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Where can you get a COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa?
Starting March 8, Iowa officials expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to any Iowan under the age of 65 with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk for severe outcomes, if they were to be infected with the virus.
This move vastly expands the number of people who can receive a shot in Iowa, with some counties estimating 70 percent of their population now qualified for the vaccine.
People 65 and older, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers, and certain essential workers also are eligible.
To find out whether you qualify, check out this chart.
If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine under the state's rollout plan, here are different ways you can get a shot:
Iowans can find available appointments at vaccine providers near them through the state's COVID-19 vaccine website. By entering their ZIP code, qualified individuals can find a vaccine provider anywhere between a 5 to 100 mile radius.
Once you find a provider near you, the website lists the phone number or website to use for inquiring about scheduling a vaccine appointment.
Check with local pharmacies
Several retail pharmacies in Iowa are getting allocations of the vaccine from state and federal officials, offering more options for appointments in your area.
Hy-Vee pharmacies across Iowa receive shipments each week from the state. The state's vaccinate.iowa.gov will let you know if the Hy-Vee pharmacy in your area is offering vaccines. You can also check Hy-Vee's COVID-19 vaccine website to schedule an appointment.
Dozens of pharmacies across the state are offering vaccines through the Federal Retail Pharmacy program. Those locations can also be found through the state's website, vaccinate.iowa.gov. Or you can check your local pharmacy to see if they have a waitlist for available appointments.
Appointments are also available at select Walgreens and CVS locations
, but are offered on a limited basis.
For Walgreens, you an check for vaccine availability in your area at walgreens.com/schedulevaccine by entering your city or ZIP code. You may have to check back often, as more appointments become available. You can also call 1-800-WALGREENS.
For CVS, visit cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine, then scroll down to the list of states and click on 'Iowa.' You may have to check back often, as more appointments become available.
Check with your health care provider
In many counties, hospitals and clinics are contacting eligible patients directly to schedule an appointment as the vaccine supply allows.
If you haven't heard from your health care provider, check your provider's electronic medical records system, such as MyChart. Some providers are scheduling eligible patients through that system.
You also can call your provider directly. Even if appointments are booked, some providers are keeping a waitlist for future appointments.
But public health officials and health care providers are urging patience because demand for the vaccine still far surpasses the current supply. Especially now that more Iowans are eligible, it could be some time before everyone gets a vaccine.
Iowans can call the state's 211 hotline to speak with a vaccine navigator for help finding and scheduling a vaccine appointment. The call center is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
When it was initially announced, state officials said the hotline was only available to Iowans 65 and older in need of assistance. That includes those who don't have internet access, have difficulty using technology and don't have anyone to help them find an appointment.
Check with your local public health department
The public health agency in your county may also be offering weekly vaccine clinics. Be sure to check the website and social media pages of county public health department. Some counties are also offering call centers to answer questions or share more information.
Need more help?
If you're someone 65 and older who needs more help finding a vaccine or transportation to get to your appointment, contact your local Area Agency on Aging by calling 1-866-468-7887. You can also visit www.IowaAging.gov.
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