A few weeks ago, I received my first dose of the Covid vaccine. I didn’t “jump the line” or do anything shady to get the vaccine. Where I live in Texas, I qualify for the 1B group, and that is the group being vaccinated at this time. I know the qualifications vary by state, and some states are further along in the process than others.
Honestly, the process to get my vaccine was not very smooth. Nobody called me up and said “Hey Nancy, it’s your turn. Just come on in to the corner pharmacy.” I had to be proactive in seeking out my dose and stay diligent with my email and phone notifications.
For those of you still waiting for the Covid vaccine, I have some tips to help you through the process. Hopefully, the more of us who get vaccinated, the sooner things will return to normal and we can resume traveling.
Note: I am not a scientist, epidemiologist or a medical expert. This post is for those who want to get vaccinated. If you don’t want to get the vaccine, I have no beef with you. Just please move on without commenting.
Get on Multiple Waiting Lists
My state doesn’t have a centralized registration list. Every hub has its own list that it pulls from, and most of them encourage you to sign up on multiple lists.
I signed up on my county’s health department list as well as four neighboring counties’ lists. In addition, I signed up on several local pharmacy waiting lists and at a few hospitals to increase my chances of being called. In total, I was on over 10 lists. Vaccine hubs are required to give vaccines to registrants regardless of your city/county of residence.
Check Your Phone and Email Religiously
Once you’ve signed up on multiple waiting lists, pay attention to texts, phone calls and emails. Turn your phone ringer on, or set an alert for emails. Sometimes, a distribution center sends out appointment notifications that get filled in a manner of minutes. If you don’t check your phone often, you may miss an opportunity.
A few weeks ago, I was on a zoom call with my son’s school. And wouldn’t you know it, a neighboring city emailed me for a vaccine appointment. By the time I got off my zoom call 30 minutes later, all appointments were filled. Luckily, I got a call from another hub the next day.
Ask Your Mayor or Local Government to Advocate for Vaccine Hubs
When the vaccines started coming to the DFW area, my county was practically skipped over. Dallas and Fort Worth received the bulk of the vaccines, and the neighboring suburbs received almost none. On my city’s local Facebook group, residents started to complain loudly. Our mayor and county commissioner got to work to petition the state for more vaccines for our area.
It worked! We went from having zero hubs to four hubs, and the quantity of vaccines coming in has multiplied every week. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
Join Local Facebook Groups
I’m a member of several Facebook groups that cater to moms and residents of my city and county. Through those groups, people have shared various places to get on registration lists and other helpful information. I recommend you join a few local groups to stay on top of the latest vaccine news.
Watch the Local News
Turn on your TV to watch the local news. Some hubs have walk-up days geared for older people who are not internet savvy. I know several friends who were able to secure vaccines for their parents by staying on top of these walk-up days.
Register for Future Non-priority Groups
Even if you don’t qualify for the vaccine in your state right now, you still may be able to get on a list for future non-priority groups. Nearby Tarrant County is encouraging all people who want the vaccine to register on their list even if they aren’t in the 1A or 1B groups. This will prevent their servers from crashing once new priority groups are announced, and it also gives them a list to pull from if they have extra doses that are expiring.
My husband is now signed up on the Tarrant County list, and we are watching to see if other lists expand to include other applicants soon.
Things are constantly changing with the vaccine rollout, so I encourage you to stay on top of the rules in your area. I hope things do change soon, and that the vaccine will be readily available at every local pharmacy without jumping through these hoops.
If you have additional tips for navigating the Covid vaccine process, please share!
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.