Quick Digest - When can I get the COVID vaccine?
- The FDA approved the COVID vaccine created by Pfizer-BioNTech for emergency use authorization. People will begin getting the vaccine on December 15th 2020.
- The FDA will be reviewing Moderna's COVID vaccine for emergency use authorization on December 17th 2020.
- Since Pfizer's vaccine was approved, high-risk groups such as medical professionals and people living in old-age homes can begin getting vaccinated by the middle of December 2020.
- The vaccine will be distributed through a phased approach and the CEO of Moderna expects that most Americans will be able to get vaccinated by Memorial Day 2021.
Will the COVID vaccine be available in 2020?
As of December 14th, 2020, the vaccine created by Pfizer-BioNTech has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA. Therefore, some groups will begin getting the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 15th 2020. Moderna also filed for EUA and its vaccine will be reviewed on December 17th 2020.
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna both ran phase three clinical trials on their vaccines. The results of these trials showed that both vaccines were over 94% effective in preventing infection with COVID-19.
When can I get the coronavirus vaccine in the U.S.?
Since one COVID-19 vaccine was approved, between $6-8 billion dollars must be allocated to aid states in distributing the vaccine. The vaccine will then need to be shipped to pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, and potentially vaccination sites. Each state has drafted a plan for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. For your state’s plan, see this link.
States will likely be following a phased protocol for distribution. Therefore, if you are over the age of 65 or immunocompromised, you may be able to get a vaccine as early as December 2020. However, if you are young and healthy, you may need to wait until around April 2021.
Below we outline a possible COVID vaccine timeline for distribution. Note that this is just an estimate and this process may be slower in states that are more rural and cannot easily accommodate the storage of vaccines. In addition, the vaccination plan can be delayed if emergency use authorization is not given to Moderna.
Mid-December: Committee meets and FDA may approve vaccines for emergency use authorization.
Late December - January: Front line health care workers, people living in long-term care facilities or nursing homes begin to get vaccinated. About 25-30 million people will get vaccinated each month.
February - March: Essential workers, those over 65, teachers, and people with pre-existing conditions get vaccinated. Moderna and Pfizer can ship 70 million vaccines each month. If other vaccines are approved we may be able to vaccinate 150 million people per month by March.
April - June: Healthy, nonessential workers will start receiving the vaccine. It is predicted that by Memorial Day 2021, almost all Americans will have access to the coronavirus vaccine.
October - November: If 75-85% of the country is willing to get vaccinated, we can begin to see a return to normalcy by the end of 2021.
How will the FDA decide if the vaccine is approved?
A panel of 21 members from the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet to discuss their thoughts on the approval of the Moderna vaccine. The committee will do a deep dive into the studies conducted on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. In addition, they will discuss potential side effects and ethical concerns about vaccine distribution.
The FDA is making an effort to be especially transparent regarding the process of vaccine approval. Therefore, the panel meeting will include an open committee meeting where members of the public will be able to speak and ask questions. It is expected that the online meeting to review Moderna's vaccine also will be streamed on Facebook and Youtube.
During the meeting on Pfizer's vaccine, 17 committee members voted to recommend the authorization of the vaccine and 4 voted not to make this recommendation. You can view a recording of this meeting online.
If Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines are authorized, when will they be available?
After the panel of committee members meet, they will make a recommendation to the FDA regarding the approval of the vaccine and whether they believe it to be safe and effective. If the committee members suggest that the vaccine should be approved, the FDA will likely make the final decision within a few days.
Once the FDA approves the vaccine, distribution and administration can begin within about 24 hours. Since Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine was approved, people will likely begin receiving the vaccine by December 15th, 2020. If Moderna's vaccine is approved, people may begin getting that vaccine by December 22nd 2020.
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Who will get the first vaccine?
Once the vaccine is approved by the FDA, it will not immediately be available to everyone in the general public. Public health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be initiating a phased response for vaccine distribution. Those who are in phase 1 include high-risk health workers, first responders, people at high risk for COVID-19 due to underlying conditions, and people over the age of 65. Only people in these groups will be able to receive the vaccine when it is first approved.
When will everyone in the U.S. be able to get vaccinated?
According to the Operation Warp Speed Chief, all Americans who want a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive one by June 2021. It is likely that there will be 2-3 vaccines approved by this time. While Pfizer’s vaccine was the first to get emergency use authorization, it requires storage at -94 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, other vaccines may be more suitable for rural areas of the United States. Some of the other vaccines that may be approved in 2020-2021 are Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.
How many doses of the vaccine will each state get?
When the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are both approved, it is expected that every state will get shipments of some vaccines immediately. However, health officials note that the number of doses will vary by state.
Below we outline the expected number of doses that each state should get if the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are approved this week. These are not official numbers, but projections based on reports from state officials. We will update our table as more states release projections on the expected number of vaccines.
|State||Expected Doses of Vaccine|
|Alabama||40,450 doses of Pfizer vaccine in initial shipment|
|Alaska||35,100 doses of Pfizer and 17,900 doss of Moderna in initial shipment|
|Arizona||212,550 doses of Pfizer and 171,200 doses of Moderna by the end of 2020|
|Arkansas||25,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in initial shipment|
|California||2 million doses of COVID vaccine by the end of 2020|
|Colorado||46,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine in initial shipment|
|Connecticut||106,275 doses of Pfizer vaccine and about 88,300 doses of Moderna vaccine in December|
|Delaware||8,775 doses of Pfizer and around 16,700 doses of Moderna by the end of 2020.|
|Florida||179400 doses of Pfizer vaccine in initial shipment|
|Georgia||Details not currently available|
|Hawaii||45,825 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 36,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of 2020|
|Idaho||48,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 40,400 doses of Moderna vaccine by the end of 2020|
|Illinois||109,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in its first shipment|
|Indiana||Details not currently available|
|Iowa||26,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 77,000 doses of Moderna vaccine by the end of 2020.|
|Kansas||23,750 doses of a vaccine expected by mid-December and 150,000 doses by the end of 2020.|
|Kentucky||38,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 109,000 doses of Moderna vaccine by the end of 2020|
|Louisiana||39,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines in initial shipment followed closely by an additional 40,000 doses|
|Maine||39,975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 34,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of 2020|
|Maryland||155,000 doses in initial shipment and may have 300,000 doses by the end of 2020|
|Massachusetts||120,000 doses of Moderna vaccine and about 180,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine before the end of 2020.|
|Michigan||84,825 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 173,600 of Moderna vaccine|
|Minnesota||46,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 136,600 doses of Moderna vaccine before the end of 2020|
|Mississippi||25,000 vaccine doses in mid-December and another shipment of 25,000 vaccine several weeks later|
|Missouri||151,000 doses of Moderna and about 224,000 doses of Pfizer|
|Montana||60,000 doses of a vaccine by the end of 2020|
|Nebraska||15,600 doses of Pfizer vaccine in initial shipment|
|Nevada||91,650 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 72,500 doses of Moderna vaccine by the end of 2020|
|New Hampshire||12,675 doses of Pfizer vaccine this week and 24,200 doses of Moderna vaccine the following week|
|New Jersey||300,000 and 500,000 doses of a vaccine by the end of 2020|
|New Mexico||17,550 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in initial shipment|
|New York||170,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of 2020 and 346,000 doses of Moderna vaccine|
|North Carolina||171,600 doses of Pfizer and 175,000 doses of Moderna before the end of 2020|
|North Dakota||24,375 doses of Pfizer and 18,700 doses of Moderna by the end of 2020|
|Ohio||561,000 doses of the vaccine spread over a few shipments|
|Oklahoma||30,000 doses in an initial shipment|
|Oregon||94,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 102,700 doses of Moderna vaccine by the end of 2020|
|Pennsylvania||Details not currently available|
|Rhode Island||10,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 19,000 doses of Moderna vaccine|
|South Carolina||200,000 to 300,000 doses of the vaccine in December|
|South Dakota||7,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine in December|
|Tennessee||56,550 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 100,000 doses of Moderna vaccine in initial shipment|
|Texas||1.4 million doses of vaccine in December.|
|Utah||154,400 doses of vaccine in December|
|Vermont||5,850 doses of vaccine in mid-December|
|Virginia||480,000 doses of vaccine in 2020|
|Washington||222,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 183,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of 2020|
|West Virginia||60,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine and about 32,600 doses of Moderna vaccine in December|
|Wisconsin||49,725 doses of Pfizer vaccine in mid December and 16,000 doses of Moderna vaccine in late December|
|Wyoming||Details not currently available|
Source: NY Times - How many vaccines will each state get
More questions on the coronavirus vaccine? - here are some helpful resources
- Moderna vs. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine - Which Is Best?
- Where & How To Get A Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine In NYC?
- How Much Will The COVID-19 Vaccine Cost? Without insurance
- When Will Things Go Back To Normal? What 2021 Might Look Like