U.S. plans phased allocation of coronavirus vaccines starting this month

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The U.S. government has made deals to procure 100 million doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for US$1.95 billion and 100 million of Moderna's for US$1.5 billion, with options to buy more.

This animation explains how the U.S. plans to roll out vaccinations for COVID-19.

1. 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines expected to be available by the end of 2020
2. Initial batch of vaccines will be enough to inoculate up to 20 million people
3. Vaccines will be distributed to states according to population
4. States expected to follow general guidance from the CDC as they implement their vaccination plans
5. Allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to proceed in four phases

VOICEOVER (in English):

"According to a Reuters analysis, up to 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines are expected to be available in the U.S. by the end of 2020."

"Twenty-five million of these will come from Pfizer-BioNTech and 12.5 million from Moderna. This assumes Moderna's vaccine is authorized early in the second half of December, and Pfizer follows through on its production plans."

"As both vaccines require two doses, this would only be enough to inoculate 20 million people, though not all of these doses will be immediately available. The first batch will cover 3.2 million people. The CDC then expects about 5 million to 10 million doses to be shipped per week in the first weeks of the vaccine distribution effort."

"While doses will be allocated by the federal government based on state populations, the states are tasked with implementing their own vaccine distribution plans. Though these must follow general guidance from the CDC's Interim Playbook for COVID-19."

"According to the CDC, the recommended first phase of the distribution plan, called 1a, will give priority to 21 million healthcare workers and 3 million adults in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, who are particularly vulnerable."

"The next part of the distribution phase, 1b, will prioritize other 'essential workers' including police, firefighters and food and agriculture workers. 1c will prioritize adults older than 65 and those with high-risk medical conditions that leave them at increased risk of serious complications from COVID."

"Phase 2 comes into effect when a larger number of doses are available. It will focus on critical populations not covered by Phase 1. This includes people who work in schools, transportation, housing facilities like nursing homes, and other places with high concentrations of people."

"Phase 3 comes into effect when there is a sufficient supply of vaccine doses for the entire population. It focuses on young adults and children — in an attempt to stop superspreading events — and other essential workers who had not been previously vaccinated. Phase 4 then includes everyone else."

SOURCE: Reuters, CDC, Science Magazine, MIT Technology Review