A COVID-19 vaccine looks set to be rolled out across the U.S. within weeks, but it won’t be available to everybody from the get go. The first priority groups are frontline health care workers and residents of long-term health care facilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s adoption of the recommendations of the independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
It’s likely that essential workers such as law enforcement, teachers, firefighters and corrections officers will be next in line, followed by adults age 65 and older and adults with high-risk medical conditions.
So how long will you have to wait to get the vaccine? Nobody knows for sure, but The New York Times, working with the Surgo Foundation and Ariadne Labs, created an interactive tool to help you get a rough idea.
All you have to do is provide a few details, such as your age, the county you live in, whether you’re a health care worker, essential worker, first responder or teacher, and whether you have any COVID-19-related health risks, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity or other immunocompromised conditions.
For instance, a 43-year-old from Bronx County, New York, who has no COVID-19 related health risks and isn’t in any of the essential professions listed above is in line behind 268.7 million people across the United States, and behind 16 million others who are at higher risk in New York.
A 61-year-old teacher living in St. Louis County, Missouri, who and has COVID-related health risks is behind 23 million in the U.S., 468,400 others in who are high risk in the state and 92,000 others in the county.
The results also provide a graphic of people waiting in line in the selected state represented by about 100 people, with the person’s position in red. However, the Times notes that these are just estimates, and the line may ultimately be shorter, because the order isn’t yet finalized, and kids could be skipped entirely if the vaccine isn’t approved for people under 18. It also doesn’t rule out the possibility that there will be enough vaccine available after the first few months to skip phases altogether and start vaccinating everyone.