The COVID-19 vaccine is here after being fast-tracked for mass production and delivery, but where would one go to get it if they so desired or were told they had to? Let’s see if we can help with that.
Health officials across the nation were originally hoping to vaccinate 20 million this month, but we may have fallen a bit short, as the number officially only hit 1 million. While this is far from the goal it does slow but steady progress. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are now both available and are making their way across the country, and if you are one of the many millions who will be in line for one, you’ll probably need to know where to get one, since the number of places you can go will be limited at the start.
The best place to start when looking for the COVID-19 vaccine should be with your health insurance provider, as they will be able to tell you if you are fully insured, as some facilities will be charging an admin fee. If you are with a smaller health facility or hospital, their numbers of available vaccines will more than likely be limited, as the larger hospitals see the most COVID patients, thus they would need more available doses. Also, each individual state will need to first approve vaccine distribution sites.
WHERE TO GO
With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more and more available, you may actually have a choice as to where to go, though this will depend on which type of vaccine is available in your area. As more is produced, more options will arise. For now, here is a list of facilities administering the COVID-19 vaccine:
Rite Aid and other select pharmacies
Assisted living facilities
Likely at first: Schools and community centers
OPERATION WARP SPEED
Operation Warp Speed was set up in efforts to produce and deliver some 300 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to be available by January 2021. This goal, along with the above-stated goal, seems a little ambitious, but they are well on their way to accomplishing something many thought would take a good two years to produce. “Frankly, I think it’s pretty amazing it has gone as fast as it has, recognizing it has only been 10 days since the FDA gave its first approval for emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine and then a week later for Moderna,” National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins told CNN. “I think the distribution effort gone through [Operation] Warp Speed and then working through the states is pretty amazing.”
Moncef Slaoui, President Trump’s COVID-19 vaccine czar, said during a press brief “Exactly how fast the ramp-up of immunizations, shots in arms, is slower than we thought it would be. And as I told you earlier, we’re here to help the states to accelerate appropriately.” He also noted that the goal of the vaccine reaching 20 million across the country by year’s end will likely fall short.
Still, the COVID-19 vaccine presents hope from investors and lawmakers that soon the country will be open for business. The pandemic has seen the destruction of many businesses across the nation, most of which will not come back. The death toll continues to rise, so the initial implementation of the vaccine is strategic in nature. There has been some confusion as to how, when, and where the vaccines will go out, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise as the nation has never been forced to deal with such a large undertaking.
Army Gen. Gustave Perna is the logistical overseer for Operation Warp Speed and has acknowledged the issues the COVID-19 vaccine has faced. “We have had a handful of packages that we tried to deliver that were not destined for the right place, but we captured them before they were dropped off and we rerouted them to the right place,” he said. “And we had a couple of … shipments that did not go out on the right day.”
The bottom line is patience. The COVID-19 vaccine is here, there is more to come, and if you’re willing and eligible, it should be available to you in short order.