A possible vaccination schedule

Dec 02, 2020 Travel News

A possible vaccination schedule

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A group of science advisers yesterday released their initial guidelines on who should receive the first coronavirus vaccines – recommendations that will influence state policies across the country.

The obvious question in the minds of many people is: when can I expect to be vaccinated? While there is still a lot of uncertainty, it is possible to set a rough timeline. I have done so below, with the help of public health experts and colleagues who cover the virus.

December: Health care workers and nursing home residents will likely be the first to receive the vaccine, as the committee recommended.

Up to 40 million doses could be available to Americans before the end of this year, from a combination of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This would be enough to immunize the three million people who live in long-term care facilities, as well as most of the country’s 21 million health workers.

January: Keep in mind that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second dose a few weeks later to be effective. A first batch of 40 million doses would therefore suffice to vaccinate only 20 million people.

By early next year, Pfizer and Moderna will likely be able to ship around 70 million doses per month, Moncef Slaoui, a senior federal vaccine official told The Washington Post yesterday. People will likely receive the vaccines in doctors’ offices, hospitals and pharmacies, as well as in specially created clinics in some places, says my colleague Katie Thomas.

February and March: The next priority groups are probably people over 65 (and particularly those over 75); people with health problems that put them at risk of death if infected; and essential workers, such as education, food, transportation and law enforcement.

People who have already contracted the virus may be an exception to this second wave of vaccines, which makes them immune for at least some time.

If other companies besides Pfizer and Moderna receive approval for their vaccines, the total number shipped each month could reach 150 million by March, Slaoui said.

April, May and June: The most likely scenario is that even people who are not considered a priority – such as healthy, nonessential workers under the age of 65 – will start receiving the vaccine in the spring. The vast majority of Americans could be vaccinated by early summer.

Once that happens, life still won’t immediately return to normal, in part because vaccines aren’t 100% effective. “There will always be risks for people,” Caitlin Rivers, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, told me.

But these risks will be low compared to the current risks. Treatments continue to improve, reducing the death rate for people who contract the virus. And widespread vaccination will dramatically reduce the spread, helping to protect even people for whom a vaccine is ineffective. Rivers predicted that social gatherings would be mainstream again and largely safe by the summer.

All things considered, spring is not that far away, which is another reason people are going the extra mile to avoid unnecessary risks – like eating in restaurants and hanging out indoors with friends – to the next months.

What questions do you still have about vaccines? Tell us here, and we’ll answer it in a future newsletter.

One morning read: A 1,020-year-old mochi store in Kyoto, Japan has endured wars, epidemics and natural disasters, offering a lesson in resilience.

From the review: Farhad Manjoo has a column and Thomas Friedman speaks with Biden.

Lives lived: In the 1990s, conservation biologist Georgina Mace rewrote the Global Red List, which describes struggling species, and warned that the world must restore its ecological balance or pay a high price. Dr Mace died at the age of 67.


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“Musicians are people too,” as Jon Pareles, one of The Times’ pop music critics, puts it, “so all the things that affected listeners – the pandemic, the protests, the elections, the disappearance of concerts – clearly affected the music that appeared in 2020. “

This morning, The Times released its list of the best albums of the year, and you can see some of those big 2020 themes there. The list includes the entries that Taylor Swift and Charli XCX produced at home during their forties. There were also intensely personal works by artists like Fiona Apple and Burna Boy, as well as albums that turned introspective and political, like the latest from Run the Jewels.

A wider trend: the distinctions between genres are collapsing. “The lines between pop, pop-punk, autotuned R&B, hip-hop – those lines that felt really real in the ’90s,’ 80s and even the 2000s – don’t make sense if you’re 20 or under, “Jon Caramanica, pop music critic for The Times, says. “For young artists, those kind of hard limits and rules aren’t really a thing.”

You can find the best albums of 2020 here, as well as listings focused on jazz and classical music.

The Spelling Bee pangrams of yesterday were mobility and immobility. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.

Here are today’s mini-crosswords, and a hint: they’re dropped in the Boston accent (three letters).


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David

PS Forbes named Astead Herndon, a Times reporter who covers national politics, in its annual 30-under-30 list.