COVID-19 vaccine facts: Hidden costs, when you can get vaccinated, choosing vaccine brands
This month, two COVID-19 vaccines were authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in the US — Moderna and Pfizer. All 50 states have already received millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses, with states already administering the first set of shots, with the first person already receiving their second shot. Government leaders in the nation’s capital have also been receiving their first round of shots — President-elect Joe Biden received his on Dec. 21.
As you wait for your turn, there are a lot of questions we can help answer. Is a vaccination completely free or will you have to pay? How long will you personally have to wait to receive it, when will you know when you can get it and where, and is there anyone who shouldn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine right now?
There’s plenty we don’t know yet, but we’re keeping a close eye on the situation and will update this story as we learn more about the vaccine against COVID-19. Note that this story isn’t intended to serve as medical advice.
Two vaccines in the US are OK’d for emergency use
With the FDA’s approval of Moderna’s vaccine on Dec. 18, the United States now has two pharmaceutical companies’ COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use to battle the pandemic. The FDA approved Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 11, and it’s now being distributed across the US.
In 2021, we can expect to see 1.3 billion doses from Pfizer and anywhere from 500 million to 1 billion doses from Moderna.
After you’re injected with the initial vaccine, a second dose is required after a set period of weeks (depending on which vaccine you get, it could be three or four weeks). This is required for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be effective. As a result, 20 million doses, for example, can vaccinate 10 million people. The US has a population of roughly 330 million people.
When can I get the vaccine? Is there a specific order of who will receive it first?
Yes. Here’s a complete list of who will likely receive the COVID-19 vaccine first (and last).
Since the number of doses that can be made at one time is limited, states will prioritize which groups of people will be first in line to get the COVID-19 immunization. Every major global and domestic recommendation so far puts health care workers at the top of that list, with the general population last in line. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted guidelines, but each state will have the final word.
Depending on who you are, you may have to wait until spring or summer, when there are enough vaccines to go around, in order to be immunized…Read more>>