CDC To Discuss Who Will Get COVID-19 Vaccine First
Ten months after the United State’s first confirmed COVID-19 death, the nation is up to its neck in confirmed infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Some sources report that there are at least 13.5 million confirmed cases and 268,000 deaths. Despite this rapidly increasing rate of infection, hospitalization, and fatality, we all have a very good reason to hold on to hope. Moderna and Pfizer both have promising vaccination candidates and have applied for emergency FDA approval. If the FDA approves either or both of these vaccines, up to 40 million doses could be distributed this month. The question remains, who will receive these doses and how will that be determined?
The CDC have called an emergency meeting today and will discuss their recommendation for prioritization. While it is ultimately up to governors to decide how they will prioritize distribution among demographics, the CDC’s recommendation will be considered. We will have to wait and see what they recommend, but the general impression of priorities right now, is as follows:
1.) Health care workers
2.) Those in long term care facilities
3.) Essential workers
4.) Those over 65 + and/or individuals with underlying health conditions
By June, it is expected that the vaccine will be made available to everyone else. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Fauci is concerned that distribution is just the first hurdle, he wants to see “at least 75%” of the country vaccinated once this is possible but feels that the general public will first have to be convinced to vaccinate.
While we all wait for the vaccine to become widely available, more and more places will increase their restrictions, discourage gatherings, and encourage everyone to continue washing their hands regularly, wearing their masks, and staying at least 6’ away from each other.
The “war” on this pandemic is far from over, but it is a great relief to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is a safe and effective vaccine.