Here are a bunch of things you can do to try to get a COVID vaccine in California

Jessica Roy
·4 min read
A motorist receives the COVID-19 vaccine at The Forum in Inglewood .
Staff and volunteers distribute COVID-19 vaccines to people at the Forum in Inglewood. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Starting April 15, every Californian 16 and older will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday. As of April 1, vaccines will be available to all adults 50 and older.

You can make your appointment now for a date after your eligibility begins. And there are lots of ways to do it.

Official sites

On the L.A. County Department of Public Health's website, scroll down to "3. Look for an appointment." There's a list of links to both government-run sites and pharmacy and healthcare provider sites that you can try individually.

MyTurn.ca.gov is the state website for searching for an appointment. Carbon Health manages large point-of-dispensing sites, such as Dodger Stadium. Curative runs appointments at El Camino College. Kaiser Permanente has a centralized site for booking appointments, and you don't need to be a member to get a vaccine. CVS, Ralphs, Rite Aid and Walgreens all have links to search for appointments. Each Costco and Albertsons location offering appointments has a unique link.

Scanners and bots

A number of vaccine appointment scanning sites and Twitter bots have been created in the past couple of months. They search multiple websites and compile available appointments. You'll still have to click through and visit those individual sites to make your appointment. Other than Vaccine Finder, which is run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are not government-run sites and may not contain the most accurate and up-to-date information.

These sites will show you when and where appointments may be available, but you will still have to click through to the provider website, enter your information and make an appointment.

Vaccine Finder — Scans available appointments by distance from your ZIP Code. Enter your ZIP Code and then select from the drop-down menu the distance you're willing to travel. Allows you to select the type of vaccine. Vaccine Finder is run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FindMyVaxLA.com — Scans available vaccine appointments for L.A. County at multiple types of locations, including pharmacies, healthcare providers such as Kaiser Permanente, and community health centers. Sorts by date available.

VaxxMaxx — Scans available appointments from Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Health Mart in all states. Select "California" from the drop-down menu on the right and the pharmacy chain from the drop-down menu on the left. You'll need to select the pharmacy chain and state each time to generate new search results.

Vaccine Spotter CA — Scans available appointments at various pharmacy chains across California. Enter your ZIP Code and select the distance you're willing to travel. Includes options to sort by type of vaccine offered, appointment type (if you're specifically looking for a second dose appointment), and pharmacy chain.

VaccinateCA — Scans available appointments across California based on your ZIP Code at multiple types of locations. Shows which eligibility groups are being vaccinated at the sites listed. Allows you to sort by age group, industry, and whether you're high-risk and/or a veteran.

@LAPublicHealth — Twitter account for the Los Angeles County of Public Health. Sometimes tweets when more appointments become available, along with other public health information and daily COVID case data.

@FindMyVaxLA_Bot — Twitter bot for FindMyVaxLA that scans available vaccine appointments for L.A. County at multiple types of locations.

@VaccineCA — Twitter bot that scans for available appointments at CVS and Rite Aid.

@CovidVaccineCA — Twitter bot that scans when new appointments become available through MyTurn.

(Did we miss a scanner site or bot? Email utility@latimes.com to let us know.)

Troubleshooting

You say I'm eligible, but the website where I'm booking my appointment says I'm not. Generally speaking, the vaccine appointment websites have been slow to update when eligibility changes are announced. Depending on the site you're using, you may have to wait until it updates to be eligible to book an appointment. In California, everyone over 50 can get an appointment on starting April 1, and everyone 16 and older can get an appointment starting April 15. According to the California Department of Public Health, you are not cheating or jumping the line if you sign up now for an appointment on or after the date you become eligible.

There are no appointments available. When can I get one? The vaccine distribution sites don't know exactly how many doses they will receive each week. Many sites will make more appointments available in the coming days and weeks as they learn more about supplies. You might not be able to get an appointment today, but that doesn't mean you'll have to wait until summer to get your shot. Check back in the coming days or weeks and keep trying the scanner sites and the public health department's Twitter account to see when more appointments become available.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.