In his speech marking the one-year-anniversary of COVID-19 on March 11, President Biden spoke extensively about the progress made, and the work still to be done to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
As more mass vaccination centers are scheduled to open in the coming weeks, thousands of retail pharmacies administering shots, and mobile vaccination clinics being utilized, the President encouraged all states to make appointments available for every adult in America by May 1, 2021.
This means that if you haven’t received your coronavirus vaccine yet, your turn is coming soon. Here is a look at six things to know before getting your COVID-19 vaccine.
Determine When You’re Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Eligibility for the vaccine varies from state to state. So be sure to check your state government’s official website, to learn more about when you can receive your COVID-19 vaccine.
For example, if you live in Texas, you can visit www.texas.gov to be directed to all information about COVID-19 and the vaccination roll-out. You can also visit your state health department to learn about eligibility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website makes it easy for you to connect with your state’s department of health.
NBC News has also created an easy-to-use eligibility website, where you simply enter some basic information including the state you live in, your age, and occupation, to find out when you’re eligible to get your vaccine.
Search for COVID-19 Vaccine Sites Near You
To determine where you can get your vaccine, you may visit your local government website and/or your county department of health website to find a location and schedule your shot.
You may also find a vaccine location near you by visiting www.vaccinefinder.org.
Besides local, regional, and state vaccination centers, hospitals, and established vaccination sites that are already open or will be opening soon, more than 10,000 pharmacies across the nation are administering vaccines.
Vaccines at CVS Pharmacies
Vaccines at Rite Aid Pharmacies
You may check vaccination availability and eligibility at Rite Aid pharmacies, by visiting their COVID-19 vaccine website.
Vaccines at Kroger Pharmacies
Kroger pharmacies are also administering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals at some locations. You can look for a participating pharmacy near you, by visiting their COVID-19 vaccine website.
Vaccines at Walgreens Pharmacies
To date, COVID-19 vaccines are available at Walgreens pharmacies in various states. To check eligibility and to look for appointments, visit their COVID-19 vaccine website.
Vaccines at Costco Pharmacies
To date, COVID-19 vaccines are available at select Costco pharmacies to eligible individuals in California, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, and Puerto Rico. To determine eligibility and find a Costco pharmacy providing vaccinations, visit their COVID-19 vaccine website.
Vaccines at H-E-B Pharmacies
Select H-E-B pharmacies in Texas are providing coronavirus vaccinations. To check eligibility and schedule a vaccine, visit their COVID-19 vaccine website.
Vaccines at Giant Eagle Pharmacies
Select Giant Eagle pharmacies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Indiana are providing COVID-19 vaccinations. Visit their vaccine website to confirm eligibility and schedule an appointment.
Learn About the Different COVID-19 Vaccines
There are three approved, available vaccines in the United States. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single shot. All shots are safe and effective, so be sure to get whatever vaccine is available as soon as possible.
You will have a high level of protection from Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine two weeks after your second shot. You will also have a high level of protection two weeks after your single Johnson & Janssen shot.
On April 13, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended pausing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The pause comes after reports of extremely rare but potentially serious blood clots.
Show Up for Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment
Keep the appointment you make. Vaccines that go unused are frequently discarded at the end of the day. So be sure that you arrive on time or a few minutes before your scheduled appointment.
Schedule Your 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine if Needed
If you receive the Moderna or Pfizer shot, you will need to schedule your second shot for approximately four weeks later. Be sure to schedule your second shot while you’re at your first appointment. Make sure you also arrive on time for your second shot.
Continue to Follow Public Health Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that fully vaccinated individuals continue to follow all public health guidelines. These guidelines include wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of social distance from others, and frequent hand washing. The CDC continues to recommend delaying domestic and international travel and avoiding medium or large-sized gatherings.
The CDC has issued new guidance saying that it is safe for fully vaccinated individuals to gather with other fully vaccinated individuals, without wearing masks.
Moreover, unless you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need to be tested for coronavirus, or quarantine if you have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19. However, if you develop symptoms of illness, you should get tested, and should isolate yourself from others.
Jen Hadley is a freelance writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, who writes extensively about the medical, legal, health care, and consumer products industries. Jen is a regular contributor to RxSaver.
Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS
Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS., is a pharmacist who earned her PharmD from St. John’s University in Queens, NY. She maintains an active practice, serving as a Board-Certified Pediatric Pharmacotherapy Specialist at a large metropolitan teaching hospital in New York City. Carina has also published in pharmacy journals and works as a consultant reviewing medical articles for publication.
The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.
If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
Best Practices for Going Back to School During COVID-19
Key takeaways: For children and teens age 12 and up, COVID vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19. Universal masking is the best...
By David Hill, MD, FAAP
Americans Weigh In on Mental Health, Vaccines and Anxieties Over New Normal In Latest Study
A year later we are entering a new normal, multiple COVID-19 vaccinations are available, and Americans are beginning to see a light at the end of the
By Bre D’Alessio South
What to Know About Schools Reopening During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Key takeaways: Reopening schools safely relies on having limited COVID-19 spread in the community. The CDC recommends universal masking and...
By Angela Dunn, MD, MPH