Who Will Get the Coronavirus Vaccine First?

Photo by JPC-PROD / Shutterstock.com

Many of us dream of a day when a vaccine will finally end the coronavirus pandemic. With any luck, that moment is on the horizon.

In fact, some experts believe a vaccine could arrive before the end of the year. Others say we may have to wait a bit longer, until early or mid-2021.

But if and when that magic day arrives, it will open a question: Who gets the vaccine first?

As with so many health care decisions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have a big voice in who moves to the front of the line. Since 1964, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has been charged with making such calls, USA Today reports.

Experts agree that there will be a relatively limited amount of the vaccine available. As Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, tells USA Today:

“It’s inevitable that the vaccine will come out more slowly than we like. We’re not going to have 350 million doses delivered Day One.”

In addition, the vaccine itself likely will have to be administered twice to anyone who is immunized, the Mayo Clinic reports.

Two shots are needed because people have no natural immunity to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The pair of doses would be administered three to four weeks apart, with immunity kicking in one to two weeks after the second vaccination.

With two doses needed per person — and a limited supply available overall — some people are more likely than others to be vaccinated right away. In a post on the medical news website STAT, Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, a cardiologist at Northwell Health in New York, speculates that two groups would be good candidates for immediate vaccination:

  • Health care workers, and those with jobs considered to be essential during the pandemic
  • Those people most at risk of dying from COVID-19. This might include the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. It also might include people in communities especially hard-hit by the virus.

However, Jauhar — author of the book “Heart: A History” — emphasizes that ultimately, the decision about who will receive the first vaccinations will depend on decisions made by “state and local health departments and community hospitals interpreting the federal guidelines.”

He adds that disagreements are inevitable and that officials will face tough decisions.

Dr. Arthur Reingold, division head of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California at Berkeley, made a similar point to USA Today:

“If I’ve only got 30 million doses for the next year and I’ve got a population of 350 million, who do I assign propriety to?”

Until a vaccine arrives, it pays to be extra cautious in protecting yourself from the ravages of the coronavirus disease. For more tips on doing so, check out:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 States Where Drivers Pay the Most for Car Insurance

Auto insurance will cost you more than three times as much in one state compared with another. Here’s how to lower your rates no matter where you live.

15 of the Most Outrageously Overpriced Products

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

7 Things That Prove Cheaper Isn’t Always Better

These purchases can end up costing you more if you try to go the cheap route.

60% of People With This Disease Don’t Know They Have It

Millions of people overlook this potentially potent condition that tends to strike women and older adults.

5 Renovations That Can Impact Your Home Insurance

Home improvements can affect your home insurance policy for the better, the worse or both.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.