With news that the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine has met U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements, vaccination is once again front and center in many Americans’ minds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a vaccine finder tool to help you locate vaccine distribution sites. The tool populates the name, address and phone number of pharmacies and stores within a one to 50-mile radius of your zip code.
At this time, users can search for the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and/or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID vaccines and see whether specific locations are in or out of stock.
Know Your Eligibility
COVID-19 vaccinations are still in limited supply in the U.S. Vaccine eligibility varies by state, but if you are ready – or considering getting ready – to receive a vaccine, the finder tool can help you plan.
“Initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine [should] be allocated to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents,” according to the CDC.
The next groups the CDC recommends get vaccinated include anyone 75 years and older along with frontline essential workers. This means people working in food and agriculture, grocery stores, manufacturing, public transit and education (teachers, support staff, daycare workers, etc.) as well as corrections officers, fire fighters, police officers and U.S. Postal Service workers.
Plan Your Vaccination
Knowing where you’ll get your vaccine is only half the battle. To assure things go as smoothly as possible, plan for what comes next as well, including scheduling a second vaccination and easing possible side effects.
“If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, you should get your second shot three weeks (or 21 days) after your first,” according to the CDC. “If you received the Moderna vaccine, you should get your second shot one month (or 28 days) after your first.”
You can expect some potential side effects from your vaccination, including injection site pain and swelling as well as the possibility of mild cold/flu-like symptoms.
Continue Taking Precautions
Vaccine rollout hasn’t been easy, but a new vaccine and the CDC’s vaccination finder increase hope for wider vaccine distribution. Vaccinations can help protect against COVID-19, but remember that vaccination does not mean immunity.
“It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions,” according to the CDC. “Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, avoid poorly ventilated spaces and wash your hands often.”
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, see here.
Always talk to your doctor before making health-related decisions.