Frontline essential workers and people age 75 and older should be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine, a panel of medical experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday.
The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in favor of the recommendation, which will go to the CDC director for final approval.
The group of essential workers next in line for the vaccine includes 30 million people, such as firefighters, police officers, teachers and grocery-store employees, as well as corrections officers and food and agriculture, manufacturing, US Postal Service and public transit workers.
The committee also voted that next, behind those groups, should be: other essential workers; people ages 65 to 74 and those between 16 and 64 who have certain medical conditions that put them at high-risk for serious illness if they become infected with the coronavirus.
About 556,000 Americans have been vaccinated since the nation’s immunizations efforts began last week, the CDC said.
The shots — from Pfizer/BioNTech — went first to healthcare workers and nursing home residents based on the advice of the same advisory panel. A vaccine from Moderna was approved Friday and started being shipped out Sunday.
Still, despite what the CDC recommends, there will be differences in how each state administers the vaccine, since various local health departments may have different ideas about who should be at the front of the line.
In New York, the first wave of vaccines began going to healthcare workers last week, with nursing-home residents set to start receiving the shots Monday.
First responders, teachers and other essential frontline workers who regularly interact with the public are part of New York’s phase 2, according to a draft of the state’s vaccine administration plan released in October.
Next will be those over age 65 and people who are at high risk of serious illness. All other essential workers will be in phase 4, with everyone else relegated to phase 5.
The first Moderna vaccines are expected to be administered Monday.
Nearly 8 million overall anti-coronavirus doses will be delivered Monday, about 5.9 million from Moderna and 2 million of the vaccine from Pfizer, said Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed initiative on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Both vaccines require two doses several weeks apart. The second dose must be from the same company as the first.
With Post Wires