COVID vaccines are being administered more than ever, but it can still be tough to secure a COVID vaccine appointment. Here are 7 ways to secure one without jumping the line!
1) Weigh Yourself
Believe it or not, millions of Americans qualify for the COVID Vaccine because of their weight, or more specifically their "body mass index" (BMI) which is a calculation involving weight and height. Being overweight, obese, or morbidly obese may put you at increase risk for COVID complications, and many states are recognizing these categories as qualifiers for the COVID vaccine.
Overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25, Obese is a BMI greater than or equal to 30, and morbidly obese is a BMI greater than or equal to 40. Click here to see calculate your BMI, then check your state's eligibility categories to see if you qualify for a COVID vaccine due to your BMI.
2) Find Out Which COVID Vaccines are Available WHERE:
The CDC has an excellent vaccine tracker that allows you to search locations to get your covid vaccine. You can also search by the specific vaccine type to see which specific vaccines are available where. Click here to search: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/reporting/vaccinefinder/about.html.
3) Get on a Standby List
Many vaccine sites have unused vaccine doses at the end of the day that must be used. Put your name on a standby list at local pharmacies and stores that offer the vaccine so that you could potentially receive a dose if they have any leftover.
Also, consider stopping by or calling your local vaccine center at the end of the day to see if you can receive any unused doses. This not only prevents the dose from going unused but may allow you to get the vaccine sooner if you are not eligible yet in your region. This will also work for people who are eligible but haven't been able to secure an appointment yet.
4) Check with Your Church
Many churches and places of worship are assisting members with securing COVID vaccines. If you're having problems scheduling a COVID vaccine check with your church or place of worship to see if they might be able to help.
5) On the Road Again...
Being willing to travel might increase your chances of getting a COVID vaccine. I know a physician who drove 2 hours to be able to get his vaccine and he says it was well-worth it. Traveling might create more opportunities to get vaccinated and get vaccinated sooner- so please consider this!
6) Talk it Up!
Ask friends and family where they received their vaccinations. Word-of-mouth can be a VERY powerful tool in securing a vaccine so don't be afraid to ask others how they received their appointment. Also, consider joining social networks and groups like the group, "I Got the COVID Vaccine," where you can share and learn from others.
7) Be Persistent
You may have to check websites and locations DAILY to secure a COVID vaccine appointment. Persistence can pay off so don't be afraid to go the extra mile!
Hope this is helpful! Dr. Jen
Dr. Jen Caudle is a Family Doctor & Associate Professor at Rowan University, an On-air health expert, and a video creator. Please sign up for her free newsletter and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for daily health videos. Purchase comfy and stylish COVID vaccine shirts (and donate to the Red Cross by doing so) here.