Panel Identifies Next COVID Vaccine Recipients

Firefighters and teachers will be among the first
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2020 4:21 PM CST
Expert Panel: Here's Who Should Get the Vaccine Next
A worker gives a thumbs up while transporting boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to the loading dock for shipping at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

A federal advisory panel recommended Sunday that people 75 and older and essential workers like firefighters, teachers, and grocery store workers should be next in line for COVID-19 shots, while a second vaccine began rolling out to hospitals as the nation works to get the coronavirus pandemic under control, the AP reports. The two developments came amid a vaccination program that began only in the last week and has given initial shots to about 556,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech already is being distributed, and regulators last week gave approval to the one from Moderna Inc. that began shipping Sunday.

Earlier this month, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said health care workers and nursing home residents—about 24 million people—should be at the very front of the line for the vaccines. Sunday's vote by the panel was who should be next in line, and by a vote of 13-1, it decided that it should be people 75 and older, who number about 20 million, as well as certain front-line workers, who total about 30 million. The essential workers include firefighters and police; teachers and school staff; those working in food, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors; corrections workers; US Postal Service employees; public transit workers; and grocery store workers. They are considered at very high risk of infection because their jobs are critical and require them to be in regular contact with others.

(Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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