It’s the question everyone has been asking: “When am I getting vaccinated?” Now that we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, people are anxious to solidify their immunity with their first COVID-19 vaccination. Obviously, the vaccination process is complicated. With various stages, loopholes, and vaccine options, it can be hard to tell when exactly it’ll be your turn. VALLEY is here to break it down for you.
Who is eligible right now?
Eligibility varies by state, but currently PA is only allowing people who fall in the 1A category to get vaccinated. This includes people over the age of 65, healthcare workers, people over the age of 16 with high risk conditions, and other individuals who have certain occupations or circumstances. The goal is to get every high risk person vaccinated before it opens up to the the rest of the population.
There are a few important dates coming up for COVID-19 vaccination eligibility in Pennsylvania. People who fall into the 1B category will officially be eligible for the vaccine on April 5, while people in 1C will officially be eligible on April 12. The state is currently vaccinating many K-12 educators with Johnson & Johnson, but people with other occupations will become eligible with 1B and 1C. If you think your current job could fall into one of these categories, we recommend checking here.
Different states have different eligibility requirements, especially in regard to age. In Alaska, they are currently allowing anyone over the age of 16 to get vaccinated if they are living or working in the state. Other states such as California and Maine are allowing any adult over the age of 50 to sign up for a vaccine.
Can I get it now without being in 1A?
The answer to this question is complicated. Certain locations are offering waitlists for non-1A individuals to get their shot, but the chance of getting off one of these waitlists is incredibly low. If you are determined to get it, you could get on multiple waitlists for a higher likelihood that you will get an appointment. One of the local waitlists is through Centre Volunteers in Medicine.
Another method to get the vaccine without getting on a waitlist is to go to vaccination sites at the end of the day. Certain people have been lucky and have received a shot before they are thrown out. Similarly to waitlists, this is not always the most likely way to get vaccinated. If you do have the time to spare, it could be very well worth it if you end up finding a location that will give it to you.
There are certain conditions within 1A, such as being a smoker, that certain people are taking advantage of in order to get their shot. Since vaccination sites are not given access to explicit medical records, it is becoming rather common for people to take advantage of the system. In places that vaccines are in high demand by people who truly qualify under 1A, this is obviously not the best option to take. However, if you live in an area that is struggling to use all of their doses, this is not the most unethical way to receive your vaccine.
When will I be eligible?
It was just recently announced that all adults in Pennsylvania will be eligible for the vaccine on April 19. This means that if you were previously not eligible and would like to get your shot, this is that date that allows you to do it. Pfizer, Modern, and Johnson & Johnson are all being offered at locations within or outside of State College, so it is incredibly likely that you will be able to choose which shot you receive.
Check out this map for a complete list of locations providing the vaccine in PA, so you can be ready for when April 19 rolls around! There is also talk of mass vaccination centers on campus once the majority of students become eligible. If you are questioning whether or not you are currently eligible, take this quiz to find out!
Have you received your COVID-19 vaccine? Tweet us at @VALLEYmag!