Who’s Next in Line for the COVID-19 Vaccine? A CDC Panel Recommends These Groups

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According to a CDC panel, The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), seniors 75 and older and frontline workers should be next in line to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Here are the details you need to know. 

The current groups receiving the vaccine are people in nursing homes and frontline healthcare workers. Federal officials anticipate being able to vaccinate 100 million Americans by February 2021, which is one-third of the population. 

Vaccine phases

According to the new CDC panel recommendations, here’s how it would work out for the rest of Phase 1:

  • Phase 1a (Current – 24 million people): People in nursing homes and frontline healthcare workers.
  • Phase 1b (January – 49 million people): Americans 75 and older, and frontline workers such as teachers, daycare workers, emergency responders, police officers, U.S. Postal Service workers, public transit workers, firefighters, prison officers, and grocery store workers.
  • Phase 1c (February – 129 million people): Americans 65 and older, those with serious underlying medical conditions, and frontline workers such as those in waste, construction, trucking, and foodservice.
  • Phase 2: People with underlying health conditions, workers and residents of homeless shelters, group homes, and prisons.
  • Phase 3: Young adults and children, workers in second-tier industries including financial services, higher education, and travel.
  • Phase 4: All other U.S. residents

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What’s next?

CDC Director Robert Redfield will review the panel’s suggestions to evaluate whether he will put them into effect. 

The phases are expected to move quickly, and may even overlap. Once Phase 2 is reached, vaccines will soon be available to almost everyone. 

While there has been some controversy on the choice of whom to vaccinate first, Dr. Christine Hahn of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists said, “We have to have faith in our local public health officials and state health officials to do the right thing.”

Ultimately, state officials have the final say on vaccine distribution according to the needs in their state.

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