A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel voted 13 to 1 to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers and residents of long-term facilities after FDA authorizes their use.
The panel’s recommendations include three-tiers — Phases 1A, 1B and 1C — for early vaccinations. Officials with the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed have said that state governments will choose who gets COVID-19 vaccines first, but CDC guidance will weigh heavily on the decisionmaking.
Phase 1A will be the first group.
Potentially next in line for the vaccines will be essential workers, people with high-risk medical conditions and adults 65 or older, who would fall under Phase 1B in a CDC proposed grouping.
More than 260 million Americans would fall under the broader proposed Phase 1 vaccination scheme, including 87 non-healthcare workers, more than 100 million adults with high-risk medical conditions and 53 million seniors. “The elderly are much more likely to get severe disease and die,” said epidemiologist Megan Murray in a conversation with Elana Gordon, a journalist at The World. By contrast, the rate of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers has been lower than expected, Murray said.
Healthcare workers have a significant risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. As of Nov 21., at least 228,503 healthcare workers had been sickened by the virus. Among them were 822 deaths.
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) panel has held a series of meetings since the beginning of the pandemic to discuss topics ranging from vaccine prioritization to adverse event monitoring.
A vaccine could be available in the coming weeks. Both Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NSDQ:MRNA) have filed for emergency use authorization for their respective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
The vaccine might not be broadly available until April, May or June of next year, according to the epidemiologist Murray.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery, Infectious Disease
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