You Probably Won’t Get The Vaccine First. Here’s Why.


Shahzaib Fareed, Contributor

Pfizer and Moderna are both front-runners in the Covid-19 vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna held successful clinical trials. Pfizer held a 60,000 patient clinical trial with more than a 90% effective rate, while Moderna held a 30,000 patient clinical trial with a 94.5% effective rate. These two companies will submit more data as they role out their vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna are already rolling out their vaccines in Europe and the United States. With current FDA approval, the companies will distribute the vaccine. This however leads to a question. Who will get the vaccine first? Both companies can only make so many vaccines.

The Future for the Vaccine 

The Covid-19 vaccine will be limited. Both Pfizer and Moderna are expected to produce only 70 million doses of their vaccines by the end of 2020, which is only enough for 35 million people around the globe. In 2021 they could have, at most, 2.3 billion doses in a world of 7.5 billion people. Unless another vaccine is made, the world will have to prioritize the distribution of these vaccines. 

The Distribution of the Vaccine

Since there is such a limited amount of vaccines, not everyone will be able to get the vaccines. The CDC has to decide who gets the vaccine and who should be prioritized. The CDC already has made goals if supply is limited, ethical principles to follow, and groups that should be considered. The CDC hopes to, with the vaccine, reduce as much death as possible, allow people to live healthily, and make society function. Their goal is to help people and ease the hardships they have faced from the vaccine. The CDC has four ethical principles that help them guide their distribution and rules. This aligns with their goals. They want to, again, help people live healthier, reduce death and severe illnesses, treat everyone fairly, and not make a vague decision. They will prioritize people with underlying conditions, healthcare personnel, older adults, and workers in critical industries. The CDC stated on December 1 that when a vaccine is authorized by the FDA, and recommended by the ACIP, they will start the first phase of vaccinations. This phase will primarily focus on, according to their COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations to Date, “1) healthcare personnel and 2) residents of long-term care facilities.” There will be a clear system set apart into phases that will state who gets the vaccine and when. There are other frameworks made by the public like Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), and WHO SAGE.

So When will you get the Vaccine?

Well, unless you are one of the prioritized groups then you probably will not get the vaccine first. You would get the vaccine after those specific groups get it. In the CDC most people, the general public, are placed towards the end of the phases in the vaccine distribution. If you are an old adult, a person with an underlying condition, and someone that works in critical industries like a first responder, you will get the vaccine earlier than the general public. This should not be a reason to worry, because it is speculated that the general public will receive the vaccine sometime next year. For example, Michigan hopes to have the vaccines by late spring and France hopes to have them from April. It is probably needed for us to endure our lifestyles in quarantine for a little longer, until the vaccine is released. We should help reduce infection rates in our societies until there is an authorized treatment and until most of society gets the vaccine. Basically, stay masked up!