This story was last updated Feb. 10, 2021.
Jan. 11, 2021 – While bureaucratic snafus, delivery problems and a lack of planning has bogged down the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, more and more states are expanding the list of eligible recipients.
Each state has set priorities about who gets the vaccine first, based on recommendations from the federal government. Currently, the states are rolling the vaccine out in categories based on need. Health care workers and people living in nursing homes are highest priority, and they began receiving the vaccine in mid-December. People ages 75 years and older, along with essential workers like first responders, are next, although several states have lowered that requirement to 65.
Adults between 65 and 75 years old, and younger people (between 16 and 64) at high risk, along with other essential workers, will get the vaccine in the next phase. Assuming there is enough of the vaccine to go around after that, everyone else will be able to get one, likely sometime in the late spring or early summer. That process of getting everyone vaccinated is expected to take until late summer or early fall.
Most vaccinations are now taking place at hospitals or public health clinics. But, the vaccine will likely be available to the public at most pharmacy chain stores like CVS, Walgreens, and others; along with in-store pharmacies at Costco, Kroger, Target, Publix, HEB, and other national and regional chains.
Experts suggest regularly checking state public health department websites for information. Some states offer vaccine safety information, details about who qualifies for vaccines now, where to get them, and ways to sign up for COVID-19 and vaccine alerts. Those websites are listed below.
Health department appointment line: 1-855-566-5333
Vaccine appointments (San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego only)