16 Dec When Will Seniors Receive the Vaccine for Covid-19?
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This is a historical week in the United States as the first vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were shipped on Sunday, December 13 from the company’s production plant in Michigan to hospitals throughout the country. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration only issued emergency use authorization for the vaccine on December 11. And just three days later, an ICU nurse in New York City was among one of the first front-line workers to receive the vaccine. In addition, a vaccine from Moderna should receive emergency use authorization from the FDA this week.
Healthcare workers (most at risk for contracting the virus) along with staff and residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be in the first wave to receive the vaccine. In fact, the same day the first vials of the vaccine were shipped, Health & Human Services Director Alex Azar said all nursing home residents and staff could be inoculated by Christmas.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is partnering with CVS, Walgreens, and other participating pharmacies to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccinations for all residents and staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The vaccines will be given free at on-site clinics set up at these locations reducing the burden on long-term care facilities. Moreover, CVS has already hired 10,000 health care professionals to administer the shots, according to Larry Merlo, chief executive office, CVS Health.
Ultimately, it is up to each state to determine the timeline of when certain segments of the population receive the vaccine. However, the CDC has developed some recommendations to help states with the process. The following is an estimate (starting with first priority) of when you may expect to receive the vaccine.
- Health-care professionals and residents/staff of long-term care facilities;
- Essential workers not in a healthcare setting;
- Adults with underlying medical conditions and people 65 years and older;
- The remainder of the adult population (16 years and older).
Generally, seniors over 65 who do not reside in a nursing home or long-term care facility can expect to receive the opportunity to take the vaccine sometime in the first quarter of 2021. Of course, this will depend on many factors. These include demand vs. supply, production capabilities, and how quickly the vials can be distributed to hospitals and pharmacies. Remember, whether you receive the Phizer or Moderna vaccine, you must receive a second dose approximately 3 weeks from the first to achieve maximum effectiveness.
An important note: Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that the majority of Americans who want a vaccine should be able to receive one by April or May 2021. If you are concerned about the safety of the vaccinne talk to your doctor or healthcare professional. Click on the link below for answers about COVID-19 vaccine safety from the CDC.