Since the pandemic began, several companies including BioNTech and Pfizer have been working towards creating the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine. The time when that race ends is quickly approaching with the CDC saying that limited doses could be going out to the highest risk individuals by late October. With this approaching soon, there has been increasing debate on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, who should get the first doses, and how it should subsequently be rolled out when it is more widely available.
Multi-Phase Vaccine Distribution Plan
A committee was recently formed by the National Academies Of Science, Engineering, And Math to discuss a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Their suggested method is a 4 phased plan where they give priority to higher-risk individuals. The phases are suggested to be:
- Phase 1: Health care workers, first responders, and seniors with underlying health conditions and those who live in nursing homes or other crowded environments.
- Phase 2: Essential workers who are required to work in high-risk environments, teachers and school staff members, people of any age with underlying health conditions, older adults, and people in homeless shelters and prisons.
- Phase 3: Young adults and children.
- Phase 4: Everyone else in the United States.
This plan was created with the goal to save as many lives as possible considering that the vaccine supplies will be limited, especially when first released, and is trying to do this by delivering the vaccine to the most at-risk individuals first.
Skepticism And Controversy Over Vaccine
Although the clinical trials are looking up and the timeline is on track, there is a concerningly large portion of the population who is still skeptical of a coronavirus vaccine. In a recent Gallup poll, around a third of Americans would choose to remain unvaccinated for the disease even if it were given to them at no cost.
Along with this, there has been quite a bit of controversy over the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan with different organizations having different ideas of who is the most at risk and needs to be prioritized. At this point, the exact measures for how the vaccine will be distributed are still yet to be determined but will likely begin happening soon.