COVID-19 vaccine website to help Americans find a shot: What we know today

On Thursday, President Biden announced that all eligible adult Americans can receive a coronavirus vaccine by May 1 -- and the government will create a national website to help you find a nearby jab.

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The US will have a national vaccination website to help people find vaccines where they live.

Sarah Tew/CNET

All American adults who want a COVID-19 vaccination will be eligible to get one by May 1, President Joe Biden announced Thursday evening, hours after signing a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill into law. Funding from the bill includes money to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine distribution and create more sites where you can receive the inoculation.

While some counties and cities may open up vaccinations to the general population sooner, as opposed to priority groups like frontline health workers, teachers, people with certain medical conditions and older adults, Biden said his goal is for vaccinations to be open to all adults in the US and territories by that May 1 date, on a coordinated basis. It may still take some time for the vaccination rollout and COVID-19 immunity to be complete. In fact, Biden set a goal for small family gatherings, unmasked, by July 4.

As part of the plan, the US government will create a national Find a Vaccination website aimed at connecting eligible and interested Americans with vaccines nearby. The patchwork nature of states, counties, individual hospitals and retailers like pharmacies handling their own coronavirus vaccine rollout has left tens of millions of Americans in limbo. 

What do we know about the Find a Vaccination website now?

Biden's administration will launch a national Find a Vaccine website that shows locations nearby that have a vaccine available. The purpose of the tool will be to help match people locally through a single network that combines data from a variety of sources, taking the guesswork and research out of finding a vaccine available when you are. The exact website launch date is unknown, other than before May 1.

The nature of the vaccine means that some vaccine formulations don't last long and need to quickly be used or else disposed of, even if there are people who want to be immunized. We'll update this story as more information becomes available.

Read more: Facebook lets you schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments now

Watch this: How do I get the COVID-19 vaccine? Your questions answered

What do we know about a national call center to find a vaccine?

In addition to the national vaccine finder website, the government will provide a toll-free 1-800 phone number for people who prefer to call or who may not have reliable internet access. This will launch before May 1. 

How can you find a COVID-19 vaccine near you now?

Some sources you can try include county and state websites, your health care provider, local NFL stadiums and pharmacies and stores like Kroger and Walmart. VaccineFinder.org is a website you can use, and there are websites like Dr. B that can help you find spare vaccines that go unclaimed and would otherwise be thrown away. 

How else will the US government increase vaccine distribution?

Community health centers: In the next six weeks, more than 700 community health centers serving underrepresented people like low-income and rural Americans, will receive vaccines from the government.

Federal pharmacies: More than 20,000 pharmacies will have a vaccine available, including mobile operations to rural areas.

Mass vaccination centers: Biden said he would double the number of vaccination centers run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the military and other agencies. More than 6,000 total US troops will be deployed to assist in the vaccination effort.

How to get free face masks until you're vaccinated

Until then, 25 million free face masks are being distributed across the US. Here are the latest COVID-9 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what we know about a coronavirus vaccine travel passport and what happens if you're charged for a coronavirus vaccine when you shouldn't be.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.