The COVID-19 vaccines are here, but if it’s your turn to get vaccinated, how are you supposed to sign up?
The answers vary by place, so NPR created a tool to help you understand how things work in your state and connect you with local resources. And we’re sharing guiding principles and advice for navigating the process below.
Search for your state below. (There are a few large cities with their own immunization plans that you’ll find on our list as well.)
Please note that the information in this tool is subject to change, as states roll out new processes and new providers get the vaccine. Always check with your state health department for the latest guidance.
Advice for navigating a patchwork system
It helps to understand how the system works as you set out to get the vaccine. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you proceed.
1. First, understand the big picture. As you try to navigate the vaccine system in your state, be aware that there are multiple points of entry for those seeking a vaccine. Although the federal government pays for and distributes the vaccines, it’s up to state and local health departments and the private sector — hospitals, clinics and pharmacies — to actually schedule and give out the shots.
In many states, the different systems don’t talk to one another. So when it’s your turn to get signed up for a shot, you may need to look for available appointments in all three of these separate streams, depending on your state.
2. Keep an eye on pharmacies. In addition to sending vaccines to states, the government is sending vaccines directly to chain pharmacies through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which launched in early February.
Find out which pharmacies in your area are giving out vaccines by using the CDC’s VaccineFinder tool, which launched Feb. 24. VaccineFinder is designed to show up-to-date information about which local pharmacies have doses in stock, and you may be able to book an appointment online, directly with the pharmacy, if you’re eligible in your state.
In most states, this tool only shows pharmacies that get vaccine directly from the federal government so there may be additional pharmacies with vaccine — check your state in our tool for ways to search for those. In Alaska, Indiana, Iowa and Tennessee, you can see the complete list of providers using VaccineFinder, and more states are expected to include complete lists in the coming weeks.