The confusion seems to mount and the questions deserve a clear answer when citizens ask, "When and where can I get the Covid-19 Vaccine?"
There has been no new information provided since I last posted on this topic on Dec 30. (Please scroll down and read). But there have been news headlines and quotes from the White House that increase confusion and misinformation.
Feds use pharmacies (Walgreens and CVS) to ramp up vaccine administration:
No pharmacies are actively administering the vaccine nor are they making waiting lists. They are working with the Feds for the future, like how we get flu shots. It is unlikely that pharmacies will be administering the vaccine until the Spring.
Contact your doctor or dentist to get the vaccine:
Private clinical offices and even ones that are owned by health care systems have not been given the vaccine to administer to patients. Many offices do not have the refrigeration systems that are required for vaccine storage. There is no timeline given at this time.
People over age 74 are eligible for the vaccine now:
This is a current recommendation from the CDC. Each State is responsible for vaccine administration and some are giving the vaccine in the first tier to people over age 65. Some (like California) have placed people over 75 into the next tier after frontline health care workers, long-term care residents, paramedics and correctional facilities. That initial roll out is going slowly. There has been no information about how older people can access the vaccine. There are no registries or waiting lists being kept.
The fact that other States are administering the vaccine in different ways and with different tiers is frustrating to all of us in healthcare.
So what can you do? First, understand that the headlines you read are often a lot of spin and don't reflect the reality of how it plays out on the ground. I have been contacted by practicing community physicians who are not connected with a large health system like Kaiser or Sutter or Dignity, and they have no way to get the vaccine for themselves. Our public health clinics should be handling this, but they are not.
This is a huge failure of public health and our governement. The good news is...we have an effective vaccine. If we can be patient, it should be available to everyone in a tiered process.
I will update this subject as soon as new information comes in so stay tuned.