Dec. 24, 2020 — People eager to get a COVID-19 vaccine will need to be patient.

Although some political figures and celebrities have already received the vaccine, distribution for the public will take more time. Each state has set priorities about who gets the vaccine first, based on recommendations from the federal government. Currently, the states are rolling the vaccine out in categories based on need.

Health care workers and people living in nursing homes are highest priority, and they began receiving the vaccine in mid-December. People ages 75 years and older, along with essential workers like first responders, will be next. Adults between 65 and 75 years old, and younger people (between 16 and 64) at high risk, along with other essential workers, will get the vaccine in the next phase.

Assuming there is enough of the vaccine to go around after that, everyone else will be able to get one, likely sometime in the late spring or early summer. As of now, the vaccine will be available to the public at most pharmacy chain stores like CVS, Walgreens, and others; along with in-store pharmacies at Costco, Kroger, Target, Publix, HEB, and other national and regional chains.

Experts suggest regularly checking state public health department websites for information. Some states offer vaccine safety information, details about who qualifies for vaccines now, and ways to sign up for COVID-19 and vaccine alerts. Those websites are listed below.

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: “The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Updated Interim Recommendation for Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 2020.”

Los Angeles Times: “When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?”

Source: https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20201224/state-by-state-guide-to-covid-vaccine-information?src=RSS_PUBLIC

News – State-by-State Guide to COVID Vaccine Information