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Latest timeline on when you'll get a COVID-19 vaccine

It will depend on who you are and what you do
Posted at 4:41 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 16:42:12-05

It will perhaps be the biggest story in December as well as the upcoming months. When will vaccine distribution be available to you or your family?

Recent news from Pfizer and Moderna is making vaccine distribution a reality in the near future. So what should you know?

KEY FDA MEETINGS

The first key date is December 10. That is when the FDA will hold a hearing on Pfizer's vaccine.

Moderna's vaccine will get a hearing on December 17.

The hearings are being conducted by the “Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee,” and they could give approval within 72 hours of the first hearing taking place.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER FDA APPROVAL

After FDA gives the go ahead, the CDC will finalize who should get it first. The good news is that the CDC have already released who they think should be first in line.

Earlier this week, an advisory committee to the CDC recommended health care workers and those in nursing homes receive access almost immediately.

Ultimately though, governors will serve as "air traffic controllers" directing which specific facility has access to the first doses of vaccines.

If the current timeline holds, those orders could start going out on December 11 or December 12.

AVERAGE AMERICANS TIMELINE AND POTENTIAL ISSUES

If you are not deemed a high priority, it will still likely be months before you are able to get a vaccine.

Some analysis point to Februrary, but other analysis point to April or May.

Some potential issues for distribution include the temperature the vaccines must be stored at.

The Moderna vaccine can stay in traditional refrigerators at around 40 degrees or so but Pfizer's must be stored at -94 degrees, which may be trickier to transport in more rural parts of the country.

Another big question mark is will Americans actually want to be the first to take the vaccine?

"All the science in the world isn’t going to matter if you can’t people to be immunized against COVID," Dr. John Brownstein of Boston Children's Hospital said.

Former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are said to be committed to receiving the vaccine live on television in order to inspire confidence.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering