All U.S. Adults Are Now Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine

people standing in line for their vaccine

Photo: John Moore (Getty Images)

It’s April 19, and President Biden’s intention to make all adults eligible for a COVID vaccine by today has been realized: The New York Times reports that all 50 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now opened their eligibility to all adults, regardless of priority group.

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Today we also stand at a major milestone in terms of the number of people vaccinated: more than half of all U.S. adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC’s tracker. And 32.5% of American adults are considered to be “fully vaccinated,” which means they are two weeks past their final dose.

Now, how easy it is to get a vaccine appointment will vary by location. Many people who were already eligible due to health conditions, age, or other factors have been unable to get an appointment. In many cases, health departments arguably aren’t doing enough outreach to get vaccines to poorer neighborhoods or to people who are homebound due to disability or other reasons.

How to get an appointment

We have a collection of tips for you here, which include signing up for multiple mailing lists or waiting lists and referring to your state, county, or city health department for the best information. There are often also grassroots efforts run via Facebook groups and other informal networks to spread the word about lesser-known clinics, so ask around.

Beware of scams, though: There are “vaccine hunters” asking for money for doses or to get you on a waiting list, but scheduling an appointment should always be free, and under federal regulations the vaccine dose itself must be free, too. If you have insurance, you may need to show your insurance card, and your insurance may be billed. But if you don’t have insurance, the clinic cannot charge you for the vaccine, turn you away, or bill you for other charges, like an office visit, if the only reason for your visit was to receive the COVID vaccine.

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