DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — With coronavirus vaccines in the works, the big question is: when will Americans have access to one?
This week, several states announced their plans for distribution once a vaccine has been verified. While so much is left to be figured out, the general consensus is that there will be an order, and front line health care workers are up first.
“This is going to be the hardest operational challenge that we face since COVID began,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).
The New York governor addressing not only his order of operations when it comes to the eventual COVID-19 vaccine, but also the challenges that his state will face in distributing the two-part dosage.
“We only did 13 million tests in seven months,” said Cuomo. “How long is it going to take us to administer 20 million vaccines?”
- Phase One consists of front line health care workers.
- Phase Two will be dedicated to essential workers like teachers and grocery store employees.
- Phase Three will be for those 65 and older and anyone considered at-risk. Texas unveiling a similar plan on Monday.
“It’s good to use our experience from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic,” said Dr. John Carlo with Texas’ COVID-19 task force. “Although I will say this is going to be a much different plan because it’s a much different virus.”
Carlo said an additional hurdle will be getting people to trust the science. A new poll from the University of Texas indicates that only 42% of Texans would get the vaccine if it were available today.
“We have to build that trust,” said Carlo. “It’s absolutely clear from the polls that there is concern in the community about the safety of the vaccine.”
According to the Department of Health officials, it will be July of 2021 before the prioritized groups are taken care of in Texas and anyone who wants the vaccine has access to it.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced that distribution won’t be happening in his state until a third-party group verifies the validity of the vaccine.
“And this is the sober reality,” said Newsom. “The expectation should not, cannot be this calendar year. For the overwhelming majority of us to get to where we need to go as a nation, as a state — that will not happen until 2021.”
At this time, there has been no approved vaccine for treating COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four vaccines that are in clinical trials right now in the United States.
Once one is available, the CDC does recommend getting it for your best chance at protection.
Watch an exclusive interview with White House Coronavirus Task Force members Secretary Alex Azar, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, and Dr. Deborah Birx on NewsNation on WGN America.