Everyone wants to know...when can I get it? Where can I get it? How do I get it? The answer is....hold tight. We don't have it completely worked out. And your Doctor doesn't have it in the freezer, nor are we making waiting lists. Most health care professionals are still waiting for their immunization.
Heres the deal. The Government has secured the first 11.5 million vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna and has allocated them to the States to figure out distribution. The CDC has issued guidelines but each State can do whatever it wants! There is no Federal coordination on vaccine distribution. All the States have put health care workers into the first tier. But who comes next is not consistent. Some States are prioritizing people over age 65 and ignoring other front line workers. Some are focusing on teachers to get kids back to school. There is confusion for the average person to know when and how they can be vaccinated. Nationally, over 80% of deaths has been in people over age 65 so that should be a focus everywhere and most people over age 75 will be in the next tier, if the States do it right.
California is following the CDC guidelines.
When can the average person expect to get the vaccine? Experts say not before 2nd quarter 2021 and maybe not until Spring.
Where will I get the shot? At least 60% of US pharmacies should be able to administer the shot, just as they do with flu vaccine. It is unknown when independent physician offices and clinics will get the vaccine. Large systems like Kaiser, Dignity and Sutter will likely provide the vaccine in physician offices.
How much will it cost? The White House and Pres-Elect Biden have both said the vaccine will be free to Americans.
Can my child get the vaccine? Children will not be eligible for the vaccine until further testing and FDA approval is done.
How will I get the 2nd vaccine? Wherever you get the first shot will be allocated your 2nd vaccine and will give you a return date.
Does the Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine have preservatives? The mRNA is packaged in a lipid nanoparticle that allows it to enter the cell and start making the protein that turns on immunity. There are no other preservatives or adjuvents added so it is a really clean vaccine.
If the Virus mutates, will the vaccine still work? We expect viruses to mutate and they do it all the time. The mRNA will get into any cell and experts believe the current vaccines will be effective against any change in the surface spike protein, which is where it has its effect. Consider that the the measles virus has mutated many times but the vaccine is still effective. Same with Hepatitis C, Tetanus and Diphtheria.
Check out https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/COVID-19Vaccine.aspx for daily updates on the vaccine distribution in California. They update it daily and you can see where the vaccines are going now.