COVID-19 Vaccine Availability
- SurvivorNet has assembled a guide to COVID-19 vaccination and availability in all 50 states.
- The availability of the two COVID-19 vaccines currently approved changes very quickly so consult these resources or your local health authorities. Each state has set its own priorities regarding who gets vaccinated first.
- In many states, people with underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID complications are in the next phase of the vaccine rollout.
- Although some states are vaccinating cancer patients now, others are making them wait for a few more weeks or months. Some cancer patients are traveling to other states to get the shot.
Preventing COVID-19 is in everyone’s best interest, given the virus’s ability to cause serious, body-wide complications, but, as people in the SurvivorNet community know well, the risks are even higher for cancer patients. “The virus is particularly risky to cancer patients due to their compromised immune system, and depending on the cancer and other conditions, their compromised organ function,” Dr. Carol Ann Huff, associate professor of Oncology and Medicine and medical director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, tells SurvivorNet.Read More
“From my perspective, I think all cancer patients should be vaccinated,” says Dr. Gary Schwartz, chief of hematology and oncology at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He cites the higher risk of dying from the virus among people who are being treated for cancer. “There’s no question, whether you’re 65 or 18 years of age, if you have cancer you should be provided access to the vaccine because it’s essential for prevention and essential for survival.”
Yet that doesn’t mean everyone with cancer can get the vaccine right now. Though there are two vaccines currently approved – one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna — and several more vaccines moving down the approval pipeline, each state has set its own priorities for who should get vaccinated first.
Right now, the country is administering 1.4 million vaccine doses per day, but the rollout varies from state to state. For example, nearly 11% of West Virginia’s residents have received at least one of the two recommended doses of the currently available vaccines, but only 5% of Idaho’s residents.
Can I Get Vaccinated Now?
“Eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines is determined by each state and the phase of vaccine distribution that the state is in,” Dr. Huff says. Whether you can get the COVID-19 vaccine now depends more on your age and occupation than on your health in many states. With the vaccines in short supply, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has had to prioritize who gets the first shots.
In much of the country, phase 1 of the rollout is broken down into three stages – 1a, 1b, and 1c. Which people are included in these groups can vary slightly from state to state, but those with cancer often aren’t in the first group of vaccinations (phase 1a, which generally includes healthcare professionals and long-term care facility residents/staff). Also among the first groups to be vaccinated are frontline workers (police officers, firefighters, childcare workers, teachers, etc.) and people ages 65 and over.
Oncologist Dr. Elizabeth Comen on why stress and anger are common in cancer patients during COVID-19
In most states, people with cancer don’t qualify until the third phase (1c) of the vaccine rollout, which includes people ages 16 to 64 who have underlying health conditions that increase their risk of serious complications from COVID-19.
While you wait to get the vaccine, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself against COVID-19.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- If you do have to go out, wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating or touching your face.
Health experts are now starting to recommend that people wear two masks for greater protection against the novel coronavirus. “Double masks may be better for cancer patients,” Dr. Schwartz says. “We know the virus has difficulty getting through masks. Having a double layer might impede it even further.” However, he stresses that he doesn’t have the data to confirm any added benefits of double masking to cancer patients.
Read on to learn whether the COVID-19 vaccine is available to you in your state, and if so, where to get it.
State-By-State Vaccine Rollout
Below is a summary of who can be vaccinated in each state. Because the vaccine rollout is evolving so quickly, please check with your state or local health department for the most up-to-date information.
Starting February 8, people age 65 years and older, along with healthcare providers, nursing home residents, law enforcement officers, and firefighters will be eligible to receive the vaccine. As additional supply becomes available, cancer patients will be added to the list.
You can get notified about your vaccine eligibility by filling out this form: https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/notify
For general information about the vaccine, visit: https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/vaccine.html
People in phase 1a (mainly healthcare workers) and phase 1b (those ages 65 and older) can schedule their vaccination now. The timeline for people with health conditions to receive the vaccine isn’t yet known.
Locate a participating vaccine provider here: https://alaska-dhss.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3d1dff7f0e544edbb18c9039b0473aa5
Take a screening test to see if you currently qualify: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/c0037dd8735d44cfbd53d192cb2ffed3?portalUrl=https://Alaska-DHSS.maps.arcgis.com
The Arizona Department of Health Services is conducting vaccination phases 1a and 1b. It expects phase 1c, which includes adults with high-risk medical conditions such as cancer, to be complete by the spring.
To find a vaccine location near you, visit: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-find-vaccine
Arkansas is in phase 1b of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. It anticipates that phase 1c, which includes high-risk populations, will begin in April. The vaccine is available at community pharmacies.
Use the map on this page to find a vaccination location: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-map-of-1-a-pharmacy-locations
Currently, California is vaccinating adults 65 and older, healthcare workers, long-term care residents, teachers, childcare workers, and those working in emergency services, food, and agriculture. The state estimates that the vaccine will be available to younger people with underlying health conditions by the spring, but that depends on the speed of vaccine production. The vaccine will be administered at community sites, doctor’s offices, clinics, and pharmacies.
To check your eligibility, visit: https://myturn.ca.gov
Colorado is currently vaccinating healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, first responders, and people aged 70 and over. Those ages 65 to 69 and teachers can begin getting vaccinated February 8. People ages 16 to 64 with cancer plus another high-risk condition will be eligible to get vaccinated at some point this winter, while those who have cancer and no other conditions should be able to get the vaccine in the spring.
To find out where you can get vaccinated, visit: https://covid19.colorado.gov/for-coloradans/vaccine/where-can-i-get-vaccinated
The state is currently in phase 1b of its vaccine rollout, and is scheduling people aged 75 and older. The health department promises scheduling information “soon” for people with underlying medical conditions, who will be included in the latter part of this phase.
To find a vaccination site, visit: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations
Delaware is currently in phase 1b, which includes people aged 65 and older and frontline workers. The state says it will finish phase 1 vaccinations, which includes those with cancer and other medical conditions, by March.
Learn where you can find the vaccine on this website: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/vaccine/where-can-i-get-my-vaccine/
Florida is currently prioritizing vaccines for people aged 65 and older, healthcare professionals, and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. The state is also vaccinating anyone who is considered to be especially vulnerable to the virus. Ask your oncologist whether having cancer qualifies you to get vaccinated. Note that some vaccination locations are only serving specific populations, such as healthcare workers, so check before you go.
Find a vaccine location near you on the state’s COVID response website: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator/
Pre-register for the vaccine here: https://myvaccine.fl.gov
Currently, Georgia is in phase 1a of the vaccine rollout. Only healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, adults ages 65-plus and their caregivers, and first responders can get the vaccine right now, and it’s by appointment only. It could be weeks before additional doses are available for wider distribution.
Search for a vaccination site by county here: https://dph.georgia.gov/locations/covid-vaccination-site
As of now, adults aged 75 and older can register for the vaccine in Hawaii. Frontline essential workers can get vaccinated through their company or industry organization. Frontline workers can complete an online survey to get the vaccine. People with cancer and other conditions should be able to start receiving their vaccinations in the spring.
To stay updated on the status of the vaccine, sign up for emails here: https://health.hawaii.gov/news/covid-19-updates/
Vaccinations are currently open to anyone 65 or older, as well as to healthcare and frontline workers. The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare says vaccinations for people with high-risk medical conditions should start in late April.
To find a provider in your area and make an appointment, visit: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccination
Illinois is currently vaccinating healthcare personnel and long-term care residents and staff. As more doses of the vaccines become available, the state will open up availability to additional groups of people, including those with underlying illnesses.
You can find a vaccination location near you and get appointment information here: https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location
Anyone aged 65 and over can now make an appointment, as well as long-term care residents, first responders, emergency medical services providers, and healthcare workers. It’s not clear when people with cancer might be able to get the vaccine, unless they are in one of the currently qualifying groups.
For a list of Indiana vaccine sites, visit: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/24159814f1dd4f69b6c22e7e87bca65b
To sign up for vaccine updates, enter your email address on the bottom of this page: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/
Iowa is currently in phase 1b of its vaccine rollout plan, which includes people aged 65 and over, as well as first responders, teachers and childcare workers, frontline essential workers, and people with disabilities. There is no word on when broader distribution of the vaccine might begin.
If you have questions about the COVID vaccine, the Iowa Department of Health advises you to call 211 or check with your healthcare provider.
Or you can visit this website: https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus/Vaccine/Information-for-the-Public
Healthcare workers, residents in long-term care, people aged 65 and over, and critical workers are among the groups currently receiving the vaccine in Kansas. The state plans to begin vaccinating people with severe medical risks by March or April.
To get more information, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s vaccine information website: https://www.kansasvaccine.gov/faq.aspx
Just like other states, Kentucky is prioritizing the vaccination of people who live and work in long-term care facilities, provide healthcare services, and work as first responders. The state offers an online tool to help residents figure out which phase of the vaccine rollout they fall into, and sign up for notifications.
To find a vaccination location in your area, visit: https://govstatus.egov.com/kentucky-vaccine-map
A limited number of vaccines are available right now for people ages 70 and older, healthcare workers, and home care providers. People who fall into one of these groups must make an appointment before going to a participating location. The appointment for the second dose will be made when you receive your first dose.
Find general information about the vaccine here: https://ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine/
Maine is currently in phase 1b of its vaccine rollout, which does include adults with high-risk medical conditions such as cancer. This phase runs until April, so not everyone in this group may be able to get the vaccine right away.
As the latest vaccine updates become available, the state will post them here: https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines
Adults who are at increased risk for COVID-19 due to an underlying illness are in phase 2 of Maryland’s plan, which hasn’t started yet. However, cancer patients who are currently being treated in a hospital are eligible to receive the vaccine now.
To find a vaccination clinic near you, visit: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine
Text “MdReady” to 898211 to get text alerts related to COVID-19.
People with cancer are part of Massachusetts’ phase 2, which runs from February to March. The state’s coronavirus website offers a tool to help residents know whether they’re currently eligible to get vaccinated.
Search for a vaccination location by zip code here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations
Sign up for alerts about the vaccine at: https://member.everbridge.net/index/406686158291020/#/signup
As of now, people with cancer won’t be eligible to receive the vaccine until May, unless they are 65 and older or they work in healthcare, education, long-term care, or a frontline setting. The state’s government says residents who aren’t yet eligible should not call their local health department or try to go to a clinic for a vaccine without an appointment.
To see a full list of Michigan county health departments that are scheduling vaccinations, visit: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_103214_104822—,00.html
According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s website, the state is currently in phase 1a of the vaccination process, which includes healthcare personnel and long-term care residents. Details on who will be included in the next phase should be up on the website within the next few weeks.
You can subscribe for updates on the upper right side of this page: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/plan.html
People with cancer and other chronic health conditions are eligible to receive the vaccine in Mississippi, along with those aged 65 and older, healthcare personnel, and long-term care residents and staff. Vaccinations are available at no cost to residents from drive-through sites around the state, as well as from some local healthcare providers.
Schedule your vaccination here: https://covidvaccine.umc.edu or by calling 877-978-6453.
People with cancer fall under phase 1b, tier 2 of Missouri’s vaccine rollout plan. There’s no word on the website about which phase the state is currently in – only a list of vaccination sites.
To stay up-to-date on Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, go to this website: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/residents/
Montana is currently vaccinating people with high-risk medical conditions, including cancer, but stresses that its vaccine supply is dependent on federal allocations. State health officials recommend that residents monitor messages from their local health authorities and medical providers regarding the vaccine supply in their area.
For updates, visit: https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusvaccine
Residents with high-risk health conditions can now sign up to receive the vaccine on Nebraska’s COVID-19 vaccine registration portal. People ages 65 and older who have already registered with their local health department don’t need to sign up again.
For more information about Nebraska’s COVID-19 vaccination program, visit: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/COVID-19-Vaccine-Information.aspx or call 833-998-2275.
Nevada has prioritized people with underlying health conditions to receive the vaccine, although there is no clear timeline as to when this group will get vaccinated. If you would like to be notified when you’re eligible for the vaccine, complete this survey.
County-by-county vaccine rollout information is available here: https://www.immunizenevada.org/county-specific-covid-19-vaccine-plan
New Hampshire is currently in phase 1b of its vaccination process, which includes people age 65 and older. Those under age 65 who have underlying health conditions are advised to check their eligibility with their healthcare provider, who will also administer the vaccine. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, call 211 to get connected with one in your area.
To see if you qualify for vaccination, visit New Hampshire’s COVID-19 vaccine information page: https://www.vaccines.nh.gov
New Jersey has set a goal of vaccinating 70% of its adult population – nearly 5 million people – within six months. Right now, people who are at high-risk for severe complications of the virus because of cancer can get vaccinated. And everyone in the state can pre-register for the vaccine.
Find information on where and how to get vaccinated here: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/slowing-the-spread/where-how-and-when-can-i-get-vaccinated
People ages 16 and older who are at higher risk for COVID complications, including those with cancer, are among the groups currently eligible to receive the vaccine. You can register online to be notified when the vaccine becomes available, or call the vaccine hotline at 855-600-3453.
For general vaccine information, visit: https://cv.nmhealth.org/covid-vaccine/
New York is currently in phases 1a and 1b of its vaccine rollout, which includes healthcare workers, nursing home workers, people 65 and older, first responders, corrections officers, school faculty, public transit and other frontline workers, and people who live or work in homeless shelters. The website doesn’t offer any guidance as to when people with high-risk medical conditions will be able to get vaccinated.
To see if you’re eligible to receive the vaccine and schedule an appointment, visit: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov or call the NY State COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 833-697-4829.
North Carolina is currently vaccinating groups 1 and 2, which includes healthcare workers, long-term care staff and residents, and older adults. Adults with cancer fall into group 4. If you would like to be notified when the vaccine is available to you, sign up here.
To find general information on the state’s rollout, go to North Carolina’s main vaccine page: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines
Following the CDC’s guidelines, North Dakota plans to vaccinate people with underlying medical conditions such as cancer in phase 1c. Most of the state’s nearly 400 provider sites are in phase 1b of the rollout, and it’s not clear when they will enter phase 1c.
To locate a provider near you, visit: https://www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator
The state is currently vaccinating older adults, people who live and work in residential facilities, healthcare workers, school staff, and people with certain developmental conditions, including cerebral palsy and severe congenital heart disease.
To stay updated on the status of Ohio’s vaccine rollout, visit this website: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-program
Adults with medical conditions are part of Oklahoma’s phase 2, which began rolling out in January. But as of now, only healthcare workers, first responders, and people age 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated. To check your eligibility and schedule a vaccination, complete this questionnaire.
For general questions about the vaccine, visit https://www.occhd.org/covid-19vaccine or call 405-425-4489.
Oregon is currently vaccinating healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, caregivers, and people with a medical condition that requires them to receive services in their homes. The next groups to get vaccinated will include people with underlying health conditions, but when that will start isn’t clear.
Visit https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19 and click “Let’s get started” to determine whether you qualify for the vaccine.
This state is in phase 1A of the vaccine rollout, which does include people with cancer, as well as long-term care residents, healthcare personnel, and those aged 65 and older. To check your eligibility, take this quiz.
Find a map of vaccine providers in Pennsylvania here: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Vaccine/Pages/Vaccine.aspx
People with health conditions can plan to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine sometime in March, behind healthcare workers, first responders, and adults aged 65 and older. You can visit your town or county’s website for more information. To see who is getting vaccinated in Rhode Island this week, and where, click here.
For the latest updates on Rhode Island vaccinations, visit the state’s COVID-19 information page: https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination
People with cancer are part of South Carolina’s phase 1c, which starts in late spring. You may qualify early if you’re on the state’s long list of essential workers, which includes sign language interpreters, food services staff in healthcare, athletic trainers, and home caregivers and health workers. For the complete list of qualifying occupations, visit: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine.
To find a COVID-19 vaccination location in South Carolina, visit: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine/covid-19-vaccine-appointments
South Dakota is currently in the process of vaccinating people with cancer. The state says the rollout may vary by county based on vaccine supply and usage.
To find a vaccine provider in your county, visit: https://doh.sd.gov/Covid/Vaccine/ProviderMap/default.aspx
The state’s vaccine rollout varies by county. Most counties are currently in phase 1a, which only includes healthcare workers, residents of long-term healthcare facilities, first responders, and adults who can’t live independently due to a health condition. People who are immunocompromised because of cancer treatment will be vaccinated in phase 1c.
Tennessee has an online eligibility tool to help you determine which phase you’re in: https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/eligibility/
For county-by-county vaccine information, visit: https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/county-vaccine-information/
Cancer patients are part of Texas’s phase 1b rollout, which also includes those aged 65 and older. You can get vaccinated at a large vaccine hub, or at a pharmacy or other local provider. You’ll need to sign up for the vaccine before you show up at one of these sites.
For more information, visit the Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 vaccine information page: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx
Utah is currently vaccinating healthcare workers, long-term care staff and residents, first responders, K-12 teachers and school staff, and people aged 70 and older. Sign up for email updates to find out when the vaccine will be available to people with underlying health conditions.
For the answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, see: https://coronavirus-download.utah.gov/Health/Coronavirus_Vaccine_FAQ.pdf
Vermonters aged 75 and up are currently eligible to receive the vaccine, along with healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. To find out when people with cancer qualify for vaccination, sign up for weekly COVID-19 updates from the Vermont Department of Health.
Once the vaccine is available to you, you’ll be able to make an appointment with the Health Department or Kinney Drugs here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine.
Virginia is currently offering the vaccine to people with high-risk medical conditions like cancer. You can receive the vaccine at your doctor’s office, a pharmacy, your local health department, or an urgent care center.
For updated information on COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Virginia, contact your local health department: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-department-locator/
Washington state is in phase 1b, which means the vaccine is available to anyone 65 and older, those 50 and older who live in multigenerational households, healthcare workers, first responders, and people who live or work in long-term care facilities. The state offers a tool to determine when you’ll be eligible to receive the vaccine.
For a map of vaccine locations, visit: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Immunization/VaccineLocations
And for general information about Washington state’s vaccine program, go here: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/Vaccine
People with health conditions fall under West Virginia’s phase 2A, which is set to roll out starting in March. Even if the vaccine isn’t available to you right now, the state encourages everyone over age 16 to pre-register through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System. Pre-registering will give you updates on availability, and the ability to schedule an appointment when it’s your time.
For general information on the COVID-19 vaccine in West Virginia, visit: https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/Vaccine.aspx
Right now, the vaccine is only available to Wisconsin residents who are frontline healthcare personnel, residents in nursing and long-term care facilities, fire and police personnel, correctional staff, and ages 65 and over. People with cancer aren’t in this group or the next group to be vaccinated, and it’s unclear when they will be able to receive the vaccine.
To sign up for the Wisconsin Department of Human Service’s weekly newsletter updates on vaccine eligibility, visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/newsletter.htm.
People with cancer and other medical conditions fall under Wyoming’s phase 1b. When they can actually receive the vaccine depends on availability, which is limited right now.
To learn more about vaccination status, visit this page – https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/county-covid-19-vaccine-information/ and click on your county.