As coronavirus vaccine nears, questions linger over who gets it first

The countdown to the delivery of a coronavirus vaccine, but many questions still linger, like who will get the vaccine first? Will it be widely available to the public? And will the vaccine reduce the amount of time people are infectious for, or will it reduce their ability to spread the virus?

The World Health Organization says it doesn’t have all the answers to those questions just yet, but doctors suggest that it will take up to 70% of the population getting immunized to keep the general public from contracting the virus.

“So it may be that it will take some very clever vaccination strategies to highly target people in our society who are more likely to carry and transmit and superspread with this virus,” said Dr. Mark Ryan, WHO Emergencies Chief.

The FDNY has confirmed that it is working to make sure its first responders are prioritized, with the vaccination process potentially beginning in mid to late December. And while it is highly recommended that FDNY members get the vaccine, it will not be mandatory.

Speaking on Sunday, Senator Charles Schumer urged the U.S. Senate to pass the Heroes Act, which would provide grants to New York and other states to help distribute the vaccine. 

“New York will need hundreds of millions of dollars to do these four things once the vaccine is produced. Distribute the vaccine for free, educate the public, hire healthcare workers and establish clinics,” said Senator Schumer. 

“We will have 40 million doses of the vaccine by the end of this year, but that won’t be enough for the whole country. If you are part of the public I want you to understand it will probably be in the first quarter, beginning of second quarter next year before you can get a vaccine,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams. 

Pfizer is one of the major pharmaceutical companies in the final stages of a vaccine. Its efficacy is 95%, but experts and elected officials stress that the only way for a vaccination to work is if you take it. 

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