A COVID-19 vaccine is coming soon, with the first doses possibly becoming available by the end of the year. But even once the FDA approves a vaccine for emergency use authorization, there won't be enough produced to inoculate the entire population. This presents the questions: who will be the first people in line to receive it, and alternatively, who will be the last? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and Director of the National Institutes of Health, has the answers. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The General Population Will Have to Wait Until April or May, Says Fauci
Fauci revealed in a recent interview with Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC that higher risk populations — older adults and anyone else who is considered high risk — will have first dibs on the vaccine. As for everyone else — the "general population" they will have to wait a few months, likely until late April or early May. "As you go down the list, it gets to people who are less at risk for serious disease," will be at the back end, Fauci said on NPR. "The 25- [or] 30-year-old person with no underlying conditions who's otherwise healthy—that likely will be the person towards the end."
However, the last group to be vaccinated will likely be children. Not only are they at a lower risk for severe infection, but the vaccine has yet to be tested on them.
"You never include children with rare, rare exceptions until you show that a vaccine is safe in adults and has at least some degree of efficacy," Fauci explained during an October interview with Dave Portnoy about why children weren't part of the vaccine trial. "You do that because of the special vulnerability of children. It is not at all unusual. You asked a question, understandably, as if this was an exception that we're not including children. That's not. So at all, most vaccine trials do not start off with children in the first trial. You don't usually go into children until you're convinced that it's safe in adults, because of the vulnerability of children."
Soon, He Hopes, Immunity Will be a Reality
But Fauci is hopeful that the general population won't have to wait too long and that soon, immunity will be a reality.
"Hopefully since this is such an effective vaccine or efficacious, at least in the trial, that after a reasonable period of time, we will get vaccine to everyone who wants and needs it," Fauci said. "And hopefully that will be the overwhelming majority of the country because with a vaccine that has this potential, this together with the continuation of the public health measures really should get us out of this very difficult situation we're into. So the vaccine is a very, very important tool in ending this pandemic, both domestically and internationally." Until it's available, to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.