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CDC advisory panel recommends older Americans, essential workers to be next in line for vaccine

Flu Vaccine
Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-20 16:51:56-05

An advisory committee is recommending Americans age 75 and older, along with essential workers like firefighters, teachers, and grocery store workers should be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine.

This second wave of people comes after the first tier of health care workers and long-term care facility residents that was agreed to by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices earlier this month should get the first of the vaccine shots that started last week.

The committee, composed of health experts in the field of immunization, makes recommendations to the CDC, and they are almost always adopted.

They voted Sunday afternoon on the recommendation, it was 13-to-1. They also discussed the next tier, which could include Americans age 65-to-75, as well as those who are age 16-to-64 who have high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers not already vaccinated, according to CNN.

It comes as a second COVID-19 vaccine, made by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, begins being shipped around the country for approved emergency use and a second week of shipments arrive of the Pfizer vaccine.

The CDC says roughly 556,000 Americans received the first dose of the vaccine last week. The Pfizer vaccine started being given on Monday, December 14.

The general overseeing the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines says they are on track to deliver about 20 million doses before the end of the year. Each person must receive 2 doses of the vaccine for full effect, which has been shown in both vaccines to be higher than 90% effective.

As for when the second tier of frontline workers and those age 75 and older will receive their vaccines is up to state governors depending on their vaccination plans and distribution of the vaccine. The advisory panel is offering guidance to state leaders about how to handle distribution of the vaccine.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering