After this morning’s post on my Instagram I received so many DMs asking if I had any tips or tricks for finding COVID-19 vaccines. To be honest there is no trick other than being persistent and constantly checking. However I have been successful in securing appointments for many of my family members and friends in the Maryland, DC, Virginia area and other states across the United States and I am happy to share a few resources and what I have learned. So let’s talk COVID-19 Vaccine.
I am going to start off by saying that individuals qualify for the vaccine for various reasons – age, profession, medical condition – regardless of the reason let’s be respectful and not ask, “how did you get the vaccine?!” It is none of your business! Please read this article here and stop asking why someone got the vaccine before you. Additionally the vaccine rollout varies state by state therefore there are many factors at play. Just be happy for that person and move on.
The first thing to do is to check with your state to see what category you fall in for receiving the vaccine. This is the website for Virginia. Make sure you are registered with your local health department and stay up to date with news and alerts as to what phase they are in. I check this information on a daily basis.
The best resource that has allowed me to secure vaccine appointments is through CVS pharmacy directly. CVS is offering the vaccine in select stores in certain states. One of the nice things about CVS is that it lists the eligibility criteria for each state and updates it very frequently when new categories are eligible. Check availability by going to this link and clicking on your state. If the vaccine is available you will see the following:
Scroll down to see which city the vaccine is available and click on the “schedule an appointment now” button. Be sure to search the city name that has available vaccines, not your zip code, because if you enter a zip code it will only search up to a certain radius and it may show up as none available. Click a location and follow the prompts to schedule an appointment.
The availability of vaccines occur throughout the day. I have seen available appointments in the morning, afternoon, evening, and midnight. There is no one specific time therefore I highly recommend checking every half hour or so.
This is the direct link for Giant pharmacy which allows you to search by zip code.
This is the direct link for Walgreens pharmacy which allows you to search by zip code.
Standby List for Leftover Vaccines
For individuals who do not qualify yet for a vaccine in their state, there are a few resources to help find leftover vaccine doses. I recommend bookmarking and signing up for the following:
Dr. B – set up your information and you will receive a text message if there are leftover vaccines in your area. You will have 15 minutes to response and 2 hours to show up to receive your dose.
Vaccine Finder – by entering your zip code you are able to look up pharmacies and stores in your area that have the vaccine, which type, and if it is in stock or not. The best thing to do is to call the store directly and ask if there is a waitlist. Please remember to be kind and courtious with staff when calling, everyone is stressed out and trying to secure a vaccine. Don’t be rude, just be nice!
Vaccine Hunting – find your local Facebook group and request to join. People constantly post and share great tips and information. I am signed up for the Northern Virginia Vaccine Hunters and that is how I am constantly up to date with what is happening in my area. Make sure your push notifications are turned on in order not not miss anything, timing is very important.
I hope this information is useful and everyone is able to secure a vaccine appointment when they are eligible. If you are currently not eligible I urge you to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors and offer to help with making vaccine appointments. We are all in this together and need to lean on each other for support.