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How to Get an Appointment for the COVID-19 Vaccine in Your Area

how-to-get-covid19-vaccine

The rate of Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 has been rising, but the rollout can lead to major frustration with long lines and limited supply. With COVID-19 claiming thousands of lives in the U.S. every day, waiting isn’t an option for most people. So how can you bolster your chances of securing a couple of booster shots to improve your resistance to the virus? Which of the three vaccines should you pursue and does it really matter? We’ve got answers to these questions and many more in our guide to getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

Does It Matter Which COVID-19 Vaccine I Get?

Above all else, it’s important to remember that all of the approved vaccines have been tested and proven safe. Every day the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines are reaffirmed as the numbers of vaccinated Americans grow and the instances of bad reactions remain minuscule by comparison.

The currently approved vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna use a more modern approach to vaccination than the pending Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They use messenger RNA as a vehicle to inject a set of instructions into the DNA, which tells the immune system to produce a protein that mimics the spiked proteins that give COVID-19 its striking appearance. Once the body sees a small amount of the spiked protein, the immune system builds a response that is proven effective against an army of spiked COVID-19 cells.

While the two approved vaccines use mRNA as a vehicle, the J&J vaccine uses elements of a harmless virus to create the spike protein needed to trigger an immune response to protect the body from COVID-19

Here’s more on how the two approved vaccines and the pending vaccine work to protect you from the COVID-19 virus:

  • Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine (95% effective) - approved for those 16 and older. Storage requires extreme cold temperatures. Requires two doses administered 21 days apart. Efficacy consistent regardless of race, age or sex. Side effects less likely for senior citizens.
  • Moderna vaccine (94% effective) - Approved for those 18 and older. Storage requires cold temperatures, but not extreme cold. Requires two doses administered 28 days apart. Slightly less effective for those age 65 and older. Side effects are less likely for senior citizens.
  • Johnson & Johnson vaccine (up to 72% effective) - Requires cold storage, but not extreme cold. Requires just a single shot. More on efficacy and side effects forthcoming.
Where Can I Schedule an Appointment to Get Vaccinated?

Below you’ll find contact information for state health departments and their COVID-19 hotlines. Find your state in the list below and then click or call to take steps to schedule an appointment:

Keep reading to find out what you’ll need at the vaccination site, what to do if you’ve recently had COVID-19, and who should consider waiting on a vaccine.