SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA) — The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will soon be distributed across the country, but with limited access these doses will be reserved for healthcare workers and other vulnerable populations.
So, when will the general public be able to receive vaccines?
Experts say that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be eventually — though those without pre-existing conditions or other vulnerabilities may have to wait a bit longer to get theirs.
With just three million doses being sent out in the first shipment — and two doses required per patient — the priority will go to doctors, nurses, and people who live in assisted care facilities. Then, those considered essential workers will be next in line. This includes grocery store employees, pharmacy workers, and teachers.
“Essentially, a healthy, non-elderly person no recognizable underlying conditions (will) likely start trickling in in late March, early April,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci.
By the end of June, anyone who wants a vaccine should be able to access it, officials said.
Health experts are working on a system to deploy the vaccines to the general public, including making appointments.
“The infrastructure to physically go in and sign up has not really been built and the protocol hasn’t really been ironed out,” said Dr. Michael Mina from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
However, on Wednesday, officials announced that the vaccine will be widely available. Anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to go to any major pharmacy, a doctors office, a clinic, or a hospital to get one.