Hey Taylor: How will the coronavirus vaccine distribution work? And will it cost anything? I’m hearing that one might be ready soon, but does that mean I can just go to my pharmacy and get it? - Stacey
Hey Stacey: I’d love to say otherwise, but I’m worried this won’t be a fast or simple process. We’re all a little in the dark here; we can’t guarantee when a vaccine will be ready because we can’t guarantee what the FDA will approve. Once a safe vaccine is certified, we still have to deal with the issues of manufacturing, shipping, and selling.
It looks like we have a good shot at getting something approved before the end of the year, which is pretty remarkable when you take a step back and look at the timeline. Nonetheless, approval is step one in a long process. Until the FDA signs off on the drug, it won’t be mass-produced. So, after we get all excited about hearing help is on the way, we still have to wait for that help to get made.
Once that first batch of vaccine gets produced, the federal government has already placed an order to buy and distribute that. That should mean Americans can get shots - at least initially - for free, though it’s still unclear as to where the drug will be available. This is also dependent on either the Pfizer drug or one of the other American-made vaccines making it out of trials and getting approved by the FDA. If that company’s product isn’t satisfactory for any reason, all bets are off.
Almost every potential vaccine will need to be taken in two doses a few weeks apart, so that extends the timeline even further. It also might mean that anyone who doesn’t get in on the earliest round of vaccines will have to wait a little longer.
Now, as to where a person can get their shot. Any medical office or pharmacy that plans to offer the vaccine has to enroll in the U.S. vaccination program and prove they have the adequate equipment, storage space, etc. That will further delay things and might rule out some clinics and smaller pharmacies altogether.
With so many variables and so much scrutiny, I’m guessing the arrival of the vaccine will lead to a quick burst of mayhem and panic, and then systems will start to fall into place and we’ll actually get to see how the thing works.
Solving this pandemic was never going to be easy, so it’s important to keep that in mind as the vaccination process unfolds. I wish I could give a more straightforward answer. Hopefully, though, this is at least a little helpful!
Disclosure: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.
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