When, where the average American will get COVID-19 vaccine is uncertain


(CNN) - COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in the beginning of what will be a long process. When and where the average American can expect to receive their vaccine is not yet totally clear.

There was recently a round of applause at a Jackson Health System facility in Miami as doctors and nurses there got the first coronavirus vaccine shots.

For the rest of us, there could still be some months to go before that moment comes.

“By my calculation, sometime by the end of March, the beginning of April, that the normal, healthy man and woman in the street, who has no underlying conditions, would likely get it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

Fauci told MSNBC that it will be after front-line healthcare workers, nursing home residents and staffers, and other essential personnel get the vaccine.

Dr. Fauci says the timing depends on the efficiency of the rollout.

Other top experts push the timeline later.

“By May or June, everybody in this country who wants a vaccine will be able to get a vaccine,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir.

Many of us could be able to go to our pharmacy and get it.

Officials from CVS and Walgreens told CNBC that early-to-mid spring is when many of us could be able to actually walk into their stores for a vaccine.

Other chains like Costco, Walmart, Rite-Aid, Kroger and Publix say they’ll most likely offer the vaccines as well.

What will the process be like for the rest of us?

CVS officials say they want us to think of it like booking a round-trip plane ticket.

“There’s not going to be lines because everyone will be by appointment,” said Jonathan Roberts, EVP and Chief Operating Officer for CVS Health. “There’s a lot of follow up to ensure that they get the second dose, up to and including a phone call if they miss that appointment. We’ll be able to do 25 million vaccines a month.”

Experts say people who have severe allergic reactions to any component in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be asked not to get it.

“Anyone else that has a history of allergies such as food allergies and the like, not related to injected material, can go ahead and take the vaccine but will have to be observed for 30 minutes after the immunization,” said Dr. Barton Haynes of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. “If you don’t have a history of allergies, there will be a shorter time of observation.”

Once we’ve started going en masse to get vaccinated at our local outlets, what about a timetable for returning to normal?

Fauci says it can start if the U.S. can get at least 75% of its population vaccinated.

“As we get into the fall, we can get real comfort about people being in school, safe in school, be they K-to-12 or college,” Fauci said.

As for which sectors will get back to normal in which order, one top vaccine expert says he believes we’ll see children being allowed back into schools first.

Then, possibly larger crowds will be allowed back into restaurants and, much later, sporting events and bars.

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