Most pharmacies are not yet offering the vaccine, but CVS, Walgreens and a number of other chain pharmacies, including some in grocery and big-box stores, will soon start doing so through a partnership with the federal government.
With the federal government saying that older people and those with underlying medical conditions should be vaccinated next, what happens to essential workers whose jobs require them to come face to face with other people? Are they eligible now, too?
In some states, yes.
Health care workers in every state were the first to be offered the vaccine. And before Mr. Azar’s directive this week, several states had already opened vaccination to certain categories of “frontline” essential workers, such as police officers, firefighters, teachers, child-care workers and public transit employees.
But other states that had planned to start offering the vaccine to some essential workers in the coming weeks may reprioritize now based on Mr. Azar’s new guidance.
There is nothing stopping states from opening vaccination to a new priority group before they have reached everyone in an earlier group, but supply is an important consideration.
How many vaccine doses does the United States have access to?
Pfizer and Moderna, the two companies whose vaccines have been approved for emergency use in the United States, together have pledged to provide 400 million doses over the next seven months.
Both vaccines require two doses, so that will be enough for 200 million people, out of roughly 260 million who are currently eligible to be vaccinated. Children younger than 16 are not yet eligible for Pfizer’s vaccine, and those younger than 18 cannot yet take Moderna’s.