US experts recommend who should get COVID-19 vaccine first
Healthcare workers, first responders, and adults with pre-existing conditions that put them at risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19 should be the initial recipients of the first approved vaccine in the United States, according to a framework from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) published yesterday. Today, NAM will hold a virtual public meeting on the recommendations.
The NAM report offers a detailed approach about how to best prioritize and allocate a COVID-19 vaccine. Even though the virus was discovered only in December of 2019, several countries have produced vaccines that are currently in late-stage clinical trials, and US President Donald Trump has said America could see a vaccine by the end of the year.
But deciding who should first get access to the vaccine is a potential problem, compounded by lessons learned in the early months of the US pandemic on how the virus hits minority communities hardest.
The NAM framework offers four phases of vaccine deployment. In addition to the aforementioned groups, older adults in congregate living are included in phase 1. In phase 2, teachers, school staff, critical risk workers, prisoners, those in homeless shelters and group homes, and older adults not included in phase 1 can be vaccinated. Phase 3 is for children, young adults, and workers in industries with exposure to the virus. Phase 4 includes everyone else.
Sep 1 NAM draft report
Sep 2 NAM public listening session