While more people are becoming eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, getting an appointment isn’t getting any easier. There is still a limited supply of it and the demand grows each time we move into the next group or phase of people.
Right now, in North Carolina, anyone in Groups 1, 2 or 3 are eligible. Select members of Group 4 are eligible, including adults with certain health conditions. Meanwhile, South Carolina remains in Phase 1b, a much broader group of people including adults 55 and older, front-line workers and adults with pre-existing health conditions.
We're breaking down how you can get a vaccine appointment in the Charlotte area, and in South Carolina. Read below for the full breakdown.
Getting the vaccine in Charlotte
Getting an appointment will take a little bit of luck and a lot of patience.
Charlotte-area health departments and the two major area hospital systems have been giving the vaccine from the start. It’s where the bulk of the vaccine supply is going.
This week, Atrium Health is having a mass vaccination clinic at Bank of America Stadium for frontline essential workers. Over the weekend, they’ll give the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Johnson C. Smith University.
Right now, Novant Health is booked out until April -- but there are some tips and tricks to get an appointment sooner. Novant Health officials gave WCNC Charlotte a step-by-step guide to making an appointment.
“We recommend checking back on a regular basis as we do offer appointments real-time or if we have a cancellation,” said Pam Norton, Director of Operations for Novant Health.
Registering with Novant Health:
Start by going to getvaccinated.org.
Once on Novant Health's Get Vaccinated page, you'll be able to start the scheduling process.
"When you click 'Schedule Now,' it’s going to take you through a series of questions to determine if you're eligible and where you should be scheduled,” Norton said.
Having a Novant Health MyChart account isn't necessary but could be helpful. After selecting a prioritization group, locations will be listed.
The next step will be a short questionnaire about any symptoms or recent vaccinations. Then, available appointments will be shown.
Even if it seems far out, book it -- appointments often can be moved up.
As Novant Health gets more vaccine from the state, they work to bring in people who have already been waiting. Then, more appointments are released to the public.
“We do recommend checking back on Saturdays,” said Norton. It’s when the most appointments will be available.
Many people have said checking late at night or early in the morning could be worth it but it’s never a guarantee.
“The only benefit to getting up in the middle of the night when no one else is online is just for a cancellation,” said Norton.
Registering for your second dose
Second appointments for people given the Pfizer or Moderna shot will be given at the site after the first shot is given.
Registering with Atrium Health:
Log in or sign up for MyAtriumHealth
When scheduling through Atrium Health, an account is necessary. Making one only takes a few minutes.
You don't need to be an Atrium Health patient in order to make an account.
After logging in, select schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. After answering a few questions to check eligibility, it will give the option to select an appointment at one of this week’s mass clinics.
Picking your appointment
Appointments can also be made at other Atrium Health locations. After selecting the best location or all of them, the page may take a few minutes to load before showing what time slots are available.
Some of that is luck and refreshing the page could help.
“Being aware and keep checking back is going to be important,” said Dr. Katie Passaretti with Atrium Health.
Atrium Health will note which events are giving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While health officials say getting any of the vaccines is a good idea, this gives people the chance to choose if they’d like the single-dose shot. The same rules apply and checking back often will be key.
For those getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the second dose appointment will be booked at the same time as the first appointment.
Registering at pharmacies and grocery stores:
Many people are used to getting the flu shot at the grocery store or pharmacy and now several in the Carolinas area are offering the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I think it’s important that Harris Teeter become a part of the solution,” said Danna Robinson with Harris Teeter.
Start by going to harristeeter.com/covidcare, the website has an automated system that will ask questions to check eligibility before showing you the dates that are open.
“We do expect to continue to receive allocations of the vaccine and we'll be adding more appointments as vaccine becomes available,” said Robinson.
Several Walgreens pharmacies in the area are booking appointments too. The website only allows pharmacies to book 3 days out, so it is hit or miss and really comes down to luck.
It can be frustrating, and on Monday, WCNC Charlotte couldn’t find any local locations with available appointments.
Many people are shopping around for the best time, but health officials from several organizations are noticing more no-shows. While doses will never go to waste, it’s important to cancel the appointments that won’t be used, it may be exactly what gets a neighbor in need their shot of hope.
Because supply of the vaccine are still limited right now, appointments to get the vaccine are being made Again, to be clear, people must sign up first the vaccine: at present, there are no walk-in locations in the central South Carolina.
IMPORTANT: For most people, this is a two-dose vaccine series. So when you get the vaccine, make sure you have an appointment for the second dose before you leave the vaccination site. With the Pfizer vaccine, you have to wait 3 weeks for your second dose; with the Moderna vaccine, it's 4 weeks.
However, beginning in early March, the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine became available. Remember to check with the agency that you receive the vaccine from to be sure to let you know which type of vaccine you received.
For now, there several was ways you can sign up to get the vaccine:
We have a deep dive below into the current options.
DHEC Vaccine Locator
- Find DHEC’s online map at scdhec.gov/vaxlocator. This online map shows the locations currently accepting appointments (many of the same ones listed below) for COVID-19 vaccine and the map will provide the contact information for scheduling appointments at those locations. The map itself is not a way to schedule an appointment.
- DHEC has a COVID-19 vaccine information line at 1-866-365-8110 The service is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week People who have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines or who need help finding vaccine providers and their contact information are asked to call the DHEC COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line.
- You can also schedule an appointment directly through DHEC's website at CVAS.DHEC.SC.GOV. Appointment availability through this scheduling tool is limited to start, but is expected to grow in the coming days.
- You will be asked to provide a driver’s license or other form of ID at your appointment that confirms your age in order to receive vaccine.
- South Carolina residency is not a requirement to receive a vaccine.
Here's a look at how to use the DHEC vaccination site:
To receive their vaccine, people can access Prisma sites by visiting www.PrismaHealth.org/Vaccine for the latest information about the vaccination process and how to request an appointment either online or by phone at 833-2PRISMA (833-277-4762.)
Prisma Health locations can be found in the DHEC vaccine locator above.
They've also opened a large-scale community vaccination site in Columbia near the South Carolina's Williams Brice Stadium at 22 National Guard Rd., Columbia, SC 29201, or Gamecock Park.
- Fill out their vaccine request form or call them at 833-2PRISMA (833-277-4762). Note that each person must have their own email. You can not register more than one person with the same email.
- You will receive an email from Marketing@PrismaHealth.org to confirm receipt of your online request form. This is not an appointment.
- You will receive an email from the CDC with a link to the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS). This link is unique to you and cannot be shared with anyone else.
- Click the link to the VAMS portal and create a username and password. Do not use Internet Explorer. Use Google Chrome, Safari or other web browser.
- Follow the instructions, which include completing a medical questionnaire and scheduling an appointment.
Prisma Health will calculate its vaccine availability for walk-ins several times during the day based on those scheduled and arrived appointments. The www.PrismaHealth.org/Vaccine website will update in real time, with those sites still open for walk-ins listed in green. Sites that no longer have walk-in availability for that day are marked in red.
All sites will administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. That requires a second dose three weeks later.
Some Doctor's Care locations throughout the region are now accepting appointments.
You can find the direct link to Doctor's Care's online registration here.
Walgreens is also scheduling vaccinations at some locations. Supply is limited. You can see a list of stores on DHEC's vaccine locator, as mentioned above, or you can go to the following website:
Note: Currently all Publix vaccine appointment times have been filled. The company says they will give an update when more vaccine is available.
Eligible customers can access COVID-19 vaccine appointment availability here: publix.com/covidvaccine
42 Publix pharmacies in the state will have vaccinations administered to eligible individuals, by appointment only, while supplies last, and at no cost to the individual. Customers with health insurance will need to bring their insurance card to their scheduled appointment. Medicare members should bring their red, white and blue Medicare Part B card. Customers without health insurance will need to provide their driver’s license or Social Security number.
Kroger is scheduling vaccine appointments at some locations. Supply is limited.
Residents should use Kroger's vaccination website for South Carolina to locate pharmacies and schedule appointments. Appointments are subject to availability.
Walmart has started vaccinations with appointments at some locations in South Carolina.
Here is the list of locations:
- WEST COLUMBIA
- FORT MILL
- NORTH CHARLESTON
- NORTH AUGUSTA
- SAM’S CLUB - GREENVILLE
- SAM’S CLUB - COLUMBIA
Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.
Registering with other counties:
WCNC Charlotte has compiled a directory of phone numbers and websites for public health departments in the greater Charlotte metropolitan area.
You will also find additional information about COVID-19 vaccines in South Carolina in this directory.