Vaccine Distribution Plans

How COVID-19 Vaccines Get to You

Vaccine manufacturers; the federal government; state, local, and territorial jurisdictions; and other partners are working to make sure safe and effective vaccines are getting to you as quickly as possible. This resource will help you understand the key steps in this important process and how CDC is tracking vaccine distribution, delivery, and administration throughout the United States. Visit the resource here.

COVID-19 Vaccine State Distribution Plans

Each state has its own plan for distributing vaccines. Determine if you are eligible for a vaccine on this website.

COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Operational Guidance Playbook

The CDC provided state, territorial, tribal, and local public health programs and their partners with principles on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19 within their jurisdictions. This report covers specific areas of COVID-19 vaccination program planning and implementation and provides key guidance documents and links to resources to assist these efforts. Find the Playbook here.

Interim Jurisdiction COVID-19 Vaccination Playbook - Draft Executive Summaries

Each state outlined its capacities and plans for distributing COVID-19 vaccines, and the CDC has made executive summaries of these documents available. Find a summary of your state’s plan here.

Repository of Full Drafts of COVID-19 Vaccination Plans

The Kaiser Family Foundation has collected vaccination plans from all 50 states and the District of Columbia where available. These initial plans are considered draft documents and will be updated as more information from the federal government about the availability of vaccines becomes available. Find a draft of your State’s plan here.

The Kaiser Family Foundation Analysis of Key COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Issues

The Kaiser Family Foundation has analyzed state COVID-19 distribution plans across four common themes and concerns:

  • 1) determining priority populations
  • 2) identifying the network of providers to administer the vaccine
  • 3) developing the data collection and reporting systems to track its distribution strategy
  • 4) establishing a communications strategy for the period before and during vaccination. Visit their website to learn more.

Vaccine Allocation and Prioritization Framework

Who Can Get Vaccinated?

Because the amount of vaccine available in states is currently limited, the CDC has issued recommendations for a priority order of populations to get vaccinated. These recommendations were made by the Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a group of independent medical and public health experts. While there may be some variation across states about who gets vaccinated first, ACIP recommendations are as follows:

Phase 1a
  • Healthcare Personnel
  • Long-term care facility residents and staff
Phase 1b
  • Persons aged 75 years and older
  • Frontline essential workers (fire fighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, United States Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector)
Phase 1c
  • Persons aged 65 to 74 years old
  • Persons aged 16 to 59 years old with high-risk medical conditions
  • Other essential workers (people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health)

While these are the general recommendations provided by ACIP and the CDC, specifics may vary by state. Many state health departments have been using this tool to determine prioritization of vaccinations across counties. For more details on your state’s vaccination plans, please reference guidelines from your state’s Department of Health.

On April 6th, 2021, the Biden Administration accelerated the timeline of the immunization effort by making all U.S. adults eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on April 19th rather than May 1st 2021.

Where Can I Get Vaccinated?

When and where you get vaccinated for COVID-19 will depend on what phase or prioritization group you are in as recommended by the CDC and your state. Phase 1a includes healthcare workers and long-term care residents and workers. Individuals living and working in long term care facilities are being vaccinated as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program. Through this program, CDC is partnering with CVS, Walgreens, and Managed Health Care Associates, Inc. (MHA) to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Vaccination for individuals in other congregate settings (e.g., group homes, shelters, corrections) will be coordinated by the management of those facilities. As more vaccines become available, doses will be prioritized for Phase 1b (frontline essential workers and people aged 75 years and older) and Phase 1c (people aged 65-74 years, people aged 16-64 years with underlying medical conditions, and other essential workers). As COVID-19 vaccine availability continues to increase, immunizations should be available for most Americans later in 2021. Use this helpful tool to plan your vaccine.

2021 U.S. National Plan for Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

In January 2021, a new U.S. government national plan was released for eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic with several key objectives:

  • Provide safe, effective vaccines for the American public.
  • Ensure the delivery of vaccines to priority population groups and communities.
  • Create new venues across all 50 States and 14 territories for vaccinations.
  • Target strategies to hard-to-reach and high-risk populations.
  • Embed equity into vaccination campaign and wider national pandemic plan.
  • Roll out a national vaccination public education campaign.
  • Remain vigilant about vaccine safety and efficacy.
  • Collect comprehensive data of vaccinations and make decisions driven by that data.
  • Expand the health care workforce to support the vaccination campaign.