The cases of the COVID-19 is on the increase daily especially in the United States and with vaccine’s approval, the government is following in the steps of the UK government and hope to immunize frontline essential workers and elder citizens from the age of 75 and above in the next wave of vaccination campaign. The number of individuals are about 49 million in total in the group.
Right after these groups are vaccinated, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also recommended that the next campaign should be for those between the age of 65 and 74 while people between the age of 16 and 65 years of age even with underlying health health conditions as well as other essential workers are not considered as the frontline group.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects that there should doses available to vaccinate about 20 million people in December while some 30 million people will be vaccinated by January while February will be for 50 million people.
“In this setting, difficult choices have to be made,” Kathleen Dooling, medical officer at the CDC, said in a presentation to the ACIP.
States and local jurisdictions ultimately make the final decisions around the distribution and prioritization of vaccinations, but the CDC recommendations help shape their approaches.
First phase of the immunization campaign goes to healthcare workers as well as long term care facility resident. The group began getting vaccinated last week with over 500,000 people in the US have been vaccinated thus far.
The ACIP balanced two main goals to make recommendations for the second wave of vaccinations: preventing death and disease and preserving societal function. Older adults over 75 have the highest risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Those on the list of the frontline essential workers includes firefighters, teachers, grocery store workers, manufacturing workers and others especially those who have to go to work in the middle of the pandemic and getting exposed to the potential risk of catching the virus.
“This approach mitigates health inequities as racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in many essential industries,” Dooling said.
The committee furthered that the third group that should be vaccinated includes essential workers like those who work in food services, construction service, transportation, wastewater as well as media service workers.
People between 65 and 74 are also at high risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, as are younger people with underlying health conditions like cardiac disease or diabetes.
The frontline essential worker group are different from the essential worker groups and the CDC is said to have a list of workplaces which it considers to have fallen between either of these groups.
However, eligibility will be quite difficult to determine as distributing vaccines to the second and third wave of priority groups will make it so. With that said, members of the committee stressed the importance of adequate funding for vaccine distribution.
If the kind of financial resources poured into making the vaccine can be invested to the vaccine distribution, then there could be a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
The vaccines are Cadillacs, Jeffrey Duchin, a health officer in King County, Washington, said during the meeting. “But they’ve come with empty gas tanks,” he said.
Over 200,000 people are being diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US each day, and over 2,500 people are dying from the disease every day.