Tips For Finding A COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment in Iowa

Beginning March 8, 2021, in Iowa, vaccine providers started providing the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals under age 65 with certain underlying health conditions. (Check the CDC’s list to see if you qualify.) Many more of us are now eligible, as the new guidelines open up the vaccine to those of us who qualify as “overweight or obese”, have asthma, smoke, or have other common health factors. But it can be difficult, even nearly impossible, to find an available appointment to receive the vaccine. If you’re having trouble landing a spot to receive your shot, try these tips:

Photos: Tips for finding a COVID-19 Vaccine in Iowa

How To Find A COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment in Iowa

Follow @IAVaccineAlert on Twitter.

The automated account pulls data every couple of minutes and gives out real-time alerts when new appointments become available anywhere in the state. Have Twitter notifications enabled on your phone so you see new appointments right away.

Check Important Websites.

Visit the Iowa COVID-19 Vaccine Spotter website. When you type in your zipcode, the site will automatically scan multiple area pharmacy’s websites for available appointments.

Visit the COVID-19 information page on the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics website. Here you can fill out a brief online form expressing interest in receiving the vaccine, and they will contact you to make an appointment when they can. 

Constantly check and refresh the Hy-Vee Pharmacy website. Expand your search beyond the immediate Iowa City area and try small towns that may have a smaller demand for the vaccine. I tried at all times of day and night and it didn’t seem to make a difference, finally landing an appointment in the late afternoon for evening the next day.

Join a Vaccine Wait List.

Nucara Pharmacy in Coralville is building a list of those interested in the vaccine and will reach out to you when appointments are available. Join the list.

Check with Smaller Pharmacies.

Towncrest Pharmacy in Iowa City anticipates beginning to offer vaccinations after spring break. Visit their website for updates and to find appointments.
Try other small-town, locally-owned pharmacies, like this one in Fayette, where you can get on a list to receive the vaccine.

Folks over 65 who still need the vaccine and don’t have access to the technology needed to schedule online can call 211 for assistance.

What tips and tricks have you found to land a COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

Related: Check out more COVID-19 related content by Iowa City Moms.

Katie is a spouse, mother, and professional communicator. She became acquainted with Iowa City as a student at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and most recently her MA in Strategic Communication. Katie and her husband met and fell in love in Iowa City, deciding to never leave. Their family can often be found eating their way through downtown, walking their dog in City Park, or cheering on their beloved Hawkeyes at live sporting events.


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