When Can You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? This Interactive Tool Will Tell You

Coronavirus vaccine shots are coming, but your place in line depends on a lot of different factors.
Coronavirus vaccine shots are coming, but your place in line depends on a lot of different factors. / Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

After an advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) convened this week and recommended the FDA approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine developed with BioNTech, it appears only a few routine steps are needed before Americans can start receiving injections as early as next week.

How soon you can get the vaccine, however, will depend in large part on your risk factors, as states will be prioritizing what will initially be a limited allocation for health care workers and nursing home residents. If you’re wondering when you might be able to get the vaccine, The New York Times has developed an interactive tool that provides an estimation. You can find it here.

The tool, which was developed in conjunction with Surgo Foundation and Ariadne Labs, accounts for populations and prioritized risk. Using your age, location, and occupation, you can get a sense of when the vaccine might roll out to your demographic.

For some, it might mean seeing a long line of people ahead of you. While the distribution of the vaccine is still being discussed, there are some advocates who believe inmates should be prioritized owing to their living conditions making them 5.5 times more likely to contract COVID-19. Teachers, the elderly, and other groups could also be well ahead of reasonably healthy young adults.

Nationwide, there are approximately 21 million health care workers, along with 2 million nursing home and long-term care facility residents. Another 87 million are classified as essential workers, employed in food service, law enforcement, and transportation, among other vocations.

The timeline is expected to be dynamic. If more vaccines are produced, then prioritization becomes less of an issue. It’s possible vaccines from other manufacturers may be approved for use, increasing the overall supply. But if manufacturing and distribution prove to be a challenge, then your place in “line” could continue to be relevant well into the new year.

[h/t The New York Times]