Where & How To Get Your Covid Vaccine in San Diego
With the supply shortages and priority lists, it's been difficult to figure out where exactly to get your Covid vaccine. I spent 2 hours recently trying to figure out how to get an appointment for my husband. Once I found out who was giving them, trying to get an appointment was even trickier. It's like a big game that depends on the roll of the dice! So I turned to my faithful followers on my Instagram @famdiego who clued me in about these amazing resources and tips that will make getting yours a piece of cake! Which you should rightly treat yourself to afterward. :)
Read on for:
TIPS to get an appointment
WHERE to get your vaccines
GROUPS that will find appointments for you
things that are GOOD TO KNOW (like covid reaction under arm lumps! and which arm to get the injection in)
Don't take any of this as medical advice
I'm only sharing helpful information I've come across for you to do your own research and ask your own doctors about. I hope this information is helpful for you. Feel free to share it with your friends and family who may also want to know.
TIPS TO GET AN APPOINTMENT
Don't get set on having yours at a specific location. He wanted his done at Balboa Park for the significance because it's one of our favorite places, but they were always booked up and he didn't want to keep waiting.
Wake Up Early or Stay Up Late
Most vaccine appointments are released at midnight or shorty thereafter. My husband set his alarm, woke up after midnight and found a lot of appointment options and locations wide open. There were some appointments available during the day, even for that same day!, but they were further away if you don't mind a little drive.
Go Out Of Your Neighborhood
You may end up only finding an appointment further away, so be open to driving a little bit if you want that time slot. My husband found appointments in Vista, Fallbrook, Temecula, Ramona, Palm Desert and El Centro. He could've booked those sooner, but he found one closer when he woke up at midnight to make an appointment.
Refresh Your Screen Often
Some locations release appointment times throughout the day, so keep your screen open and click the refresh button throughout the day to see what opens up.
Ask For Help
There are a few groups of kind hearted people that do all of this searching for you. Reach out to connect with these groups noted below and they will find you an appointment.
This seems to be the easiest place to get an appointment. You can find a random appointment during the day, but options open up when they release their schedules after midnight. Try entering a random city to see what pops up. For example, if I entered Poway some appointments opened up in Del Mar; and if i entered Vista some appointments opened up in Mira Mesa. I'm not sure why, but play around with other cities and see what that opens up. Also, CVS doesn't verify your eligibility in person when you check in because they rely on the information you enter online to be accurate. My husband had a letter from his doctor, and they didn't ask or need to see this when he checked in. They want to get as many vaccines out as possible. He said it was a very easy non-stressful check in and a quick process.
Hospital Employee Friends & Families
Some hospitals are giving their employees a special code(s) each week to give to their friends and family to use. If you have a friend or family member who works at a hospital, give them a call or send a quick text to ask them about it.
Find Out When It's "Your Turn" click here
WHERE TO GET YOUR VACCINE APPOINTMENT
This list will change over time as more supply becomes available and more people are approved. This is what's current as of this date of writing. I'll update as I come across new information and sites. Please share any updates with me and I'll make changes on here.
CVS click here
See my tips above about CVS. This seems to be the easiest place to get an appointment.
My husband had a letter from his doctor, and they didn't ask or need to see this when he checked in. They want to get as many vaccines out as possible. He said it was a very easy non-stressful check in and a quick process.
You can choose which vaccine you want to schedule: Pfizer, Moderna or J&J. If you choose to schedule with Pfizer or Moderna, it will automatically give you an option to schedule your 2nd dose when you schedule the first dose.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY "SUPER STATION" click here
This will bring up a list to search for all of the county vaccine stations.
The website says you will be asked for documentation showing that you're eligible. Be prepared with you doctor's note or employer letter, etc.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH aka "MY TURN" click here
SHARP CLINIC LOCATIONS click here
As of now these are the Sharp Locations giving Covid vaccines
Grossmont, Coronado (seems to have the most options), South Bay, Central, San Marcos (also seems to have a lot of options)
RADY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL click here
You don't have to be a patient to get it here. This is just a vaccine location they've set up for the public.
ALBERTSONS, VONS, SAVEON click here
Once you enter your zip code, I almost missed the drop down box that gives you 3-4 locations. You have to click on each location separately. If there are no options, go back and enter another zip code and see what other locations will populate in the box to click on.
COSTCO click here
The website says don't call your local Costco pharmacies, as they can't schedule vaccine appointments. I did hear about someone who walked into her local Costco just to ask about how to schedule it and they said they could give hers right then. Costco will likely offer mostly Moderna.
WALGREENS click here
WALMART or SAM'S CLUB click here
GROUPS THAT WILL FIND AN APPOINTMENT FOR YOU
San Diego Vaccine Angels click here
Facebook Group: SD Vaccine Info click here
Facebook Group: SD Vaccine Hunters click here
GOOD TO KNOW!
WHAT TO DO BEFORE AND AFTER YOUR VACCINE click here
Don't take pain relievers BEFORE your vaccine. They could reduce the vaccine's effectiveness. Taking them AFTER seems to be okay.
Stay hydrated & eat something before to help prevent any dizziness if you get queazy around needles
Use your NON-DOMINANT ARM. Your arm muscle will be a little sore for the next 1-3 days.
Wear proper clothing. A t-shirt or tank top make it easier to give the injection.
Don't post your vaccine card online. It will give creeps your personal information.
Plan to take the next 1-2 days off work after your second dose in case you have a reaction. (see below)
Don't schedule your vaccine at the same time as your spouse or other caregivers that help you with the kids. That way you're not both feeling lousy at the same time if you both have a second dose reaction.
Make sure you know which vaccine is best for you. Most should be okay for everyone, but I did hear about those who typically have a reaction to vaccines may want to opt for Johnson & Johnson. I don't know the details so keep this in mind and do your own research and ask your doctor.
It's been reported that most people don't have a reaction after the first injection, but more have a reaction to the second dose. Not everyone has a reaction at all, but you should be prepared and plan for a second dose reaction and hope you don't. The first day is reportedly fine, but reactions tend to come on later that day or the next day and last not usually longer than 24-48 hours.
Some feel tired, sore, lethargic, and blah. Others run a low-high fever, sweats and body aches. I've heard those who tend to get migraines can have a really bad 1-2 day long headache or migraine with the second dose (this is what I'm preparing for and hoping I don't get it!).
You should plan to have a light work day or even take the day off after your injection if you can. Maybe schedule it for a Friday so you can rest on the weekend. Grocery shop before your injection and stock up on soup and comfort foods. Make ahead some heat and eat meals and get your sick supplies ready (thermometer, ibuprofen, ice packs, etc.).
It might be best to alternate scheduling with your spouse or grandparents or other care givers that help out with your children. That way if you both get reactions, you're not both down and out feeling lousy at the same time. Make sure you've got someone who can help take care of the kids for 1-2 days just in case.
MAMMOGRAMS & LUMPS click here
Several people report finding a lump under or near their arm pit of the arm they received the vaccine in. If you have a mammogram scheduled shortly after your vaccine appointment, tell the mammogram tech and your doctor that you just got your vaccine in case any enlarged lymph nodes show up on your scans. I've read they should go away in 3-6 weeks after your injection.
MENSTRUAL CHANGES click here
Some have reported heavier menstrual bleeding, spotting or cycle changes with an earlier or later cycle in the month after receiving their vaccine. There are lots of reports indicating that women experience more Covid vaccine reactions and have a stronger immune response due to estrogen levels. Evidence shows that vaccine side effects are temporary and harmless and menstrual changes should return to normal the following month after the vaccine dose has completed (2 weeks after the final dose).
Don't take any of this as medical advice
I'm only sharing helpful information that I've come across for you to do your own research and ask your own doctors about. I hope this information is helpful for you. Feel free to share it with your friends and family who may also want to know about this information.