First — thank you for your enthusiasm to get vaccinated! You are part of the solution!
Please understand: there is a limited number of doses; and a great deal of infrastructure to get these vaccines to people across the country. It’s not just about getting that first dose — it’s critically important that people get the second dose as well! So we need to implement the infrastructure to schedule that second vaccine, send reminders, and keep track of who has gotten what — and that’s not easy with millions of people! Luckily, pharmacies are working with hospitals (as part of Operation Warp Speed) to help distribute these vaccines
The CDC and the American Committee on Immunization Practices and Protocols have been making recommendations for which groups of people should be vaccinated first based on who is at risk of spreading COVID-19 and who is at risk of dying from the disease. As you can probably guess, health care workers (doctors, nurses, technicians, staff, etc) are in the first tier. The second tier includes older adults(75 years+) and frontline essential workers (first responders, educational workers, daycare workers, food and agriculture workers, manufacturers, correctional facility staff, postal workers, public transit workers, etc).
However, every state has independent control to make their own state-specific prioritization protocol. So there will be variations by state. States have been notified about the amount of vaccine they have been given and are working on their protocols.
As more vaccine becomes available, it will move down the prioritization list and go out to the general population.
But even then, you may not be at the top of the “general population” list! People who live with the diseases that we know are associated with worse outcomes from COVID-19 (such as diabetes, lung disease, etc) may get priority.
This is not necessarily a bad thing! Consider: the more people who get vaccinated, the better for EVERYONE. First — this means your health care staff and other people around you are less likely to make you sick. Second, there is the idea of herd immunity: because this vaccine is so effective, the more people who get vaccinated, the safer EVERYONE is who hasn’t been able to get the vaccine first.
This is a really great question. You should contact the vaccine study directly.
Every state is working on their prioritization and state-wide distribution plans and will be conveying that information.
The CDC has made recommendations for prioritization of the vaccine; but each state can make their own prioritization, so look to your state guidelines for when and where it will be available.
That’s an excellent question. It does not seem likely that you will be forced to get one type of COVID vaccine versus another. However, there may be availability issues for a certain type of vaccine in a certain area.
No, but there’s a good reason. Vaccinating those at highest risk protects ALL of us by reducing the number of cases among those most likely to be infected. This means as soon as you are eligible, you can get vaccinated — but not before.