When will the vaccine be available to the general public?

As of today 16,162,358 people (or 5% of the population) in the United States are fully vaccinated. You may be wondering when “regular” people can get a vaccine. Many regular people are already eligible for the vaccine according to state and CDC guidelines. These guidelines are based on age, underlying medical conditions, living in groups (like nursing homes), or having an essential job. 

So when can the people who don’t fall into these groups get a vaccine?

Most experts estimate that the vaccine will be available to the general public in late spring to summer of 2021. Vaccines for children may be available around the same time.  

What does the timing depend on?

Vaccine availability for the general public depends on the supply of vaccine doses and the ability of states to distribute the doses quickly. There are currently two vaccines that have emergency use authorization: Pfizer and Moderna. Johnson & Johnson applied for emergency use authorization in early February and there are other vaccines that may have enough data to apply for authorization soon. The more vaccines that are approved, the faster you’ll be able to get one!

How can I find out when and where I can get a vaccine?

Check the vaccination prioritization plan for your state here. You can also track total vaccines given in your state and find out when you might be eligible.   

What can I do to stay safe until then?

Vaccine prioritization helps protect the most vulnerable. Until a vaccine is available for you, you can keep yourself safe by avoiding groups of people (especially indoors), staying 6 feet apart from others, and wearing a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth.

Last update: February 19, 2021, 13:00 EST

Science review: SGB, ERS, JAB