savviness, this may either feel straightforward or a little complicated.
That being said, we'll do our best to provide a step-by-step guide, including for non-technical folks. Please let us know if you have suggestions for improvements, we'll make sure to keep this up to date. But here goes:
Step 1: Sign up at Doctolib
Get an account at Doctolib. You'll need it to make an appointment at the vaccination centers.
Step 2: Download Garden
If you're tech-savvy: Download the edge release of Garden. Note that, macOS doesn't take too kindly to binaries downloaded off the internet, so you're better off using something like curl or wget. Note that this only applies to the edge releases, the installation process for normal releases is straightforward.
If not (and assuming you're on Mac): Open the "Terminal" app on your laptop. For example by clicking cmd+space (at the same time) and typing "Terminal".
Once it opens, copy paste the following into the Terminal window:
(If you're looking for step-by-step instructions for other operating systems, please let us know.)
Step 3. Run the command (from any git directory)
If you're tech-savvy: Assuming you have Garden in your path, run garden get vaccine from a git directory. I.e., any old directory were you've done git init. Garden normally only works in the context of Garden projects, hence the git requirement.
If not: If you followed the non-tech-savvy path in step 2. Simply type the following in the terminal window:
mkdir get-vaccine && cd get-vaccine && git init
../macos-amd64/garden get vaccine
Whether, tech-savvy or not, you should now get notifications on your computer. You'll also see relevant information in the terminal window.
And if you get stuck, just DM me on Twitter. I'd be happy to help.
Now that everything's set up, just get on with your day and wait for the notifications to pop up. Once they do, click'em fast ⚡️.
Finally, a big thank you
All of the credit really goes to the people behind the Impstoff.Link website. Thank you so much for setting it up! And of course, thanks to everyone else working hard to get Berliners vaccinated ❤️