KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Pfizer officials expect 40 million doses of their new coronavirus vaccine will be available to the United States in 2021, and close to a million of those will come to Missouri and Kansas right away.
The company plans to ship out six million doses across the country right after getting FDA approval, which it hopes to do next Thursday. 50,000 doses will go to Missouri, and 23,000 to Kansas.
But it won’t be enough.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Panel voted 13-1 to put both health care workers and nursing home residents in Phase 1A for vaccine rollout. However, there are many more health care workers alone than doses available, so hospitals right now are prioritizing who should get it first.
Overall, there are 21 million health care workers in the U.S. and three million long term care residents. Everyone needs two doses, so 48 million doses are needed to vaccinate those two groups. That’s well above the 40 million expected by year’s end, and many more than the 6 million available right away.
Health officials only expect 40 million doses of vaccine to be available by the end of the year, with new shipments expected every week.
Another vaccine maker, Moderna, expects to begin shipping out their vaccine by late December, so that will help. Other vaccine makers might also get approval for their vaccines by early next year, which means everyone who wants a vaccine should able to get one by April.
Studies show the vaccine is 95% effective, which is why health officials are optimistic once it is out, the infection rates will drop and life will slowly get back to normal.
Patience will be the key as it will take time to get enough doses out to the public for all who want it.