Mar 15, 2021 - News

How to snag a COVID vaccine appointment in Des Moines

Animation of a syringe icon acting as a loading bar on a screen.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We're finally at the phase where your social media feed is probably sprinkled with vaccine selfies and reminder cards.

The state of play: Now that Iowans with pre-existing conditions are eligible for vaccinations — it's likely you or someone you know can schedule their shots.

Here are some tips for landing an appointment:

The Polk County Health Department typically opens new first-dose appointments on Fridays at noon.

Iowa Vaccine Alerts is an automated Twitter account that announces when vaccines are available at retailers like Hy-Vee, CVS and Walgreens statewide.

  • Hit the bell icon to get notifications on your phone.
  • You must move immediately, especially for appointments in central Iowa. Some people online said they're driving an hour or more.

Vaccine Hunter is similar to Iowa Vaccine Alerts, but it shows available spots based on zip code.

  • It also shows availability in neighboring states, like Nebraska or Missouri.

Our advice: Check early, check often and have your information ready to autofill.

  • Remember: Just because you were able to click on a time slot doesn't mean that appointment is yours yet.

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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