Who is eligible to get vaccinated?
A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Silver Spring.
THE WASHINGTON POST/THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES
Where can I get a vaccine - or a booster, if I'm eligible?
- Government-run community sites, hospitals, health clinics, and local pharmacies can be found on the Maryland state searchable database. Sites offering first, second and booster vaccines can be found on massvax.maryland.gov or by calling the state's COVID-19 vaccination support center at 855-634-6829. Maryland's COVID-19 data dashboard is tracking how many people have been vaccinated in the state.
- Retail pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Rite Aid are offering first shots and boosters and, in some cases, don't require appointments. But if you'd prefer to schedule your shot in advance, follow the links to book online. Note that some pharmacy websites require you to answer questions about your vaccination status before presenting the option for a Pfizer booster.
- The federal government’s vaccines website, www.vaccines.gov, lets you search for vaccines and booster shots by zip code, with links to appointments. Get the same information by texting your zip code to 438829 or by calling 800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489).
- Many transit agencies are offering free or discount rides to and from vaccination sites.
How do I know if I need a booster shot?
Pfizer boosters are authorized for those 65-plus, residents at long-term care facilities and people ages 18 to 64 at high risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 or at high risk of repeated exposure due to their jobs, such as health care staff, teachers and grocery store workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends those eligible for boosters receive one at least six months after their second vaccine shot.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters are expected to be authorized in the coming weeks.
If you’re immunocompromised and think you may be eligible for a third shot, the CDC recommends talking with your health care provider about your medical condition and whether getting an additional dose makes sense. You can make a third-dose appointment at the locations above or get a walk-in appointment at some pharmacies. You’ll need the dates of your previous COVID vaccinations (available on your vaccination card) when making an appointment for a third dose. You may also need to present proof of your medical condition.
What should I bring to my vaccination appointment?
Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Officials recommend that you bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, and your health insurance card, if you have one. You will not be charged, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine.
How are vaccinations working in nursing homes and long-term care facilities?
Most residents and staff of Maryland's long-term care facilities were offered first and second doses through a federal program that provided free on-site vaccinations in late 2020 and early 2021. The program has ended, but the federal government continues to allocate COVID-19 vaccines — and now boosters, for those who received Pfizer shots — to pharmacies that are partnered with long-term care facilities to provide vaccinations, mainly on-site. Facilities that don’t have a pharmacy partner are encouraged to work with local or state health departments — or the federal government, if need be — to provide vaccinations.