Who will be the first to get COVID-19 vaccines? NY has preliminary plan for vaccine distribution
If Pfizer is granted emergency use authorization, the company says it can start distributing doses within hours, but it might still take months before some members of the general public will be immunized.
Pfizer says its vaccine candidate is 95% effective, and today the company is applying for emergency use authorization from the FDA.
Based on current projections, Pfizer says it can produce up to 50 million doses globally by the end of the year, and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
But when will Long Islanders be able to roll up their sleeves for the shot? That depends on who you are.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a preliminary plan, which breaks down the distribution into five phases.
At the top of the list are health care workers and at-risk nursing home patients.
Next come first responders, teachers, essential workers who deal with the public, and people with co-morbidities.
Then come those over 65, and younger people who are at-risk.
Followed by essential workers who don't interact with the public, and healthy adults and children.
Experts say the vaccine likely would not be widely available until the spring of next year, but in the meantime there is hope that we can soon protect some of the most vulnerable people.
“We likely will be able to start dispensing vaccines in December and then progressively over the next few months,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci.
If approved, the Pfizer vaccine would require two separate doses given about three weeks apart. Then experts say it takes another week for the body to develop a robust immune response.