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COVID-19 vaccines start in the US Monday. Where you stand in line and how long you can wait



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Coronavirus vaccines are just around the corner, but most people probably won̵

7;t be able to get them until well into 2021.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Visit the WHO website for the most current news and information about the coronavirus pandemic.

The The FDA has approved the first vaccine for COVID-19 for emergency use on December 11, a formula created by Pfizer and BioNTech. That means that the first vaccinations against the coronavirus in the country starting soon. But with a limited number of doses in the beginning, only a relatively small number will be immunized against the coronavirus by 2020.

So who will be first in line for the first COVID-19 doses and how long should you wait for your turn? The unfortunate reality is that most people in the US will have to wait at least several months before potentially having access to a coronavirus vaccine. Even worse, it could be a matter of years before everyone in the world can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The answers about who gets a priority vaccination in America are getting less hazy, but are far from definitive. Here’s what we know about the coronavirus vaccine rollout so far and where you might be on the priority list. (And here it is how much you would expect to pay for your COVID-19 vaccine.) This article was recently updated with new information and is intended as a general overview and not a source of medical advice.

read more: How coronavirus mRNA vaccines could end the pandemic and change vaccines forever

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Even after coronavirus vaccines are approved, people will have to continue to wear masks and take other preventive measures for the coming months.

Angela Lang / CNET

How many COVID-19 vaccine doses do we have?

There are over 330 million people in the US, however Pfizer says it expects to send the US 25 million doses by the end of 2020, or enough to vaccinate about 12.5 million Americans, as each recipient needs two doses. That’s roughly the populations of New York City and Los Angeles combined. Moderna, which one similar type of vaccine to Pfizer, says it will initially be able to make about 15 million vaccine doses, which can treat 7.5 million people (again, two injections per person).

Senior US government officials will be vaccinated within days

President Donald Trump and top officials in all three branches of the government will be among the first to receive the Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, Bloomberg reported Sunday.

“Senior officials in all three branches of government will receive vaccinations based on the continuity of government protocols enshrined in executive policies,” said John Ullyot, a national security spokesman, according to CNBC.

Health workers, nursing home residents and staff

Primary health professionals at particular risk of being exposed to coronavirus, including the approximately 20 million U.S. doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, EMT and hospital personnel, will top the list, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Employees and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, must also be part of the first batch of vaccinations according to the guidelines.

Ultimately, the decision about who gets the first dibs from a COVID-19 vaccine belongs to state governors in consultation with their own public health experts, but states typically follow CDC guidelines, The New York Times reported.

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Life probably won’t return to normal until the end of 2021 or at the earliest 2022, which could mean regular temperature checks until the coronavirus is no longer a threat.

Angela Lang / CNET

Essential workers, those with medical conditions, and older adults are the following

The next priority level for coronavirus vaccinations includes the following groups.

Essential employees: About 87 million American workers provide the basic goods and services we need to survive. Most cannot work from home and many jobs require interaction with the public, so protecting against COVID-19 among this population would have a ripple effect across the country while reducing critical service interruptions.

People with underlying medical conditions: In particular, the approximately 100 million people with conditions that put them at high risk of illness or death from COVID-19. Any disease that affects the lungs, as well as anything that could compromise a person’s immune system, such as cancer or HIV, would be included.

Older adults: It is generally accepted that the risk of serious complications from COVID-19 increases with age. The ACIP recommends that the approximately 53 million American adults ages 65 and older be among the first to be vaccinated.

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Some vaccines require more than one dose to be effective.

Sarah Tew / CNET

What about the rest?

The reality is you have to wait. America’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told Good Morning America in November that he expects “the commoner” should be able to receive a vaccine in April, May or June 2021.

In the meantime, you are still expected to adhere to pandemic safety practices such as wearing universal masks, avoiding crowds, maintaining social distance, and washing our hands even more than usual. That includes everyone; both vaccinated and unvaccinated (keep reading to learn more about what to expect).

When are children vaccinated?

Pfizer’s vaccine is approved for emergency use for people 16 years of age and older. Children under the age of 16 are not eligible for vaccination at this stage. You can read more about it children and the COVID-19 vaccine here.

If there are vaccines, when can we resume normal life?

The number of infections in the US is skyrocketing, with the seven-day moving average now more than 223,000 new infections per day, according to the COVID Tracking Project, and nearly 300,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

One of the President-elect’s chief advisers Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Task ForceDr. Michael Osterholm has recommended a nationwide lockdown in the US for four to six weeks to help control the rapidly spreading virus, although President Donald Trump said in November that there would be no lockdown under his administration.

Experts agree that people who leave their homes should continue to wear masks, avoid crowds, maintain social distance and wash their hands regularly until further notice.

Whether COVID-19 vaccines are effective at stopping the spread of the coronavirus depends a lot on how our bodies build up immunity to the disease. Here’s what we know so far about whether you can do it get COVID-19 more than once. Testing is also key to slowing the spread of the coronavirus – learn more about a device that can produce COVID-19 test results in less than 90 minutes. And learn how all these issues and more affect Biden’s plan to fight COVID-19.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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