The threat of the Omicron variant is spreading, so Americans are recommended to get their booster shots as soon as possible. Luckily, the U.S. government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set up a one-stop service for vaccination updates.
Just by sending a text message, you can find the nearest booster shot center, book your appointment and maybe even get a free ride.
According to Cnet, COVID-19 booster shots are free and available in over 80,000 locations across the U.S. If you are due for a booster shot, just heading over to one of these locations could immediately administer you with Pfizer or Moderna.
To make the process easier, related parties collaborated in creating a simple tool that monitors vaccination facts. This is a project between the U.S. government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is directly linked with the website vaccines.gov. The tool is capable of:
- Checking the nearest vaccination center in a specific location.
- Providing the vaccination center's full address and phone number.
- Giving shortcode weblink to book an appointment online.
- sharing COVID-19 related updates.
- Offering a free ride from Lyft and Uber to the vaccination center.
How to Check for COVID-19 Vaccine Near Me
Using the new tool is easy, simply text your ZIP code to 438829. The number is under the U.S. government program, so you don't have to worry about texting scammers.
Ideally, you should receive a reply in a few seconds. This message will list out all the vaccination centers in the area. It will also include the vaccine brand available together with the corresponding age group like "Moderna (18+), Pfizer (5-11)." Afterward, the message may prompt you for a few additional commands.
You can opt to get COVID-19 updates by responding "UPDATES" to the message. You can also get a free ride by responding "Y" which stands for yes. Note, however, that the free ride offers have a few caveats, so not everyone might get the free ride. For more information, or if you require extra help, you can call the number 800-232-0233.
Other COVID-19 Tools You Can Use: Omicron Tracker
Keep in mind that you should only get your booster shots six months after the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna, and two months after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson. This timeframe determines the effectiveness of the vaccine together with its expiration.
Aside from booking your appointment, you might be interested in three other online tools for COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker for Kids: If you have any children age 5 to 11, it might be in your best interest to give them vaccine shots. This online tool keeps track of all the nearby vaccination centers with the unique vaccine formula for kids.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility and Requirements: For booster shots, certain conditions like age groups and first dose shots will matter. Use this tool to check on what vaccine you should adequately receive.
- Omicron Variant Online Tracker: This online tool keeps track of the variant's affected locations, infection rate and live news or updates.