When can I get the vaccine?

January 22, 2021 0 Comments

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.

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