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When can I expect to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The phased approach to protect everyone from the disease. 

 

This is a hopeful time in Pierce County after so many difficult days of the pandemic. On Dec. 14, Pierce County received the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is the next step to help us end the pandemic.

We are just beginning our journey to roll out the largest vaccination campaign ever. As of Dec. 18, the FDA was moving closer to granting emergency use authorization (EUA) to the Moderna vaccine. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine already received an EUA and is currently in use. Other manufacturers have vaccine in development, so we could see even more vaccine become available soon.

While demand is high, supplies are currently limited. Until more becomes available, people at highest risk of COVID-19 exposure or severe illness will receive the vaccine first. This follows Washington State Department of Health’s plan for a phased distribution approach. We gave an overview of that plan in a previous blog post. Those who are getting the vaccine now or in the next few weeks are:

  • People who work in healthcare settings.
  • First responders who treat patients with COVID-19.
  • Older adults who live in congregate care settings.

Healthcare providers can find more information about enrollment and COVID-19 vaccine on our provider webpage.

Many of you are asking who’s next.

Experts are still working on plans for expanded distribution. This weekend, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will make further recommendations on distributing vaccine to the next priority groups, which include: 

  • Critical workers at high risk of exposure at work.
  • People with multiple high risk health conditions.
  • People older than 65.

We expect vaccination of the next groups to begin in late January. Visit tpchd.org/COVID19vaccine for further updates on these distribution plans.

We’ll keep you posted when the ACIP makes recommendations for other groups to receive the vaccine. Federal and state guidance shifts as we learn more about the vaccine. The federal government estimates the national supply will be adequate to begin widespread vaccination of the general public by the second quarter of 2021.

We know people are eager to get the vaccine so we can put the pandemic behind us. To get there, we’ll still need to continue the good habits we’ve developed this year even after COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available:

Learn more at tpchd.org/covid19vaccine and tpchd.org/coronavirus.  

Grandparents get a hug from their grandchild.