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4 ways to snag a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

These tips can help you score a coveted time slot

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: As experts learn more about the novel coronavirus, news, and information changes. For the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Starting Monday, Apr. 19, all 50 states will open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone age 16 and older. The vaccine is more essential than ever to stop the spread of new variants of the virus. Yet, appointments may be even more difficult to find now that all U.S. adolescents and adults can get it. 

To maximize your chances of scoring a coveted time slot, Ramzi Yacoub, Pharm.D., our chief pharmacy office at SingleCare, has compiled a list of tips. Whether it’s for you or a loved one, try these steps to schedule your jab:

1. Connect with Facebook groups

If you’re having trouble finding a COVID vaccine appointment near you, Facebook groups, such as Vaccine Hunters, are great resources for advice. Community-based groups (based on your state, or if you’re located in a major city) help others find vaccine appointments and give advice on the vaccines in case you’re concerned. 

2. Check real-time aggregator websites

If you’re searching for a vaccine appointment at a pharmacy in your town or nearby, websites like VaxxMax, VaccineFinder or COVID-19 Vaccine Spotter can help you find an appointment in real-time, based on your location. By entering your zip code, you can see all available COVID vaccine types and appointments either in your town or in nearby areas if you’re willing to travel. 

3. Join a standby list.

When patients cancel or miss their appointments, it leaves unused doses at the end of the day. Most of the COVID vaccines have a limited shelf life and typically need to be administered the same day. You can join standby lists by calling your local pharmacy—be persistent and try first thing when they open. 

4. Look into pharmacy appointments during off hours.

While a pharmacy’s website usually updates in real-time once appointments are available, many have found new appointment availability appears during off hours. Check to see if your local pharmacy has appointments either late in the evening or early morning to help better your chance in finding and choosing a location near your home. 

It can be frustrating when you don’t get an appointment on the first try. Don’t give up. With a little persistence, and these resources, you’ll be vaccinated against COVID-19 in no time!