Looking for a vaccine? You may not need to wait on a health department text


(Photo: Courtesy MGN Image)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia currently has over 300 retail pharmacy locations offering the COVID-19 vaccine and for some of those locations, you might be able to schedule your appointment yourself.

As people anxiously await their turn for the vaccine, with phone ringers on and email notifications clogging your screen it might be worth your time tracking down an appointment on your own.

For people eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1b, VaccineFinder.org provides a list of places offering the vaccine. The Virginia Department of Health recommends it on their FAQ page for anyone looking to get vaccinated at a pharmacy location.

The website allows you to enter your location and a mile radius that you’re willing to travel for your shot. Then its gives a list of all the locations providing vaccines in the area, along with indicators of what locations have doses in stock. People looking for a particular vaccine can narrow down their search to reflect that.

Most locations such as CVS, Walmart, Publix and Walgreens then bring you to an online portal to indicate that you’re eligible and set up an appointment time. As of April 1, VDH says these pharmacy locations are allowing vaccinating members of Phase 1b.

Smaller providers like the Westbury Apothecary and the JenCare Neighborhood Medical locations in Shockoe Bottom and Hull Street may not have a web portal and instead just list a phone number for people interested in getting the vaccine.

In order to score an appointment at one of health district run locations Virginians should pre-register through the Vaccinate Virginia page at vaccinate.virginia.gov. VDH says everyone over 16 should sign up and get in line for their turn. You can also pre-register by calling 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682).

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