Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
Although some political figures and celebrities have already received the vaccine, distribution for the public will take more time. Each state has set priorities about who gets the vaccine first, based on recommendations from the federal government. Currently, the states are rolling the vaccine out in categories based on need. Health care workers and people living in nursing homes are highest priority, and they began receiving the vaccine in mid-December.
People ages 75 years and older, along with essential workers like first responders, will be next.
Adults between 65 and 75 years old, and younger people (between 16 and 64) at high risk, along with other essential workers, will get the vaccine in the next phase. Assuming there is enough of the vaccine to go around after that, everyone else will be able to get one, likely sometime in the late spring or early summer. The vaccine is expected to be available to the public at most pharmacy chain stores like CVS, Walgreens, and others; along with in-store pharmacies at Costco, Kroger, Target, Publix, HEB, and other national and regional chains.
Experts suggest regularly checking state public health department websites for information. Some states offer vaccine safety information, details about who qualifies for vaccines now, and ways to sign up for COVID-19 and vaccine alerts. Those websites are listed below.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: “The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Updated Interim Recommendation for Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine ― United States, December 2020.”
Los Angeles Times: “When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?”