The COVID-19 vaccine is here: How will I know when I’m eligible?

The end of COVID-19 is in sight! We have two safe, highly effective vaccines available today in the U.S., with other candidates not far behind. While this is terrific news – because it means we can help to stop the spread of COVID-19 – getting large numbers of people vaccinated is complicated and takes time.

Manufacturers are working hard to ramp up vaccine supply to meet global demand. In the meantime, supply is limited. For this reason, the CDC recommends vaccines be prioritized for certain high-risk populations, including frontline essential workers and those 65 and older, first. Additionally, states and their counties have unique eligibility guidelines to help prioritize communities.

The variation in COVID-19 vaccination guidelines place to place can make it difficult to figure out who is eligible, where and when. Not to mention, eligibility guidelines are subject to change based on vaccine supply and federal, state and local directives. Like many people right now, you may be wondering, “How will I know when I’m eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

To ease your way, our experts help answer this and other common questions about vaccine eligibility.

How will I know when I’m eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

While the CDC makes recommendations for who should be prioritized and offered a COVID-19 vaccine, each state has its own plan for deciding who will be vaccinated, when. Your local health department is the best source of information regarding vaccination roll-out plans and your eligibility. Try this tool, which allows you to search by state to find your county’s health department. In most cases, county websites should have the most up-to-date and relevant information on local vaccine plans, including your eligibility. Visit our website for eligibility and availability in the regions we serve.

Where can I go to get a COVID-19 vaccine, when eligible?

This varies by location, also. Your local health department decides how its communities will get vaccinated. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a nearby health clinic, pharmacy, or community event, when you become eligible.

Can I make an appointment with my doctor to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Rest assured, your health and well-being remain our highest priority. As soon as distribution details are finalized in the communities we serve, we’ll reach out to our eligible patients and the public in a timely manner, and as supplies allow. Until then, there’s no need to contact our offices to schedule a vaccine appointment.

What can I do in the meantime?

Until the majority of our communities are vaccinated for COVID-19 and while we’re in the thick of this pandemic, it’s critical that people continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash their hands frequently. We are dedicated to staying up to date about the COVID-19 vaccines, so we can make a vaccination plan that’s right for you and your health.

Here are some helpful resources:

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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