Where Are You In the Line for Covid Vaccine – UPDATED: New CDC Guidelines December 20

New Blog Post Click here When can you get a Covid vaccination? Your state decides All CDC updates starting from December 20, 2020 are on this post.

New CDC Guidelines, December 20, 2020 for Phase 1b and 1c.
The CDC recommends who gets the vaccine and when.
Each state decides who gets the vaccine and when they get it.

Find Your Place in the Covid-19 Vaccine Line

See an infographic of where you are in the line Input your age, state, county, health risk, type of work. You may be a long way down the line, but everyone will eventually get to the top of the line. Find Your Place in the Covid-19 Vaccine Line. NOTE: this animation was done using the groups in the revised phases December before the December 1 table below but is useful as an overall guideline.

The simulation on the infographic above is one possibility, combining a proposal by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACIP) , with a fuller proposal by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), with 4 phases, released October 2. Note: both reports are detailed and technical. See below for more understandable info


Video has a very good, short explanation of Who and Why. – 3 min. 43 seconds
Click here for written information about the topics in the video, plus related links.

A Framework for Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus National Academy of Medicine Report (NASEM) – good summary at the top. Very long detailed technical report available.

Click “Continue Reading” below for lots more info on how the vaccine is distributed, a table of the four distribution phases., who decides which groups receive the vaccine, etc.

Table of all the original proposed phases October 2. CDC revised Phase 1 into 3 categories on December 1. Phase 1 phases were changed to three phases: 1a, 1b and 1c. See the new blog post link above.


For more information on the original proposed phases (shown in the table above), click here about the Oct. 2, 2020 release of the National Academies (NASEM) Release Framework for Equitable Allocation of a COVID-19 Vaccine for Adoption by HHS, State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Authorities. Find Your Place in the Covid-19 Vaccine Line

A very good, understandable, 52-minute podcast on the issues is Toolkit: Where and When Can I Get the Vaccine? In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt. 12-7-20. STILL RELEVANT NOW.

The science speaker is Dr. David Argus, and the logistics information is from CVS Health’s Tom Moriarty. (CVS and Walgreens are distributing the vaccine to nursing homes.)

The podcast starts slow with some ads, but the speakers are very knowledgeable and understandable. There are commercials (money donated to charity), including Walmart, but don’t let them turn you off. This is one of my favorite Covid podcasts. Andy Slavitt is not a scientist, so the persons he interviews have to be understandable to non-scientists.

I have been reading articles, watching videos, and listening to podcasts on vaccine distribution for awhile. This one has the best understandable explanations of the current situation.

Listen to the podcast plus get links for more information


How long will you have to wait to get vaccinated? Most of us are way down the line to get a vaccine shot. For now, there are not many vaccine doses available. The number of people vaccinated will dramatically increase as more vaccines get FDA approval and vaccine manufacturing increases for currently approved vaccines and future vaccines.

The CDC recommends who gets the vaccine and when.
Each state decides who gets the vaccine and when. Every state was required to send its distribution plan by a recent deadline. States differ in what they plan to do. Some states want to include correctional facility workers and prisoners, include everyone 65 and older in the same group. There will be many variations on how the states decide what groups go into each phase. See what your state says on their web site. Follow your state and local news to find out what is actually being done.

Vaccine doses are limited now. If your state does not receive enough doses for all of them, who will get it first? For example, who does your state classify as a healthcare worker?

Vaccine side effects are relatively mild from the current top vaccines. They show you that the vaccine is working to stimulate your immune response. They have been mild for the three top vaccines so far: some pain at the shot site and mild flu/cold type symptoms for a day or two. Few side effects for any age group have occurred. Side effects may be less for older people, possibly due to previous exposure to the flu (coronavirus) or other viruses.

The number of people who will get vaccinated is the critical factor. Otherwise, we will not get to herd immunity, which we desperately need.

How is the vaccine distributed? When the FDA approves the vaccine, vaccination can start within a week. The federal government (Operation Warp Speed) has started delivering the first vaccine to each state’s specified locations. Each state distributes the vaccine doses using its existing infrastructure for doing the annual flu shots. However, many more people will be needed to give the vaccine shots plus PPE for the workers. Some of the states will need more money for distribution costs. CVS and Walgreens will receive the vaccine doses in most areas for nursing homes and will vaccinate the residents there.

Children are expected to be the last to be vaccinated. This is typical for vaccines. Everyone wants to be sure it is very safe first. No one under 12 has been included in the current clinical trials. Clinical trials will start in January testing the safety of Covid-19 vaccines on pregnant women and young children per Dr. Fauci. Moderna will soon start clinical trials on 3,000 children and teens age 12-17. In my opinion, the big risk in schools is adults. When teachers and other school workers are vaccinated a lot more schools will open.

Face masks, distancing, avoiding crowds, etc. will still be required until we get 70-75% of the population vaccinated and get herd immunity which will not occur until next year. For now, we only know that the top vaccines keep you from getting symptoms. You have to assume that, after vaccination, you are infected and can infect others. We don’t have any data yet as this was not tested in the clinical trials. Hopefully, soon we will find out that the vaccine keeps you from infecting other people!

Not everyone wants to take the vaccine, and others cannot take vaccines for medical reasons. There are always some people who cannot take a vaccine for health reasons, even if they want it. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are about 95% efficacious and do not work on 5% of people. The seasonal flu vaccines only work on an average of 50% of the people who get them. 

Many people are already upset that they have to wait to get the vaccine. When something is in short supply, everyone wants it. Remember the toilet paper shortage early in the pandemic? Or the beanie baby shortage in the U.S. in the past? Or the tulip craze in the Netherlands in the distant past? As more people get vaccinated, assuming there are minimal side effects or any other problems, demand will go way up. I am getting my shot as soon as it is available!

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