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It’s the million dollar question right now: When can I get the vaccine? And when can my kids get it?

Full disclosure: We’re not doctors or scientists. We don’t even play them on TV. We’re just following the news and doing a lot of Googling on your behalf. So here’s what we know:


Vaccine rollout is well underway for healthcare workers and some other groups, mainly residents of long-term care settings. After that, other high-risk groups, like essential workers, older people, and other adults with risk factors are in line, followed by the general, lower-risk population. But exactly the order and timeline for each of those groups varies by state. Fortunately, the folks at USA Today put together a handy state-by-state list. The links go to each state’s full (read: long) vaccine distribution plan, so we suggest skimming the table of contents to find the rollout schedule.


But what about kids? This is an interesting question. Right now, the Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in people over the age of 16 (and Moderna for people over 18)—so the good news is that college-aged young people and a decent number of high schoolers are already eligible. But the timeline for younger kids is impossible to know right now: Both Pfizer and Moderna have announced that they’re beginning pediatric trials, which will start with teenagers and work their way down to younger children. But we just don’t know yet if children under 16 will be able to be vaccinated in the coming months, or even before the start of next school year. (It does look like teachers will be prioritized, though, which is a promising—though not entirely certain—step toward getting students back in school.)


Finally, it bears saying, the vaccines aren’t going to magically transport us all back to normal. We’re likely looking at some kinds of distancing, mask use, and other precautions for a while yet. Will we be partying in crowded nightclubs by next New Year’s Eve? (I mean, we won’t, because seriously who can stay out that late when your kids are going to wake you at dawn no matter what?) But will other people be partying like it’s 1999 again? It’s just too early to say. But either way, there’s some light creeping in at the end of the tunnel, and we’re grateful for it.

“Both Pfizer and Moderna have announced that they’re beginning pediatric trials, which will start with teenagers and work their way down to younger children. But we just don’t know yet if children under 16 will be able to be vaccinated in the coming months, or even before the start of next school year.”

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