Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Hector Flores, MD on where you can get the COVID vaccines.
Find a COVID vaccine location near you at vaccines.gov (English) or vacunas.gov/ (en español). You can also text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish. COVID vaccines are FREE to everyone in the U.S. who is 12 years of age and older, regardless of insurance or immigration status.
So, in terms of the options across the country as far as getting the vaccine, the Federal Emergency Management Agency does sponsor what are called megasites or large-scale vaccination, usually in a large venue with a huge parking lot, like a sports stadium. People can get the services there. Often it’s required that they register online and obviously having transportation to get there. So that’s one option. Two is we know we have over 6,000 hospitals across the country, and they have been of great service to many communities for years and years. They’re a trusted source of service. So, we’re relying on hospitals across the country to serve as hubs for vaccination.
Certainly, the success of the vaccination of healthcare workers is in large part due to the hospitals participating. Number three, we have a network of almost 2,000 federally qualified health centers and rural health centers across the country, located in the most underserved communities in the country. That’s their mission. And many of them are equipped to become large-scale immunization sites for the community. Again, always free of charge and not asking any personal questions that may put someone in jeopardy because of their immigration status. And then the third component of this collaborations between these megasites, the hubs like hospitals and the safety net facilities to develop mobile units that can actually reach people who are homeless, who are homebound or otherwise isolated.
Pharmacies are also a great point of getting vaccines. We know that there’s the federal partnerships with the large pharmacy chains like Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS, for example, but many times people trust and access independently-owned pharmacies.