AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. will soon have the first allotments of COVID-19 vaccines, but there won’t be enough for everyone at first, and states will need to prioritize who will get it.
States face a Friday deadline to submit requests for doses of the Pfizer vaccine and specify where they should be shipped, and many appear to be heeding nonbinding guidelines adopted this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to put health care workers and nursing home patients first.
They’re also facing a multitude of decisions about other categories of residents — some specific to their states; some vital to their economies.
But what about those who don’t meet that criteria? The New York Times’ Opinion section put together a tool that estimates people’s “spot” in the line for vaccines where they live. People fill out a form with their age, county, profession and whether they have health risks.
For example, a 30-year-old health care worker in Travis County, Texas with no health risks is behind “very few” others and appears as the third person in a line of 100 people. However, a healthy 30-year-old who doesn’t work as a health care worker, essential worker, first responder or teacher, is estimated to be behind 144.1 million people in the U.S., 12.4 million people in Texas and 459,100 others in Travis County.
The New York Times worked with the Surgo Foundation and Ariadne Labs and used their vaccine tool to help create the estimate. However, the final order of distribution isn’t yet finalized, and the logistics of distributing a vaccine may provide other challenges.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.