If you are wondering how to book your COVID vaccine appointment, we have some handy resources for you including how to leverage some common apps like Google and Facebook to make it easier to secure your slot.
COVID-19 vaccines became available in December 2020. This gave vaccine access to individuals in group 1A and 1B. On March 11th, President Biden directed that the vaccine should be made available to every individual by May 1st. Vaccine roll-out updates can be tracked on USNews.
Texas Department of Health Services recently announced that all adults will be allowed to make vaccine appointments starting March 29. According to the CDC, once vaccinated you can start gathering indoors with other vaccinated people. Also, if you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. That’s the great news. The bad part is that there is still confusion on how to get that vaccine appointment.
Let’s take a look at some clever ways to take advantage of the Texas roll out.
WHERE TO GET THE CORONAVIRUS VACCINE
VaccineFinder integrates with search functions on Apple Maps and Facebook. This allows users to easily locate vaccine sites.
Apple Maps allows you to search for vaccine locations. Similarly, Siri will also display results in Maps. Each location on the map will display information with a link to the website, the store’s address, and contact information.
Additionally, Facebook has a COVID-19 Information Center with a vaccine-location search tool. The mobile app displays three lines on the bottom right corner of the screen. It will then display a See More bubble, which should navigate you to the COVID-19 Information Center. In a web browser, find See More on the left toolbar. Instagram users also have access to this resource.
In addition to providing a list with contact information for vaccine sites, Google Maps includes eligibility information in their search results.
Google search results for ”Covid vaccine” will display statistics regarding the number of vaccines administered in the country along with other relevant news and information.
However helpful these search tools might be, they don’t provide information about vaccine dose availability or booking appointments.
LOCAL VACCINE AVAILABILITY
Local Facebook Groups have to be one of the best resources for finding available vaccine sites. Members post information about new appointment availability. Some groups even post when pharmacies are active with a number of available slots. CVS usually announces new openings between 5 and 6 a.m.
To ensure that you receive the latest updates regarding how to book a vaccine appointment in your Facebook group, navigate to the Discussion tab. Then follow the toggle “New Activity” to “Recent Posts” to display most recent posts first.
Find A Shot is a useful site for locating pharmacies within a specific ZIP Code. It provides information about the locations with vaccine availability. However, based on real-time results, word-of-mouth within Facebook Groups outranks this site capability. Using both of these tools will serve you well.
A word of caution. Don’t trust paid services claiming to book appointments on your behalf. As with any other service, never provide your social security number.
TYPES OF VACCINES AVAILABLE
There are currently three authorized and recommended vaccines available. The single-dose by Johnson & Johnson and the two-dose vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech.
VaccineFinder and ShopRite have online booking systems with information on types of vaccines available.
Pharmacy sites only stock one type of vaccine. Information about the vaccine they stock will be provided at the time of booking an appointment.
Another service, called Dr.B works with local providers. It sends text messages with vaccine availability in your area.
Vaccine Hunter has created state-based groups. Sign up to your local group for updates.
After booking your appointment, celebrate with the best things to do in Houston this weekend!