We’ve been tracking the vaccine stimulus package for several months and it’s been a steady trend of mostly negative news.
For every step taken forward, it seems like five steps were taken backwards.
But luckily, we continue to hear very encouraging news about the coronavirus vaccines.
If you’ve been wondering about what the timeline looks like for when these vaccines can go out to every day Americans, check out the info below.
Let’s start with December 10.
This is a big day because it is when the FDA advisory committee, made up of a bunch of scientific experts, will evaluate Pfizer’s emergency use request.
This meeting is going to be streamed live on different media platforms and after the meeting, the advisory committee will make a recommendation on whether or not to green light the vaccine.
I imagine this meeting will be watched by many people around the world and will be a pretty big news story.
After that decision is made, the FDA will likely authorize the vaccine on that same day and we will be off to the races.
After the Pfizer vaccine is authorized, Americans may start receiving shots within 24 hours.
This could happen around December 11 or 12th.
There will be established guidelines for who should be prioritized for the vaccine.
The first people at the top of the list will be front line healthcare workers and people that stand the highest chances of becoming seriously ill to coronavirus.
These would be people like the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.
It’s not clear to me what pre-existing health conditions would qualify at this point nor is it clear how those conditions will need to be proven.
You would think at the minimum people with respiratory or heart related issues would qualify but what about others such as obese people?
I think we are still waiting on clarification for these questions.
In mid December, Moderna will file its emergency use request and the same process will occur.
When it’s all said and done, it’s possible 20 million Americans could get the vaccine before the end of this year.
And then after that, 25 to 30 million Americans may get vaccinated every month.
This means that it would be around April or May when vaccines become widely available to young healthy members of society.
By the time of the late summer, most adults in the US who want to get vaccinated will have access to a vaccine.
If 75% of people or more get vaccinated, herd immunity through vaccination will be reached by the fall of 2021.
So based on my unscientific expertise, it would seem that things will really start to get somewhat back to normal around April or May.
At that point, all of the high-risk people will have been vaccinated for a couple of months and you’re talking about 150 million vaccines that have probably gone out.
That’s nearly half of the population.
When you throw in all of the people who also already have the antibodies, that’s even more.
But I bet it will likely not be until the late summer or early fall that we truly start to look like a pre-Covid society.
One thing to consider is that if additional vaccines are authorized this could expedite the timeline.
So things might be getting back even quicker than the timeline suggests.
At the same time, you never know what could happen and potentially go wrong.
If people start turning into zombies, I’d imagine that we have to push the timeline out a little bit.
But overall the safety of these vaccines looks very good and so I would be surprised if we discovered some major health risk that set everything back.
Plus, there are so many vaccines getting made right now that even if a few of them turned out to be not so great, others would rise to the occasion.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.