An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended that key workers and people age 75 and older should be on the front lines to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 13-1 to recommend 30 million key frontline workers, including first responders, teachers, food and agriculture, manufacturing, U.S. mail, public transportation and grocery store workers, as the next priority be for the vaccines.
A total of 51 million people would be able to be vaccinated by moving to the next round. However, it was not immediately clear when the next round would begin.
Approximately 200 million people, including non-frontline workers such as those in the media, finance, energy, IT, and communications industries, those in the 65-74 age group, and those 16-64 years of age with risk conditions, should be in the next round, the panel recommended.
The group had previously recommended that frontline health workers and nursing home residents be the first priority groups.
Coronavirus death rates are highest among older adults, with the population aged 75 and over accounting for 25% of hospital stays associated with COVID-19, according to a working group established by the Vaccine Distribution Advisory Board.
Citing the limited availability of the cans, the working group divided essential workers into front and non-front workers.
States that distribute shots to their residents will use ACIP guidelines to make their decisions about how doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc should be allocated when supplies are low.
States have wide discretion in classifying essential workers, according to a Reuters analysis, and more than 20 major industries have championed the authorities to help their workers get to the top.
While vaccine supplies have been limited so far, federal agencies have announced that production will increase in the coming months. US Operation Warp Speed officials have announced that they will be distributing enough doses by the end of February to vaccinate 100 million Americans.
Federal agencies began shipping the first 2.9 million doses of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine on December 13th. They estimate an additional 2 million doses and 5.9 million doses of the vaccine will be distributed by Moderna Inc. this week.
Even after those doses have been distributed, more than half of the country’s 21 million healthcare workers and 3 million nursing home residents are still to be vaccinated.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)