Saturday, December 26, 2020

Phase 1a, 1b or 1c? Understanding Coronavirus Vaccine Priority Groups


by Dena Bunis, AARP, December 21, 2020 

People age 75 and older and frontline essential workers, including police officers, firefighters, teachers, grocery store staff and U.S. Postal Service employees, should be next in line to get a COVID-19 vaccine, a federal advisory panel recommended on Dec. 20.

By a 13-1 vote, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also recommended to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that people ages 65 to 74, people ages 16 to 64 with high-risk conditions and other essential workers follow in what's being called Phase 1c, behind Americans 75-plus and frontline essential employees in Phase 1b. Whether or not to include all people 65 and older in Phase 1b consumed much of the debate during ACIP's five-hour meeting.

 The first priority group of 24 million Americans, designated as Phase 1a, began getting inoculated last week with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This category includes health care workers and residents and staff of nursing homes. Nearly 6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which received its emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 18, have already begun to ship.


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