How to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine in Virginia

Posted on 06/09/21 by Catherine Maddux

En español | Who can get vaccinated now?

  • Everyone age 12 and up 

Where can I get vaccinated? 

  • Government-run community sites, hospitals, health clinics, local pharmacies, and mass vaccination sites can be accessed through the Virginia health department’s online pre-registration system, excluding Fairfax County residents. You can also call the state's COVID-19 hotline at 877-829-4682 for assistance. Fairfax County residents can find appointments via, the federal government vaccines website, or by calling the county health department at 703-324-7404.
  • Certain pharmacies, including select CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Rite Aid locations, don’t require appointments for vaccinations. But if you'd prefer to schedule your shot in advance, follow the links to book online. You can also find more retail pharmacies and other providers by using, the federal government’s vaccines website. Get the same information by texting your zip code to 438829 or by calling 800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489). 
  • Many transit agencies are offering free or discount rides to and from vaccination sites. So are Uber and Lyft. Book a ride through their mobile apps or online.
  • AARP Virginia is helping five Area Agencies on Aging spread the word about free transportation to vaccine appointments:

    New River Valley Agency on Aging (Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski Counties; Radford City; and the Towns of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Pulaski)
    • Ages 60+
    • Phone: 540-980-7720, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Local Office on Aging, Roanoke (Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Craig County, Botetourt County, Salem, Vinton, Alleghany County, Covington, Clifton Forge)

    • Ages 60+ who qualify
    • Phone: 540-345-0451, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Healthy Generations Area Agency on Aging, Fredericksburg (City of Fredericksburg and Counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford)

    • Ages 60+
    • Phone: 540-371-3375, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Peninsula Agency on Aging (Newport News, Williamsburg, York County, James City County, Poquoson, Hampton)

    • Ages 60+
    • Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson & York County residents
      • Phone: 757-873-0541, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Williamsburg & James City County residents
      • Phone: 757-920-5800, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Bay Aging (Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, New Kent, and Charles City)

    • All ages
    • Phone: 877-869-6046, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • AARP recommends that you ask your doctor about the safety, effectiveness, benefits and risks of the coronavirus vaccine. Older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19. 

    What should I bring to my vaccination appointment? 

    Fairfax, Virginia Health Care Workers Get Covid 19 Vaccine Shots

    Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Officials recommend that you bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, and your health insurance card, if you have one. You will not be charged, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine. 

    If you are prioritized because of an underlying medical condition or based on your work, you may need a note from your doctor, a pay stub or badge, or some other form of proof. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to wear a mask at your appointment.

    How will residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities get vaccinated? 

    Most residents and staff of long-term care facilities in Virginia are being vaccinated through a federal program that contracted with CVS and Walgreens to administer COVID-19 vaccines via free on-site clinics. Apart from a very small number of outstanding clinics, the program is complete. 

    To ensure long-term care facilities still have access to COVID-19 vaccines — for new residents or staff, or for residents and staff who were initially hesitant to receive the shots — the federal government is continuing to allocate vaccines to pharmacies partnered with long-term care facilities. 

    Which vaccines require a second shot?
    The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. If you get one of these, you’ll need a follow-up dose to be effectively immunized. The recommended second-shot date is three weeks after a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for Moderna’s, but the CDC says an interval of up to six weeks is acceptable. You should get a card from your provider saying when and where to return for the second dose. The state says it will send reminders via text, emails and phone calls.  

    Johnson & Johnson's vaccine requires just one shot. Federal officials warn that the vaccine has been connected with rare, severe blood clots in a small number of recipients, especially in women age 50 years and younger.

    It’s not yet known how long immunity from a coronavirus vaccine lasts and whether it needs to be administered on a regular basis like a flu shot. 

    Do I have to pay for the vaccination?  

    You should not have any out-of-pocket costs for getting the vaccine. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself. Providers can recoup a fee for administering the shot, but not from consumers. They would be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance company or the government (in the case of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured, for example).  

    According to the Virginia Department of Health, any COVID-19 vaccination fees will be covered by insurance companies or by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Provider Relief Fund. There are already reports of scammers purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them.  AARP’s Fraud Watch Network  is tracking the latest scams.

    What should I do with my vaccine card? 

    You should get a small white card at your vaccination appointment with your name, birth date, name of the vaccine you received and the date it was administered. If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, bring your card when you get your second shot.  

    You may need your vaccine card for certain kinds of travel or other activities, so keep it in a safe place. You can take a photo of it with your smartphone for your own records. Experts say that posting a photo of your card to social media could make you vulnerable to identity theft. If you lose your card or did not receive one, contact your vaccine provider or your local health department to get a copy.

    When will kids be able to get vaccinated? 

    Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for those age 12 and older; the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18 and older. Both Pfizer and Moderna are researching how their vaccines work in children as young as 6 months. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said he expects that all kids will likely be eligible by early next year.
    Should I still wear a mask after getting vaccinated?   

    It takes two weeks to build immunity after the single-dose shot and after the second dose of the two-dose shots. After that, the CDC says, fully vaccinated people can gather indoors and outdoors without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by state and federal law and local business and workplace requirements. 

     The CDC recommends continuing to wear a mask on planes, buses and trains and other shared transport while traveling into, within or out of the United States, and while at transportation hubs like airports and stations. 

    This guide, originally published Jan. 15, was updated June 9 with new information on free and discount rides to vaccine sites.

    Also of Interest: 

    This story is provided by AARP Virginia. Visit the AARP Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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