Who will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Probably people in the country where the first effective vaccine is being developed.
About a dozen different vaccines are in various stages of testing worldwide, including in the UK, China and the USA. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert in the United States, said this week that he is cautiously optimistic that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available at the end of the year or early 2021.
Several rich countries have already ordered millions of doses of these experimental vaccines.
For example, the UK and the US have invested in a candidate vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and manufactured by AstraZeneca. If this works, American politicians have stated that the British will be vaccinated with them. The US plans to start storing it this fall, and has also invested in other vaccine candidates.
Groups, including the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, are also working to procure doses for poor countries, and AstraZeneca agreed to license its vaccine to the Indian Serum Institute to produce 1 billion doses. The World Health Organization is developing guidelines for the ethical distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
How vaccines are distributed domestically will vary. Last week, US officials said they were developing a multi-level system. The system is likely to give priority to the groups at greatest risk of serious complications from COVID-19 and key employees.
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