SPOKANE, Wash. — There are a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine now that distribution is expected to begin soon nationwide.
Both Moderna and Pfizer have requested emergency authorization for their vaccines. If they are approved, there is a framework that outlines who will likely get vaccinated first, both from an advisory board at the CDC and groups set forth by states.
In Washington, people who will most likely to get access to this first round of doses fall into one of two groups: employees working in healthcare settings where they may be exposed to COVID-19, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities.
It's expected that there will be enough doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available in Washington by the end of December to vaccinate about 400,000 people, according to state Department of Health officials.
One big question remains for many people: where is my place in line for the vaccine? The New York Times has come out with a calculator that estimates how many people you're behind based on where you live, if you have COVID-19 risk factors, occupation and age.
For example, according to the calculator, if you’re a 45-year-old teacher in Spokane County with no risk factors for COVID-19, the calculator estimates you’re behind 135.7 million people in the country. In Washington, there are an estimated 2.8 million other people ahead of you. In Spokane County, you would be behind 210,800 others.
The CDC made its recommendations for the rollout of the vaccine, but it’s up to each state to actually determine priorities for distribution. It's important to note that the final order hasn't been determined yet and state priorities could differ from CDC recommendations.