With nearly 30,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arriving in San Diego County this week, the main question is, who will be getting it first? Distribution of the Pfizer vaccine will be done in phases, determined by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the distribution of all vaccines.
Phase 1A distribution includes frontline health care workers and those in long-term care facilities, with the first vaccines being prioritized specifically for those in acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospitals, followed by long-term care facility residents and employees.
Upon approval from then ACIP of the remaining recommendations and complete vaccination of those groups in Phase 1A, COVID-19 vaccines will then be distributed to essential workers (Phase 1B), including workers in education, food and agriculture, law enforcement, firefighters, correctional officers and transportation workers, among others.
Phase 1C takes priority in vaccinating adults with underlying medical conditions and people over 65 as they are at higher risk to develop complications from COVID-19.
With the completion of Phase 1, vaccines will then become available to children and young adults under the age of 30 along with critical workers not included in Phase 1.
The final phase includes people of all ages living in the United States, pending revisions by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices if they determine some groups are at higher risk from COVID-19, needing to be vaccinated sooner.
As other pharmaceutical companies receive emergency use authorization, more vaccines will arrive in the region.
The CDC anticipates that by June of 2021, everyone wanting to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to do so.