An independent committee at the Centers for Disease Control and prevention recommended covid-19 vaccines in the next wave of immunizations. That group includes about 49 million people.
Advisory Committee on immunization practices (acip) said doses should go to people between 65 and 74 years old, people between 16 and 65 years old with underlying health conditions. After those groups are vaccinated, acip said doses must go to those who are not in groups considered frontlineline.
Vaccines will be in limited supply through at least the next few months. The CDC expects that there should be doses available to vaccinate 20 million people in December, 30m people in January, and 50m people in February.
States and local jurisdictions ultimately make the final decisions about the distribution and prioritization of vaccinations. The CDC recommendations help shape their approaches.
The first phase of vaccinations are going to health care workers and long term care facility residents. Those groups started to get vaccinated last week. Over 500,000 people in the US have been vaccinated so far.
The acip balanced two goals to make recommendations for the second wave of vaccinations. Older adults over 75 have the highest risk of hospitalization and death from covid-19. Frontline essential workers are unable to work from home and often have to interact with the public.
Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in many essential industries, says dooling.’this approach mitigates health inequities,’ dooling said.
People between 65 and 74 are also at high risk of hospitalization and death from covid-19. Younger people with underlying health conditions like cardiac disease or diabetes also at risk.
The CDC has a list of workplaces that it considers frontline and essential. Various interest groups are lobbying States to include their workers in early vaccination groups. Uber, for example, asked States to prioritize its drivers.
Committee members stressed the importance of adequate funding for vaccine distribution. Money was funneled into vaccine development. Local health departments need the same level of investment in vaccination programs.