Police, firefighters, teachers will be next in line for COVID-19 vaccine
Police, firefighters, teachers and grocers will be among the next to line up for a COVID-19 vaccine, an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided on Sunday.
The committee voted 13-1 to recommend that Phase 1b include people aged 75 and over as well as key frontline workers. Phase 1c includes people between 65 and 74 years of age and those between 16 and 64 years of age at high risk, as well as other key employees.
"I hope these short-term recommendations support efficiency and equity at every stage of vaccination until we get to the point where everyone has access to safe and effective vaccines in the US and around the world," said Dr. Grace Lee. Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine and member of the committee.
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The Advisory Committee on Vaccination Practices began its deliberations on Sunday morning and spent the day discussing who would follow health care workers and people in long-term care facilities to receive vaccines. This second phase could start in February. The committee is responsible for recommending who gets which vaccines and when.
They made tough decisions based on getting a vaccine as soon as possible for people at greatest risk of developing COVID-19 and for those who will be at the most serious consequences, said Dr. Sharon Fry of Saint Louis University Medical School and a committee member.
"There are no perfect recommendations. People will continue to get this disease and die of the disease until there are adequate vaccines. Please, I will also ask our leaders and the government to do this quickly and support this effort," She said.
There are currently two COVID-19 vaccines in use in the US. The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on December 11th. The Moderna vaccine was approved on Friday and should arrive in hospitals on Monday.
The United States has put in place a phased vaccination schedule for the coronavirus due to insufficient vaccines at the start of the rollout.
Phase 1a includes frontline health workers and people in long-term care facilities.
"Basic workers are at high risk due to their exposure from contact with others in the performance of their jobs. Preventing disease in essential workers can reduce its transmission to others," said Drs. Kathleen Dooling, a CDC medical doctor who co-chairs the Advisory Board's COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group,
Cardboard boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are being prepared for shipment at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, December 20, 2020.
These workers are considered essential to the functioning of society and are at a much higher risk of being exposed to SARS-Co / V-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They make up approximately 30 million people among these groups:
First aiders such as fire brigade, police
Teachers, support staff, day care workers
Food and farm workers
U.S. Postal Service Employee
Employees in local public transport
Workers in grocery stores
The main workforce in Phase 1c is approximately 57 million people and would include:
Public Health Workers
Transport and logistics workers
Food service employees
IT and communications staff
Public Safety Engineers
Water and sewage workers
Conditions for which there is sufficient evidence to be linked to severe COVID-19 illness include:
Type 2 diabetes
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic kidney disease
Immunocompromised condition due to organ transplantation
Sickle cell anemia
Smoker (current or with a history of smoking)
Phase 2 would include anyone aged 16 and over who was not in phase 1 and is recommended for vaccination. This means that people aged 16 and over are at high risk of disease.
As the vaccine supply is initially limited, phase 1b is not expected to start until February.
Operation Warp Speed, the White House's COVID-19 vaccine and treatment accelerator, expects distributions of 20 million doses in December, 60 million in January and 100 million by February. That's 180 million doses by the end of February, which means 90 million people would be fully vaccinated. (Both the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses.)
How exactly the 20 million doses will be distributed by the end of the month is not clear. 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine were distributed last week. This week another 2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed along with 5.9 million doses of the Moderna vaccine.
Further vaccines are in preparation. Another candidate from Johnson & Johnson fully enrolled its large-scale human study Thursday and expects to release its first safety and efficacy data in January.
A fourth candidate, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, is a few weeks ago, and a fifth candidate from vaccine developer Novavax of Gaithersburg, Maryland is expected to begin its large U.S. study shortly.
If all or most of these get away, there should be enough vaccines by the end of next summer to cover every American who wants one.
Contributor: Karen Weintraub
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: COVID-19 Vaccine: Police, Firefighters, Teachers will be next in line
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