CDC Identifies Next Priority Groups for COVID Vaccine

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An influential federal advisory panel on Sunday voted to recommend that the elderly and certain essential workers be the next groups of Americans to get access to limited doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted 13-1 on the recommendation. 

The first group of people to have access to COVID-19 vaccines, the Phase 1a group, remains healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, as ACIP recommended earlier this month.

The next set of recipients, the Phase 1b group, will include people aged 75 years and older and certain front-line essential workers. The third group, Phase 1c, will include other essential workers and people aged 16-64 years with high-risk medical conditions.

The three ACIP members who had conflicts that prevented their voting were Robert L. Atmar, MD, who said at the Saturday meeting he had participated in COVID-19 trials, including research on the Moderna vaccine; Sharon E. Frey, MD, who said at the Saturday meeting that she had been involved with research on COVID-19 vaccines, including Moderna’s; and Paul Hunter, MD, who said he has received a grant from Pfizer for pneumococcal vaccines. The other panel members have reported no relevant financial relationships.

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