Who will get the COVID-19 vaccine first?

Rapid COVID testing site on the UWS

Rapid COVID testing site on the UWS

Ruby Sklar

The coronavirus rampant pandemic worldwide with 1.4 million deaths, and 64.5 million cases. In the past year the massive lockdowns, economic loss, and medical systems failure to properly distribute resources leading to an immense rise in cases resulted in massive losses. The deadly COVID-19 virus is rapidly spreading in the United States, and around the world has passed medical companies, and scientists to find a vaccine. 

The Pfizer pharmaceutical company is the leader in development of the coronavirus vaccine as cases around the world soar. The vaccine created by Pfizer has been 95% effective with no significant side effects from the results of the vaccine tested on subjects with COVID-19. According to the New York Times, “Pfizer, which developed the vaccine with its partner BioNTech, said the companies planned to apply to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization “within days,” raising hopes that a working vaccine could soon become a reality.” The Food and Drug Administration’s rapid approval of an effective vaccine is a critical and life changing decision that will change the lives of millions. 

In the coming weeks the COVID-19 vaccine will await approval from the Food and Drug Administration before distribution. After the approval of the vaccine a mass-vaccination effort will proceed to decrease the spread of the coronavirus, into 2021. On December 10, 2020 the FDA will release the  Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and on December 17th the decision about the Moderna vaccine will be made. The vaccine will be fast tracked to the American people through a multi-billion dollar program called  Operation Warp Speed. 

The distribution of the COVID-19  vaccine will be determined by state governors, with consideration to recommendations made by the CDC. The vaccine is going to be available to health-care workers that are at high risk of contracting the coronavirus and residents of long term care facilities. 

The United States currently has 20 million doses of the vaccine for the initial phase of insculations. In the United States there are approximately 21 million healthcare workers fighting at the front lines of the coronavirus. According to New York Magazine“Health-care workers account for an estimated 12 percent of U.S. cases and 0.5 percent of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus.” The residents of long term care facilities are at high risk of contracting the coronavirus.  New York Magazine states, “According to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, accounting for 40 percent of all U.S. deaths from COVID-19.”

In the beginning stages of distribution the CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) aims to aid people at highest risk of contracting the corona virus. According to the Trump administration the COVID-19 initial vaccine will be available for all of the American people free of charge.