SAN FRANCISCO -- Ever since the coronavirus started spreading across the globe in late 2019, scientists have been looking for a vaccine. Now that vaccines are proven, it will ultimately be up to each state to determine who will get one, and when, but federal guidance from the Centers for Disease Controls gives us an idea of the timeline.
COVID-19 FAQ: Your top 7 vaccine questions, answered
Who goes first?
The first doses of a vaccine were made available in December 2020.
Those first shots are earmarked for those who are at highest risk of infection, health care workers and nursing home residents.
Because the first vaccines require two separate shots 21 days apart, the second batch of vaccines delivered in January 2021 will likely go to those same people.
By February, the next round of vaccinations are expected.
The CDC recommends these shots be given to the next highest-risk people.
- People over the age of 65
- People with medical conditions that put them at risk of death if infected
- Essential workers, like those employed in education, food, transportation and law enforcement.
Again, because it will take two doses - it will likely take two months to vaccinate that round of people.
One thing to keep in mind, if you've been infected with the coronavirus, you'll likely need to wait until the next round of vaccinations. That's because people who have already had the virus, likely already have some immunity, according to health experts.
By April, the next round of vaccinations will be distributed to everyone else. Healthy, nonessential workers younger than 65, will begin receiving the vaccine by springtime.
At that rate, most Americans could be vaccinated by early summer.
But that doesn't mean life will immediately go back to normal, or that the virus will go away, but, we will be one step closer.
Until then, keep your distance, keep washing your hands, and keep safe.
If you have a question or comment about the COVID-19 vaccine, submit via the form below or here.
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