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When Can You Receive The Coronavirus Vaccine?

Sonia Garcia, a technician at Rady Children's Hospital, gets inoculated with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at Rady. Dec. 15, 2020.
Pool photo via CBS 8
Sonia Garcia, a technician at Rady Children's Hospital, gets inoculated with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at Rady. Dec. 15, 2020.

San Diego County has now received the first shipment of more than 28,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, spaced 21 days apart, but the question on everybody’s mind: When can I receive the shots?

When Can You Receive The Coronavirus Vaccine?
Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

The exact timeline for COVID-19 vaccine rollout is not set in stone, but the order of people who will receive the shots in California will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s three-phase approach.

Phase 1 has three sub-tiers to account for the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines available. In the current Phase 1a, California is focusing its efforts on vaccinating critical populations, including healthcare personnel and long term care facility residents.

Phase 1b will come afterward and vaccinate essential workers, some of which include firefighters, police and corrections officers and those in the education, utilities, transportation, and food and agriculture sectors.

Phase 1c will then focus on vaccinating adults older than 65 or adults with high-risk medical conditions.

RELATED: UC San Diego Health Receives Nearly 3,000 COVID-19 Vaccines

VID: When Can You Receive The Coronavirus Vaccine?

As vaccine supplies increase, Phase 2 will take effect. During this stage, there will be a focus on ensuring access to vaccines for all critical populations who were not vaccinated in Phase 1 and providing access to the vaccine for the general population.

In Phase 3, when there is a sufficient supply of doses, the goal will be ensuring equitable vaccination access across the entire population and helping communities with low coverage.

The timeline of when each of the phases will be met depends on various factors, including how many different vaccines are approved for U.S. distribution, manufacturing capacity of the vaccine companies and the quantity of doses that California can secure from the national allotment.