Public health and media reports are setting an unrealistic expectation for vaccine availability. Those age 65+ are probably in line in March to April time frame. The general public is probably out to summer of 2021 to start receiving vaccinations.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 19, 20201
Biden says general availability of vaccines should be by August of 2021. With at least 1/3d of the adult population then eligible, it would likely take up to 3 months s after that to reach everyone. Would not be surprised if, considering the timing, that priority then shifts to K-12 students before the rest of the adults under age 65.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 15, 2021
UK says general availability in “Autumn of 2021”.
Also, some indications the US might have to make vaccine appointments available to all in the spring of 2021, certainly by early summer. It becomes impossible to determine who is eligible and who is not – meaning it just becomes more effective to open this up to everyone once more dosages are available.
UPDATE JANUARY 27, 2021
Pfizer will delivery 200M additional doses (2-doses per person) by May 31st instead of July 31st.
UPDATE JANUARY 8, 2021
Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said today that it will be fall of 2021 before vaccines are likely to be available to the general public.
UPDATE DEC 20, 2020
Based on Dec 20, CDC ACIP meeting recommendations, there is new information for Phase 1a, 1b and 1c. The new information implies no general vaccine availability until likely mid-summer (late July) of 2021.
Please go here for the full update, including numbers, dates and potential wild cards to this information.
UPDATE DEC 23, 2020
The US government announced it has reached an agreement to purchase doses for an additional 50M people by July 31, bringing the total to 200 M.
The US has a contract with Johnson and Johnson for 100 million doses of its single dose vaccine, but no date of delivery has been announced.
The US has a contract with AstraZeneca for doses for 150 million people, but no delivery date has been announced.
From Schwab’s daily update for Dec 23:
On the COVID-19 vaccine front, Pfizer Inc (PFE $38) said that it has struck a deal with the U.S. government to provide 100 million more doses of its inoculation co-developed with BioNTech SE (BNTX $98). The new order, which is expected to be delivered by the end of July, brings the total number of doses provided by the firms to 200 million.
At this time, the US has publicly announced contracted delivery of doses for 185M people by June 30th, and 200 M total by July 31st. The US has contracted also with J&J and AstraZeneca, but there are no delivery dates published. The US also contracted with NovaVax and Sanofi, but both are significantly delayed – probably until 2H 2021, even late 2021.
These numbers are confirmed by the Director of the NIH in this video clip. He is optimistic that the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines can be manufactured rapidly “at scale” and that the US may have enough vaccine doses for everyone by early summer.
In fact, an early December news report confirms that plans for vaccinating everyone in the U.S. were dependent on AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccine deliveries, which are delayed until the spring of 2021 at the soonest. There are hints that neither vaccine has achieved the same 94-95% efficacy of the first two – which also implies that those of us at the end of the line might receive less effective vaccines. But we will not know until official trail data is released in perhaps Q1 2021.
Here is the TL;DR Summary
- Prioritized groups will be underway by the end of 2020.
- The consensus of “expert opinion” is for vaccines to go first to health care workers and other prioritized groups, which may include very elderly in group homes.
- The consensus of expert opinion is that those age 65+ might be able to begin receiving vaccinations in the February – March time frame (that means “start” tor receive as it will then take some time).
- The consensus of expert opinion is that more people in the workforce will then begin to have access in March to April time frame.
- Only after that will vaccines be available to the general public. The expert consensus is that is likely to be in the summer of 2021 (June to September) – updated January 8, 2021: Oregon says it will be FALL OF 2021 for general public access.
- As trials have not yet been conducted on children, it is likely that vaccines will not be available for children until summer of 2021.
- Wildcards: Perhaps demand for vaccines will be less than expected. The pandemic might mostly die out on its own during 1H 2021, and that may lower demand for vaccinations. Vaccines contracted for U.S. and other nations’ delivery might be redirected to other countries (see below) delaying availability to the general public.
As vaccine distribution is not yet predictable, there are a wide range of estimates from “experts” and from the available public data.
We can look at the different “expert opinion” projections and do a Delphi-like “crowd wisdom” estimate of when the vaccine is available to the general public (rather than prioritized groups only).
We can also look at limited public data on contracted vaccine deliveries.
Both lines of evidence point to general availability beginning in the summer of 2021, with up to a few months to reach everyone who may wish to be vaccinated.
Read on for the list of “expert opinions” and contracted delivery information.
Continue reading When will you get a vaccine?