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Where to Start Your Vaccine Search as State Expands Availability Starting Today

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Starting April 5, all Iowans over the age of 16 are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Demand still far outweighs vaccine supply, so it can be challenging to book a vaccine appointment.

You can start by checking in with your primary health care provider or local public health department to see if there are any open appointments. Your other option is to look for availability at pharmacies.

In March, we introduced you to the Vaccine Hunter website. Creator Todd Brady said in the last month, the website has had thousands of visitors and millions of hits.

Brady said it’s a great place to start because you get aggregated results with local pharmacies and county options. You start by typing in your zip code, and then you can choose a location radius and even vaccine preference.

“I try to add as many counties as I can, add as many small pharmacies as I can,” Brady said. “I think it kind of shares more of the load for everybody because I feel like the more I can add, the more opportunities people have and the less strenuous it is on the bigger pharmacies I would think.”

Appointment availability depends on the location and when new appointments are released fluctuates throughout the day. Here’s what Brady suggests for when to look.

“I’ve had good luck early morning before 8:30 just because I think there’s just less people looking for appointments around that time,” Brady explains. “But it’s very sporadic during the day. People email me all the time, ‘I can’t find anything. I can’t find anything.’ I always just tell them, you just gotta keep trying and keep hitting the site because they do open up all day, every day. It’s kind of crazy.”

With eligibility now opening up to all adult Iowans, Brady advises people to stay patient.

“I feel like it’s probably going to be hard to get one in the beginning of this week or next week, but keep trying,” Brady said. “I really think it’s going to open up and it’s going to be a lot easier soon to get appointments.”

To visit the Vaccine Hunter website, click here.

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