COVID-19 vaccine distribution: who gets them and how fast?

By Dr. Bryan Alsip

University Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bryan Alsip addresses a number of questions about COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution – and whether we can drop the masks once we get the shot (hint: no.).

Dr. Alsip answers the following questions:

  • How does the vaccine get out to the public?
  • Who is in charge of distributing it?
  • Who gets it first?
  • When will we be able to get it at most pharmacies, like a flu shot?
  • Once I get a vaccine, can I relax and stop worrying about all this masking and distance?
  • Emergency Use Authorization: How risky is that?
  • How do you encourage people to take a new vaccine that was made faster than the usual process when they’re already worried about vaccines?
  • Who pays for it?
  • If you get one dose of a 2-dose vaccine, and another vaccine comes out that is better, can you switch to another vaccine for your second dose?
  • Could you get one vaccine and if a better one comes out a month later, could you get that one too?
  • What percentage of the public needs to get the vaccine to achieve herd immunity?
  • Does that mean that even people who have been vaccinated or who have had COVID-19 must continue to mask and distance?
  • Could the vaccine’s efficacy decline?

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